House Hunters, Inspect Plumbing And Heating Before Buying

Posted on: 1 August 2017


Buying a new home is a trial by fire for many people. Some are lucky to have parents or older friends who have gone through the trouble of looking at homes and inspecting their flaws, but even with that guidance, there are a lot of both innocent mistakes and dishonest hidden problems that won't be noticed until you've already moved in. Here are a few inspection tips for plumbing and heating systems to avoid the more expensive problems that require deeper repairs.

Plumbing Inspection Points

The problem with checking out plumbing before buying a home is that the utilities are often turned off. Ask the real estate agent or current owner to turn on utilities for testing, but if they can't, there are a few ways to check out the plumbing. First, the inspection with working water.

Turn on all water taps and utility points one a time. You need to observe that sinks, bathtubs, and outside spigots can deliver water properly, and that any drains are not clogged. Those problems need to be handled before you buy, or taken out of the final price as a discount to you.

Listen for any knocking noises or moisture in different areas of the home while turning on individual water outlets. You may want other people with you for this inspection, and make sure that the seller isn't talking over any potential noise problems while testing.

When flushing the toilet, use a wad of about 6 or 7 individual toilet sheets. If you can use the bathroom in privacy for a live test, that's great, but a toilet paper test is just as good. Make sure that the toilet flushes quickly and doesn't seem to clog up.

There are some deeper plumbing issues that can't be seen without accessing pipes both in cabinets and in the infrastructure. If you notice any strange noises or clog issues, be sure to ask a contractor to perform their own inspection. Noticed problems is just cause for deeper inspection, and if there is a problem, it's up to the seller to decide if they want to pay for a repair or send you to a different home.

Heating Issues And Electrical Utilities

Heating and cooling are another tricky inspection point because they require connected electricity. This is often less of a problem and a lower cost than water in some areas, so be sure to check out all outlets before buying.

In addition to outlets, lights, and other obvious electrical connections, make sure that the heating and air conditioning is efficient. Heating may have a bit of a smell when turned on the first time as dust and other debris burns, but it shouldn't smell any worse than burnt paper or natural cloth.

Is dust coming out of the air ducts? The seller should be able to provide cleaning services before you purchase, and if anyone in your family or future household has breathing problems or allergies, a cleaning will have to happen some time. Just as the floors, walls, and cabinets should be clean, the air ducts shouldn't have more than a bit of idle dust.

Contact a home repair contractor, like Able Plumbing-Pumps & Well Service, and ask for an inspection if you notice problems that are beyond your personal inspection abilities.