3 Common Plumbing Problems Found by Home Inspectors

The time between having your offer accepted and closing can be crucial for determining if the house you hope to buy will be a good investment. During this period, a licensed, experienced professional should inspect all elements of the home including the roof, HVAC, foundation, and electrical systems to ensure they are in good condition.

Inspectors will also focus on the home’s plumbing, making sure there are no hidden dangers, which are all too common. Knowing which plumbing issues are most common is smart so you can have your potential new home evaluated and repaired by professional plumbers. Here are a few common plumbing dangers often found during a home inspection.

1. Galvanized Pipes

If your inspector mentions the home has galvanized pipes, you may not think they are anything to worry about. However, galvanized pipes were usually coated in zinc, which may contain unhealthy impurities, such as lead that can affect your drinking water.

Zinc can also break down faster than other materials, decreasing the life span of your galvanized pipes. During the break down of zinc, the galvanized pipes may begin to rust and corrode, affecting your water quality while increasing your risk of underlying leaks.

If the home you are considering buying was built between 1930 and 1980, the plumbing system most likely consists of galvanized pipes that should be replaced.

2. Sewer Drain Clog

Another common issue many inspectors find is a clog affecting the home’s sewer drain. Although current owners may notice the symptoms of a sewer drain clog, you and other potential buyers may not be able to see the signs during a walkthrough.

Toilets that do not flush properly; clogs in plumbing fixtures; and gurgling noises in the sink, washing machine, and dishwasher drains are all common signs of a clog in the sewer drain.

If left unrepaired, a sewer clog can lead to many problems for homeowners. Clogs in toilets, tubs, and sink drains can overflow, leading to water damage that is expensive and overwhelming to repair.

Over time, a small clog in the drain can cause the sewer system to back up in drain lines and pipes. This excess water will cause your pipes to expand and contract, eventually cracking and leaking water under and inside your home.

Sewer drain clogs have many causes. In many cases, the clogs stem from tree roots growing, invading the sewer system and the home’s plumbing pipes. Repair is possible, but plumbers will need to find and repair the damaged sewer drain. If you suspect an ongoing sewer problem, the best way to diagnose it is with a camera inspection of the sewer lines under the slab of the home. Moon Valley Plumbing can give you a clear picture of what you are getting into before you spend money on repairs.

3. Water Leak

Home inspectors may also find hidden water leaks even though the current owners did not see the signs. Small leaks may not seem like a big cause for concern, but the water can eventually damage the plumbing system and surrounding floors, walls, and even cabinetry.

Underlying leaks can also lead to mold growth in the home. Mold can affect your health in many ways. Not only will exposure to mold affect your ability to breathe properly, but it can also irritate your skin and eyes.

If you notice bubbling or discolored paint on the walls, ceiling, or floor, you may have an underlying leak. Warped wood, damp carpeting and rugs, and a mildew smell in and around the home are also signs of a hidden leak.

A leak under your foundation may show different signs. Known as a slab leak, this underlying leak may cause damp or warm spots on your floor. The actual sound of water dripping or rushing under your home is also a surefire sign you have a slab leak. Plumbers will need special diagnostic tools to find the location of the slab leak before making repairs.

If an inspector has found a plumbing issue, have the home evaluated by a plumber. For more assistance on these problems and other issues with your plumbing and septic system, contact Moon Valley Plumbing and Rooter.