3 Ways to Avoid Plumbing Problems When Purchasing an Older Home

If you’ve decided to forego the plumbing inspection on your pre-existing home purchase, you need to rethink your decision. There could be hidden plumbing problems that you’ll want to know about before you make an investment. Before you purchase an older home, conduct the following tests to identify potential plumbing issues.

1. Test the Fixtures

If you want to know the condition of the plumbing in a pre-existing home, you don’t need to wait for the official plumbing inspection. When you tour each house, do a mini-inspection of your own. This will give you a cursory view of plumbing.


Faucets should be free of hard-water deposits. If you see white, crusty deposits on the exterior of the faucets, hard-water damage could be inside the pipes.

Once you’ve inspected the exterior of the faucets, look under the sinks. That’s where you’ll find signs of troublesome leaks. Check the walls for signs of mold growth. Feel the floor beneath the sinks for sponginess or moisture. Those are sure signs that a significant leak has recently occurred.


When you tour a pre-existing home, inspect the toilets. First, place some toilet paper in the bowl and flush. Watch how the toilet paper flows through the drain. If the toilet paper gets caught in the neck of the bowl or can’t pass through, the internal components could have problems. Next, look at the base of the toilet. If you see water around the base of the toilet, the wax ring may need to be replaced.

2. Schedule a Sewer Camera Inspection

Once you’ve done a cursory inspection of the plumbing, you need to have a professional inspection. Your inspection should include a look inside the pipes with a sewer camera. The sewer camera inspection will identify the following problems.


Minor clogs are a major inconvenience, but they’re not something that will jeopardize your ability to enjoy your new home. However, major clogs can cause serious problems, especially if the clogs are contained in the main sewer lines. To identify serious clogs, you need the assistance of a sewer camera.


If the home you want to invest in has galvanized steel pipes, you might think that they’re safe from corrosion. However, that’s not always the case. Galvanized steel pipes can suffer from corrosion after years of water exposure. If the home you plan to buy was built prior to the 1960s, insist on a sewer camera inspection.

Root Intrusion

Trees provide many benefits for the homeowner, including savings on energy bills and improved air quality. However, without the proper care, mature trees also pose a risk to plumbing, especially where pipes are concerned. Root intrusion leads to clogs, sewage backups, and pipe destruction.

If the home you plan to buy has mature trees on the property, a sewer camera inspection will identify root intrusion — which occurs when roots invade the pipes.

3. Check the Walls and Ceilings

When you purchase an older home, you want to avoid hidden leaks. During your tours, get a good view of the walls and ceilings. Those are the areas where you’ll find signs of leaks that have occurred in either the attic or behind the walls. Pay close attention to water marks and mold growth. Those are indications that you need to have the home inspected for hidden plumbing leaks.

Don’t take chances with your home purchase. If you plan to invest in an older home, make sure that you’re not going to purchase someone’s plumbing problems. If you’re in the market for an older home, contact us at Moon Valley Plumbing and Rooter to schedule a pre-purchase plumbing inspection.