Buying a new property is a very exciting time, whether it’s your first property or you’re upgrading. However, if you don’t carry out a thorough property inspection before you put down a deposit, you may live to regret your decision. Many buyers think to check aesthetic details and practical elements of a home, but very few think to check fundamental elements, including the property’s plumbing.

The plumbing of a house is an essential service that needs to be in good working condition to ensure it’s reliability and safety. If your new home’s property is in bad shape, you may find that your sinks don’t drain quickly, your toilet doesn’t flush properly or you don’t have very good water pressure. 

Furthermore, if there is a problem with your plumbing, it can indicate a very serious and often expensive problem that you may have to remedy – it’s a mistakes that’s not exactly ideal after you’ve just bought a house!

To help you get to grips with potential plumbing problems when purchasing a property, we’ve put together this guide on pre-purchase inspections.

DIY plumbing inspections

When you initially look around a property, there are a few simple checks you can carry out to get a bit of an indication of how the plumbing is working:

  • Test the valves - ask the agent’s permission before you start fiddling with any valves, but turning off each valve individually and checking that the corresponding faucet turns off is a good indicator that the system is in good condition and that there are no leaks.
  • Test the drainage - fill each sink and then remove the plug to see how quickly the water drains away. Slow drainage could mean a blockage somewhere along the line.
  • How’s the water pressure? - turn on the shower and faucet to test the water pressure. Weak water pressure could indicate that there is a leak somewhere in the pipe.
  • No drips - carefully watch each faucet to see if there are any drips.
  • Wet outside? Check to see if the garden and lawn is always wet . It could mean there’s a leaking pipe.
  • Is there a septic tank? - If there is a septic tank on the property, inspect it for signs of bad smells or standing water.

Professional inspections

While the above mentioned physical inspections will allow you identify any obvious fundamental problems with a property’s plumbing, unfortunately, it is a very basic test. Because plumbing is so hidden away within a home, you can’t physically see the pipe to inspect for any problems. If you are interested in making an offer on a property after your initial inspection, call in professionals to take a better look at the property’s plumbing. A professional plumber will be able to spot any developing faults, such as tree root infiltrations or faulty joints, so that you can make an informed decision about buying the house, knowing if there are any future works you will need to carry out. You can also get a quote from the plumber and use that figure to negotiate a better price on the property.

Sewer camera inspections

If you really want to make sure the plumbing of a potential buy is sound, you should hire a plumber who offers sewer camera inspections. Inserting a camera down the pipelines guarantees that you know of any weak joints, root infiltrations or impending blockages. A sewer camera inspection will also identify any old pieces of pipe that will need to be replaced.


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