You think you've found your dream house: A big yard, ample bathrooms, great price for the neighborhood. Before you sign on the dotted line, however, make sure you check out the plumbing. There could be problems lurking within the pipes and walls of your new home that could eventually cost you thousands of dollars. Here are some places to look to make sure you don't end up taking a bath on your home purchase.
The Bathroom Basics
Hopefully, you've checked to be sure all the faucets work, the shower is operational with sufficient pressure and the toilet flushes when you pull the handle. However, there are other potentially serious issues to rule out before you buy:
- Make sure that the toilet bowl and sinks are all firmly installed and don't move if you apply gentle pressure to them.
- If there is any warping or discoloration in the floor or walls around any of your bathroom equipment, or if these surfaces feel soft or spongy, there could be a leak somewhere that requires repairs.
Hot Water Heater Placement
You’ve run the taps in your kitchen or bathroom to confirm that the water heater works , but you should consider its location, as well. Is the unit in the basement or somewhere that can be easily cleaned if it leaks, or is it at risk of ruining walls, wood floors or carpeting if you have an unexpected problem? If you are looking at an older house there could also be local code issues to consider regarding the water heater's installation and performance. Consulting a professional plumber who is familiar with your local code can eliminate any surprises should a problem arise in the future.
Your Main Sewer
An issue with your connection to the main sewer could become a drain your bank account, and repairs could require excavation of your yard or driveway, or other unpleasant measures. Clogged or slow drainage in the bathtub or sink is a red flag. It may simply be an issue with the internal pipes, but it could indicate a more serious problem with your sewer outlet itself. Don’t take a chance: Contact a qualified plumber who can use a camera system to check your pipes and make sure your sewer connection isn't a ticking time bomb.
Let the Professionals Help
You can save a lot of money in the long run if you have a qualified plumbing expert inspect the home and point out any major issues before you buy. There could be problems that are serious enough to dissuade you from buying the property, or you could negotiate a reduction in the sales price to offset the cost of repairs. With some care and foresight, you can avoid a hassle and hopefully enjoy reliable plumbing for years to come.
The experienced plumbers at local Benjamin Franklin® are always here to help with your plumbing needs.