Summer is Home Buying season and this year it is in full swing. Many new homebuyers find out too late that their new home is plagued with water leaks or an inadequate plumbing system. In fact, half of consumers call a plumber within the first year of purchasing a home. To avoid these unexpected and costly problems, we recommend that you visually inspect any potential home for problems and offer these helpful tips:
BATHROOM PLUMBING TIPS
Check around the skirt of the toilet for signs of water damage (peeled back or rolled vinyl, black or white stains). To check for a & spongy floor, stand straddled over the toilet and rock back and forth on each foot. If the floor feels soft, it is probably rotting or softened due to leakage. Check to see how fast and how strongly the toilet flushes. Check for leaky or loose wall tiles by pressing on the walls where the tiles come in contact with the bathtub. If the walls are soft or seem spongy, then water may have created damage behind the tiles.
Put a trash bin in the bathroom so the toilet isn’t used for a garbage can. Do not flush cotton swabs, cotton balls, wipes, facial scrub pads, diapers, sanitary products or similar items down the toilet. These items will not easily dissolve and are responsible for most clogs.
WATER SUPPLY PIPING
Turn on hot and cold water in bathtub and in the kitchen sink at the same time. If there is a noticeable drop in water volume, the supply piping in the home may need to be replaced due to calcium and mineral deposits restricting the flow of water.
If the home has a basement, check the exposed piping for signs of leaking or recent repairs. Find the main line cleanout and ensure that it is accessible. Consider having the sewer scoped with a camera as part of the inspection.
WATER HEATER PLUMBING TIPS
Check the age of the water heater. Generally speaking, the first four numbers of the serial number on the water heater are the month and year that it was made. The average life span of a water heater is 10 years, so any heater over 15 years old is a candidate to be replaced. A rusty water tank is a sign of pending problems!
MISCELLANEOUS PLUMBING TIPS
Check to make sure that the garbage disposer and dishwasher connections are tight and leak free. Look at the inside of cabinets (with a flashlight) for signs of water damage, warped cabinet bottom or stains. Make sure that traps and supply lines do not show signs of leaking. Check washing machine hoses for bulges or signs of rupture. Turn valves on and off to test for leaks.
Standing water is another usual problem resulting from leaky or broken pipes. Standing water or soggy spots in a yard may be coming from a damaged sewer line and may contain waste from the home. Standing water is not healthy for children or pets and is a breeding ground for insects and germs. Inspect the yard for areas that are too wet and with unusual plant or grass growth.