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Check Out The Plumbing Before Your Next Home Purchase

by Tara Pena

A basic home inspection doesn't always fully cover the plumbing systems, which can lead to surprise issues after you move into your new house. You can check for some of the most common problems yourself, or you can bring in a plumber to perform a full inspection before you buy.

Tip #1: Check the Water Meter

The quickest way to locate a leak is to check the water meter. Make sure all taps, both inside and out, are turned off. If the meter is still running, the home either has a defective meter or there is a leak somewhere. Leaks don't have to be inside the home. Sometimes automatic sprinkler systems are the culprit.

Tip #2: Look Under the Sinks

Many leaks occur in the pipes beneath the sink. If the wood inside the cabinet is damp or mildewed, you are dealing with a current leak. Call in a plumber to assess the damage and pinpoint the cause of the leak.

Old, dry water damage indicates there was a leak in the past. If the problem was fixed, there's no need to worry.

Tip #3: Inspect Around the Faucets

Make sure to run each faucet in the home for a few minutes before calling the plumbing inspection complete. Not only does that let you check for drain leaks below the sink, it helps locate any leaks in the water lines. If you find a leak around the base of the faucet, it likely only needs a new washer. Leaks below the sink or from the drain require further inspection from a plumber.

Tip #4: Don't Skip the Toilet

One of the most overlooked leaks in a home is around the base of the toilet. These "silent" leaks occur when the seal around the drain pipe is broken.

If you hear running water or see signs of water damage to the floor, the toilet likely needs to be reseated and sealed. A leaking toilet can lead to damage inside the floorboards, so a full inspection of the state of the floors is necessary to make sure there isn't any hidden damage.

For second floor toilets, check the ceiling beneath the bathroom for water damage. If you see water spots, chances are the toilet has been leaking for a while.

Tip #5: Take Care of the Water Heater

Finally, check the water heater. Older models may need replacement soon, especially if there is corrosion on the outside. A plumber can also check the inside of the water heater for mineral buildup, which can indicate a heater that is soon to fail.

A full checkup of the plumbing system before you sign on a house can save you on costly repairs later, or at least prepare you for any repairs you need to start planning for. Call a local plumbing service like Salinas & Sons Rooter Service today!