Tips For Inspecting The Plumbing When Purchasing a Home

Tips For Inspecting The Plumbing When Purchasing a Home

Buying a new home is a major investment, so it’s important that yours is thoroughly inspected to ensure long term comfort and safety for you and your family. With the sheer number of factors to consider – affordability, location, size, number of rooms, etc. – it could slip anyone’s mind to have the plumbing inspected too.

Plumbing is among the most fundamental things to consider before buying a new home. Unfortunately, many homebuyers don’t look into the condition of their home’s plumbing and have to pay high repair and maintenance costs later.

So that you don’t have to stress about the inspection process, we’ve created a convenient list of areas to focus on when it comes to plumbing inspections and buying a home.


It’s not uncommon for homeowners to forget to check the condition of a leaky toilet base. If you catch it early enough you can prevent most or even all subfloor rot, but if left to leak for a long period of time, the rot may even make its way in between the finished floor and subfloor.


When examining your home’s toilets, the situations below could be a signal that there’s a larger issue:


  • The toilet base shows signs of warping or discoloration
  • The floors are soft to light pressure and around the base
  • The toilet bowl moves or slides a bit when you grasp it on the sides


If you feel like its movable, this could be the result of a few things:


  • The toilet’s seal is bad
  • The flange is not secured properly
  • The toilet is not correctly secured to the flange

Sewer System

There are few problems as smelly, expensive, and gross as sewer issues. Before buying a new home, be sure to ask for information about its sewer system. If the new house has a septic tank, you can ask about its location, the size, where the lines running to it are within the property, and the service date record. Inspect carefully around the tank and try to find any signs of seepage, like bad smells and standing water. 

Be sure to also take a close look at the main sewer drain, and especially for an older home because the drain may have been blocked by tree roots or could be damaged due to its old age. To determine the overall condition of the home’s sewer drain, you will likely need to hire a professional plumber to complete an inspection with a camera. 

Your Home’s Type Of Pipes

There are a wide variety of distinct types of pipes and plumbing systems in various areas of the country, and some are more preferable in certain climates and situations. When a professional assesses your home’s plumbing system, always make sure they take the material and type of pipes you have installed into account. Being aware of whether your home has galvanized water pipes, copper drain pipes, lead closet bends, or another type of unique piping setup is crucial when you are getting your plumbing system inspected since each sort of pipe is vulnerable to different kinds of problems. It is also important for if or when you plan on selling your home in the future. 

Hot Water Heaters

Most hot water heaters have a lifespan of about 10 years. However, water heaters that are used to heat an entire home usually have shorter lifespans than those used exclusively for providing hot water. To ensure a healthy water heater, be sure that a The Plumbing Works professional checks the age of your water heaters (they can do this from the manufacturer and serial number) so that they’re always up to code.

A plumbing professional can also make sure that you have the right size for the amount of water your household uses. They can also verify and help examine the water heater for any signs of damage or if their pans are flooded–this is crucial because water heaters are usually located in out-of-the-way areas so leaks can quickly become a costly burden before anyone can tell there’s a problem.

Bathroom Sinks

Sinks are usually well-known sources for potential leaks, but it’s important to go over them for that very reason. To test out a sink for leaks, fill it to the top with water, then let it drain. Doing so makes a large amount of water go down the drain at once and helps make any leaks prominent where they might have gone unnoticed. Be sure to focus on the drain closely during this test. The drain stopper is a common area for leaks, and repairing it often only requires that your or a plumbing professional tighten the nut.

If a new home has a sink that is slow to drain, there’s usually hair or other debris stuck in the drain. For instance, if you hear a repeating “glug glug” sound just after the water has drained, it usually means that air is being sucked through the sink’s trap, which indicates issues with venting.

Contact The Plumbing Works

Are you a new homeowner or in the market for purchasing a new home and want a professional eye? If you just have questions about how to inspect a new home’s plumbing or want to schedule an appointment, please contact The Plumbing Works! When you need quality repair that lasts, The Plumbing Works is dedicated to serving you! Schedule your appointment online today.