Buying a new property can be daunting. When purchasing a property, you must know precisely what you are purchasing.
Buying a home may be the most significant decision you make, and it is not something you want to dive into without ensuring you are 100% certain of its condition.
New home buyers must know precisely what they are being left with and perform a pre-purchase building inspection, electrical inspection and pre-purchase plumbing inspection to avoid major problems.
Doing your research can prevent costly surprises and unnecessary expenses down the track. Imagine getting ready to move into your new home only to learn about a major plumbing problem.
Having a plumbing inspection carried out in and around your property is a great way to ensure your new house is in the best condition from the most hot water systems, sewer pipes and sewer layout, leaking taps, blocked drains, water pooling, water hammering, water leaks checks and even gurgling sounds.
How do I check the plumbing in my house?
There are multiple areas of your plumbing system that you should perform inspections with and preferably by a professional plumber.
A licensed plumbing team will know exactly what to look for when conducting their pre-purchase plumbing inspection. In older homes, there’s a need for pest inspection and plumbing inspections. The plumbing may be failing and have significant damage or need an upgrade.
1. Sewer Lines and drains
In older properties built years ago, grass patches and healthy trees with tree roots growing inside the pipework, particularly the sewer line. And over time, pipes can begin to crack and be damaged due to rust, poor installation or changes in water pressure. One of the most common plumbing issues that almost every homeowner has faced is clogged sewer lines and drains. However, unblocking your drain isn’t the only issue you might encounter. Several other issues like foul odours, slow-moving water, recurring clogs, gurgling sound or water hammer noise when the water flows or flooding may often accompany draining issues.
One way to determine if you have a drainage issue is a backing up or gurgling sink. Watch out for surcharging or gurgling and smells from the drains, indicating a potential blockage or problem with drain pipes. You may even notice a pool of water in your yard. Check for apparent indicators of overﬂowing water at overﬂow relief gullies. Having your pipes inspected will let you know their condition. Your plumber can use a high-definition CCTV camera down the pipeline to bring up any cracks or tree root invasion.
2. Water Heater
Whatever brand or model of the hot water system at the property, they can run into issues. Some problems your water heater can experience are hot water system leaks, rusty water, no water flow or low water pressure and temperature. On average, water heaters have a lifespan of 10 years. If the tank is older, it may be time for an upgrade.
All water heaters have various capacities, and it is best to have a hot water system suited for your needs and lifestyle. A visual inspection could identify faultily installation and condition of piping and valves.
3. Fixtures (taps, shower, toilets)
Your bathroom is one of the most used rooms on your property. It should be fully functional and assist with washing and waste removal. Sink and shower taps must be used efficiently and free from leaks and drips. Your toilet could have issues with the flush mechanism, or you may notice slow draining water or running water inside the toilet bowl. Run all showers to make sure they have adequate water pressure. Low pressure can indicate a more significant issue, such as an unseen water leak or clog. While you are there, see that all water drains freely and that no water leaks from the ﬁxtures.
Inspect your washroom for leaks from fixtures or water damage on your cabinets and other surfaces. Or if you could have a blocked sink.
It’s a tedious task, but it is important to get underneath the house to check for signs of leaks or water damage. Since most of a house’s plumbing is installed underneath the house, doing this will allow you to catch any issues in the plumbing system that you might have missed in your initial inspections.
4. Water Meter
A water meter that is still ticking even when taps are not being used is a sign of a leak. If you don’t fix this, it could mean hundreds of dollars accumulated in water bills and bad news for the environment. The leak could be concealed and inspected by a professional leak detection company.
Checking the water pressure is also a good idea as low water pressure indicates faulty water pipes and valves.
Underground pipes can get old and rusted or crack and split if tree roots grow inside them. Older homes might sometimes have galvanised steel pipes, which will corrode and rust over time, causing pipe collapse eventually. Or you could find that your pipes are moving and making a hammering sound inside the walls. Take a look at your walls. Can you see watermarks and mould? See that your new home has installed pipes of the correct size. If the pipes are too small, the water pressure will be lower and could increase the potential for damage in the future.
Pipes are very important to the plumbing in your new home. When they are compromised, it may mean further issues in the future, such as flooding. Have a professional plumber check the condition of your pipework. Sometimes, you may repair them, but pipe replacement will be the better option for more extreme damage.
Your plumbing system is an integral part of your property, and you need to make sure things like drains, toilets, showers, sewer lines and water heaters are working in the best condition. An informed buyer will check out the computer specs when buying a new one. When buying a car, the exterior and interior aren’t the only ones that need checking. It’s also a must to check out what’s under the hood.
Buying a home is no different. It is a big investment, so you must get your money’s worth. While it is an asset, on the one hand, it can turn into a liability once you incur expenses through its maintenance and upkeep.
Check out the house’s features, especially its plumbing system. After all, plumbing is one of the most costly systems to install, repair, renovate and maintain in your home.
A licensed plumber in Sydney will be able to conduct the necessary inspection and report back their findings so you can fix any plumbing problems quickly.