Plumber inspecting pipes in bathroom

Top 3 Plumbing Problems to Look for When Buying a House

Could your dream home have hidden plumbing problems? And, if so, does that mean you should walk away rather than buy the house and deal with the challenges?

Before you sign on the dotted line for that new house, a professional plumbing inspection is a must. Damage can be easy to miss and it can pose a nasty, expensive surprise when you do discover it.

While some repairs are quick and inexpensive fixes, other problems could leave you in financial hot water. To avoid getting soaked, have the plumbing system professionally checked before committing to buy a house. When you receive the inspection report, pay special attention to these three red flags.

Plumbing Problems in the Sewage System

Sewage system repairs are costly, so it’s important to make sure everything is in good working order.

The main sewer line typically exits a home at its lowest point. In houses connected to the municipal sewer system, the line eventually connects to the city’s main line. If the house has a septic system for sewage treatment, the line runs from the house into a leach field or septic tank.

The presence of that familiar sewer smell can be a good indication that plumbing repairs are needed. But the lack of an odor doesn’t necessarily indicate that all is well.

If your dream home has a septic system, ask the owner about the required frequency of service and the date it was last serviced. And, with either type of sewage system, have a licensed plumber complete a camera inspection of the main line to look for any potential drainage problems.

Plumbing Problems Related to the Water Heater

Today, the average new water heater (with a tank) costs just under $1,000. Tankless models run much higher. In fact, homeowners usually pay at least $3,000, and prices can range up to $8,000.

Before buying a house, have your plumber inspect the water heater thoroughly. Most models last about 10 years but dampness and rust may indicate the need for a quicker replacement. Leave a damaged water heater for too long, and the bottom may give out. If that happens, your house could be flooded.

You can also ask the seller to provide information on how the water heater has been maintained and when the last service was performed.

Toilet and Drain-Related Plumbing Problems

Leaking toilets and clogged drains are common plumbing problems but they can cause destruction that’s expensive to repair. A small leak near the base of a toilet may seem insignificant but, over time, it can damage cabinets or rot the floor of the bathroom.

Clogged drains can be just as problematic, resulting in damage to the cabinetry as well as the adjoining plumbing.

A licensed plumber can check all of the toilets, fixtures and drains to determine if any plumbing repairs are needed before you make the decision to proceed with the purchase.

If your dream home is in northern Utah, the expert plumbers at American Plumbing can perform a thorough, whole-home inspection to detect plumbing problems. Call our Provo office today to schedule your appointment.