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7 Plumbing Checklist Before Buying A House


Nobody wants to buy a new house and end up discovering that there are many plumbing issues within the house. 

A proper plumbing inspection will bring to light any problems which might be present in any of the plumbing pipes, appliances or sewer lines. 

Given below is a plumbing checklist before buying a house.

1. Inspect The Water Quality

While inspecting the quality of water, you should keep the following points in mind,

  • The water should be colourless and clear. If the water is brown or muddy, it can be caused by rusty or corroded pipes in the plumbing system. It can also be due to construction or repairs which are being done on a municipal line. Depending upon the source of the problem, you might have to replace your pipes.

  • If you find lead particles in the water, the plumbing pipes should be replaced as soon as possible. Lead can contaminate water and be a health hazard if it is present beyond a certain concentration.

  • Be wary of strong odours coming from the water. Some places use chlorine to disinfect water and this can create a slightly different smell. However if the smell is very strong, consult the home owner or seller.

2. Look For Signs Of Leaks

Make sure you inspect all the plumbing appliances for any leaks. 

Dripping faucets, pools of water under the toilet and water heaters are usually indicators of water leaks in the pipes. You should also look out for wet spots on the walls and signs of mold growth. 

Water puddles and waet patches in the lawn are usually strong indicators of leaking fixtures. Lack of plumbing maintenance or burst pipes can lead to leaks which should not be ignored.

3. Check The Drainage

Pour water in all your sinks and drains to see whether they are draining properly. 

If the drainage takes place quickly without any gurgling noises, you are good to go. However slow drains accompanied with gurgling noises can mean that there are issues with the plumbing system or even the main sewer line. It can also be due to cracks or blocks in the plumbing pipes. 

It is better to call a plumber in such cases and let him inspect the drainage system.

4. Inspect The Plumbing Pipes

Note the following points regarding inspection of plumbing pipes.

  • Look out for any discolouration or signs of corrosion on the pipes. Discolouration in pipes can be due to dampness from leaks and corroded pipes are at risk of bursting so they have to be renovated or replaced.

  • Make sure you inspect the sewer pipes. You can do this by flushing the toilet to see whether there is any sewage backup. Unpleasant and offensive odours are also signs of a damaged or clogged sewer line. You can also have an advanced inspection done by a professional since the sewer system is of utmost importance to your house.

  • The age of the plumbing pipes will also determine whether they will hold up in the future. Ask the owner when the pipes were installed. If they are too old they will have to be replaced.

5. Inspect The Water Heating System

Make sure the water heating system is working properly and the water is hot enough. 

Check whether there are any cracks or signs of corrosion which can lead to leaks or discoloured water. 

You should also inspect the supply lines connected to the heater to ensure that they are in good shape.

6. Analyze The Water Pressure

Run all the faucets and showers to see whether the water is running with enough pressure. 

For proper pressure, the main pipeline of the house should be of ¾ inches and the faucet pipes should be of ½ inches.

7. Take A Look At The Toilets

Make sure you perform a thorough inspection of all the toilets before you buy a house. 

Look out for any signs of leaks, warping or discolouration at the base of the toilet. The toilet bowl should be firm and rigid without appearing unstable. 

Wobbly toilets can either be due to a loose seat or a water leak which has softened the wax seal around the toilet.


It is highly recommended you have a professional plumber do the inspection since he can find out whether there are any hidden problems which you might not catch right away. This will help you avoid future problems and will save you  a lot of time and energy.

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