Purchasing a new home, whether it’s your first or your fortieth, is a big deal. There are dozens of different things to consider, be in charge of, and manage. In many cases, the status of the plumbing in your home is one of the last things on your mind. It shouldn’t be, though, because your home’s plumbing is like it’s nervous system – if it’s not working right, nothing will.
This new home buyer plumbing checklist will help make sure you’re on top of your home’s plumbing, now and in the future. Run through each item, one by one, and make sure everything’s working the way it’s supposed to be.
- Flush the toilets. How do they run? Do they run too long? Is the flush weak or do you notice any dripping or leaks?
- Do the Wiggle Test. Try to wiggle the toilets and sinks — they should stay firmly in place.
- Inspect the water heater. Do you see any obvious signs of corrosion or pooling water beneath it?
- Mildew and mold visual inspection. Check the entire house (but especially bathrooms and kitchen) for mold or mildew spots. Musty odors are also a sign of leaks or water damage.
- Use all of the fixtures and check the water pressure. This includes sinks, toilets, showers, and water-using appliances. What you’re checking for here is overall water pressure. This will help you figure out if the whole home has any low-flow problems.
- Make sure you know where the shut-off valve is and that it works. You’re going to want to know where your main water shut-off is in case of emergency. You’re also going to want to know that it actually work. We recommend testing it out once or twice when there isn’t an emergency going on.
- If you have a garbage disposal, throw some ice cubes in it and give it a run. This gives you a chance to help clean the blades with the ice and check that it’s working properly at the same time.
- Examine the connections on all your water-using appliances. This includes your
dishwasher and washing machine – their hoses leak frequently. Check for any bulges or signs of obvious wear and tear so you can prevent leaks instead of react to them.
- Check to make sure the gutters and downspouts are working properly. You’re going to want to know that the drain system works before a huge storm hits. Check to make sure there aren’t blockages in the system and remove them if you find any. Nobody wants to start their first summer in a new home with a flood.
Questions to Ask
- When it comes to pipes, what type of material the plumbing pipe is made of and the size does matter. You want to make sure you’ve got at least ¾” pipe connecting your water source to your home and ½” pipe to the faucets. Ask what material the pipes are made of, when they were installed. Galvanized pipes, for example, need to be replaced after 30 years.
- Ask how old the water heater is and when it was last serviced. Regular water heater maintenance can be the difference between a leaking heater and hot showers that actually last.
- Ensure the hot water heater is up to code if you’re looking at an older home.
As a new homeowner, your main priority is going to be safety. Keep the integrity of your pipes, water heater, and water pressure gauge at the top of your list. The rest is just the sort of maintenance that help you prevent damage and save money.
When you need a company to help with any plumbing issue that comes your way, look no further than Mike Scott Plumbing.