4 Plumbing Checks Before Buying A Home

4 Plumbing Checks Before Buying A Home

Make sure you do plumbing checks before buying a new home!

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Buying a home is a significant investment.  There are a number of home improvements that will inevitably be required when purchasing a new home, yet plumbing is one of the most costly and is an area that can be overlooked.  In part, this is because plumbing can be difficult to fully assess due to pipework being hidden and buried deep underground.  This article provides a number of areas on which you should do plumbing checks before buying a home .


You may wish to invest in a sewer inspection whereby specialist plumbers will come with a sewer camera to inspect the main sewer line.  The reason for this is that if the line is partially blocked it will not resolve itself – remedial action will be required and if the Line were to collapse due to deterioration this would require a major repair or replacement at significant cost.

Drains clog for a reason and they do not fix themselves; this camera inspection is highly recommended, as if you know the condition of the sewer line prior to purchase you have the certainty of knowing all is well or the insight to negotiate a more informed price.  In short, a quick camera inspection of the sewer line could make you aware of a hidden and potentially costly issue prior to purchase that would otherwise go unnoticed.


The water heater that will heat your home and provide hot water will last around ten years.  Consider the location of the tank, in that if it were to leak would it ruin your carpet or wooden floor?  Could it cause drywall damage?  If it is in a location where damage is likely to occur should there be a leak you’ll need to consider what preventative measures you can take.

The majority of water heaters are placed in areas that are out of sight.  However, less thought can be given to what damage they could cause if they were to leak.  Unfortunately, leaks are only noticed because of visual evidence of water damage (such as water coming through the ceiling).

A professional plumber should be able to determine the age and whether it’s safely working. You also need to consider the size of the water heater and ensure it’s suitable for your needs.

The investment required to obtain an efficient water heater is significant; ranging between $600 – $2,000.  If the boiler needs to be replaced you may want to work this into your negotiations.


You will want to check around the base of each toilet, as whilst the leak often appears insignificant, overtime the water will have started to damage the floor.  Perhaps, the seller has used sealant, being unaware of the gravity of this problem and making matters worse.  You’ll therefore want to check for additional sealant and water around the base of the toilet.  Look for warping and discolouration.  Check to see if the floor feels squidgy or soft around the base.  If movement is apparent (i.e. if it rocks from side to side), there’s a strong chance water damage has occurred.

If a toilet is constantly running it could mean the chain or flapper needs to be replaced.  One thing is for sure, which is that a toilet not draining properly will lead to leaks.  A leaking toilet will eventually rot through the floor – meaning, you have the potential to literally fall down the toilet.


Clogged drains are one of the most common issues plumbers are called on to resolve, as they are simply caused by built up oils, material like toilet paper, loose hair and so on.  Whilst common, and seemingly simple, clogged drains can lead to serious leaks.  To test a drain, turn on the water and let it flow for a few minutes.  It should drain instantly and consistently.  You should then look under the sink for signs of water damage, mould, and visible leaks.  One final tip, is to see if previous owners have painted over the drain line. This can be a sign of covering up outdated plumbing.

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