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A plumbing inspection before buying a house can save you a lot of headaches down the road. If you buy a house and then do a plumbing inspection, it also can help you prepare for a home renovation.A home renovation, when done well, can add thousands of dollars to the value of your house and, ultimately, increase your personal wealth as a result. Many TV programs show people renovating homes as an investment in their property, or buying and flipping strictly for a profit. However, many of these individuals have teams of professionals working with them to make things shine.

Without a plan, a seemingly simple renovation can rapidly devolve into a disastrous or bank-draining nightmare. Whether you're renovating a 100-year-old home, a 1970s contemporary, or a new home in Sacramento, a home inspection before buying a house — or after  will provide you with a baseline of the home's condition so you can figure out your renovation costs.

How the Plumbing Should Work

Plumbing systems flow fresh water into your home, sending some through the water heater and then on to the other destinations including the kitchen, restroom, and laundry room. It removes wastewater and overflow through your sewer pipes. In a functioning plumbing system, everything flows freely with no visible leaks anywhere along these routes.

Locate the Shut-off Valve

Every home has a main shut off valve and you need to know where it is before you start renovating a home in case of a line break or other emergency. Many newer homes have a shut-off valve in the line of every fixture so that you can work on it without turning off the water to the remainder of the home. If the home you are renovating does not have them on the sinks and toilets, now is a good time to add them.

To check the valve on a fixture, turn it off and on to make sure that water only flows when the valve is open. If it flows when the valve is in either position, it is faulty and needs replacing.

Plumbing Inspection Tips for Your Renovation

If you know what you are looking for, you can inspect your home's plumbing yourself. Test the faucets, shower heads and toilets for leaks. If they are worth repairing then do so. If not, replace them because leaky plumbing features will add to your monthly water bill.

When checking the homes fixtures look for:

  • Leaks at the faucet and around the drains
  • Low or sporadic water pressure
  • Slow drains or clogs
  • Foul odors from the drains
  • Wet, soggy spots around the outside of the home

If the home sat vacant for a while, run water through all of the faucets for a few minutes to clear any air and sediment from the pluming. This also will help you to determine whether the plumbing is functioning. And be sure to check the walls and ceilings for any discoloration that may indicate hidden leaky pipes.

Inspect the Water Heater

Part of your plumbing system, the hot water heater, is a crucial appliance in your home. They come in all types and range: conventional round electric units, tankless, and hybrid or solar-powered.

Whichever style water heater you have, check the water connections and pipes going to and away from the water heater. If the show any corrosion, or leaks, replace them. Check around the water heater and be sure that clutter is not piled against it so it can be easily accessed. Also be sure to check and see how long it takes for water to heat so you know how effectively it is functioning. We have put together a list of questions to ask yourself before investing in a new water heater.

Get a New Home Inspection

The major systems and components that make your home so comfortably livable — including electrical, heat and air, plumbing, and roof — will begin to fail over time. An inspection of these systems will give you an idea of whether they need to be replaced or repaired.

As a general rule, it is best to complete a plumbing inspection before buying a house. However, a home inspection afterward will still help you discover what work needs immediate attention when you prepare to start any renovations.

A Plumbing Inspection Can Find Leaks

If the gauge on the meter still moves after you have shut off the water to the house, there could be a water line leak between the meter and your home. A wet spot in your yard can indicate broken water line or sewer line. A water line leak will merely be wet, whereas a sewerline break can emit a foul odor and attract insects. Trenchless sewer line technology is the least invasive method to deal with broken sewer line when faced with this type of repair.

The professional plumbing technicians from Express Sewer & Drain can perform a plumbing inspection for a new home. With our assistance, you can make smart decisions about your homes renovation and repair problems now, instead of later. Contact us today, to inspect the plumbing of your renovation project.

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Topics: Home Plumbing Tips, plumbing inspection, home inspection, renovating a home