When you’re buying a new house, what you can’t see may hurt you! Even if everything in the new house looks great, and you have a warranty, it’s a good idea to make sure beforehand that your septic system and sewer lines are in good working order.
It’s worth the small additional cost to have a licensed plumber with advanced equipment use a camera probe to check your sewer line to the city system, just in case there’s a problem. Sewer lines can be clogged, or crumbly if the line is old, and it’s best to get the problem solved before it becomes an emergency. “It’s a lot cheaper to do an inspection and preventive maintenance than to deal with an emergency repair,” said Raman of Drain Pro Plumbing.
If you have a septic system, it’s also good to check it out, especially if there’s no information about when it was last inspected or drained. Septic problems are pleasanter to deal with, before something goes wrong. No one wants sewage backing up into the shower!
Also Check What You Can See
A plumbing inspection can also help you identify potential problems and things to watch for.
The first step is to know where your water meter is, and where the water shut-off valve is. If you have a leak, you can minimize any damage by shutting off the main valve until you solve the problem.
Here are some specifics to investigate:
The water heater
How old is the water heater? What condition is it in? Any evidence of corrosion? If it sprang a leak, what could potentially be damaged? Could it be moved to a more suitable place?
A licensed plumber can answer these questions, and also tell you if the size is adequate for the number of people your family. The standard is to have a 40-gallon tank for a four-person family. But if you take a lot of baths or long showers, you might want to go larger.
Do all the toilets flush well? Are there any leaks at the base of the toilet? Is the toilet secure when you sit on it, or does it rock? If it’s a little wobbly, there may be some leakage that has weakened the floorboards.
Check all the faucets and the shower, to make sure they shut tight, without dripping. If you turn on the sink and the shower at the same time, how’s the water temperature and the pressure?
You’ll want to check if any of the pipes or pipe connections contain lead, if your house was built before the 1980s. Sometimes the pipes don’t contain lead, but the solder or connector at the point that brings the city water to your home’s water system may have lead in it. Special filters can be installed to make sure that you have no traces of lead. A licensed plumber can check for lead. Or, you can check yourself. Here’s an informative tutorial on how to find out if your pipes have lead: https://apps.npr.org/find-lead-pipes-in-your-home/en/#intro.
If your new house has a crawl space, make sure your inspection includes the plumbing there.
A Good Investment
You have a lot to think about when you’re buying a new house. For most people, it’s the most expensive purchase of their lifetime. A plumbing inspection as a good investment in your new home. It’s worth a little extra not to worry, and not to have an emergency crop up.
Drain Pro Plumbing is ready to help you with a plumbing inspection or in solving a problem. We’re available 24/7 at 253-236-5000. In February, we have a special $50-off bonus for new customers.