Plumbing Problems Every Homebuyer Should Look Out For

When looking to buy a new home, you can easily overlook troublesome plumbing problems, especially if you don’t know how to identify them. Yet, while a number of plumbing issues can easily be fixed, others can not. This result in serious structural damage and could also cost you thousands of dollars in repairs over the years.

Therefore, before buying a home, ensure you look for the following red flags:

Sewer or Septic

Prior to purchasing a home, one of the first things look for is whether or not that home is on a septic tank or city sewage system. If it’s on the city sewage system, then there are high chances that it will have minimal plumbing issues, given that municipal or city sewage systems are often reliable and can take enormous amounts of waste compared to septic.

If the house has a septic system, find out the location of septic tank and inspect the surrounding area for any signs of leakage. Finally, find out when the tank was last inspected or cleaned. It is costly to replace septic tanks, so ask for receipts.

Lead Pipes

Lead pipes are not only an environmental hazard but very difficult to replace. Galvanized or leaded plumbing are common in old homes. Lead pipes can corrode causing major health and plumbing issues, hence should be completely removed and replaced with unleaded or non-galvanized steel plumbing.

Rust in water is one of the main ways of determining if the plumbing system of the home you intend to buy has lead pipes.

Water Heater

The water heater lasts about 10 years. A plumber can easily tell how old a water heater is based on its serial number and model. Dampness, lack of hot water, and corrosion are some of the first signs that the system is approaching the end of its life.

Find the system and determine its age to avoid future surprises. Homeowners usually hide them in the utility closet or garage.  If it leaks, it could ruin your property.

Water Meter

Locate the home’s water meter and find out whether the water shut-off valve is in proper working condition. This is vital. In case of an emergency, you need to know where the turning-off valves are.

Water Stains

Stains on the floor or ceiling are another danger sign. They are often an indicator of internal pipe leakages, which cannot only result in serious damages but also may invite termites and mold into the home.

Water Pressure

Does the house sink give you a drizzle when you require high water pressure? Low water pressure could be an indicator of plumbing issues too. Test this by flushing the toilet and running the bathroom sink in tandem. In the event water pressure drastically drops, this could be a sign of improper plumbing, blockage or corroding pipes.


There are several other plumbing issues not covered here. But these six should be a good starting point. Address these issues before you pay for the local plumbing service company to come outt o your home to avoid costly repairs later.

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