A home plumbing inspection is an important inspection that must be carried out if you plan to move into a new house. This does not mean that it is not important for your current house; it is equally important! The plumbing plan of a house must be inspected thoroughly to prevent any unforeseen circumstances in the future, allowing a smooth running of the drainage system of your house.
A plumbing inspection is a routine procedure conducted by certified plumbers. Their main focus is to thoroughly inspect the plumbing system of a property for any current defects and any faults that may occur in the future. The plumbers conducting the inspection vigilantly lookout for any leaks, clogs, pipe corrosion, and burst tubes that could pose a threat to the property due to flooding.
The objectives of the plumbing inspection are:
Getting a professional plumbing inspection done saves you from the hassle of dealing with annoying slow draining sinks, pipe leakages, and weather-related issues, such as insulation of pipes against winter freezes. Performing a plumbing inspection yourself would not be as equally good as an inspection conducted by a certified plumber. The plumber’s experience and expertise would be a feather in his cap, which would be missing in your cap. To explain this further, let’s talk about a sewer line that is blocked with tree roots, that would cause the slow draining of water. If you were to inspect this on your own, there is no way that you could have been able to identify the root cause of the blockage. A certified plumber, on the other hand, after ruling out all other possibilities, would be able to identify the fault.
Since plumbing issues are considered to be the hardest to fix, it is important to get them checked professionally and frequently, especially before buying or moving into a new house. Getting the drainage system checked timely would save you from the additional costs of repairs. Getting a plumbing inspection as part of your regular maintenance regimen would prevent you from having to spend on major expensive plumbing repairs.
A plumber uses various techniques to inspect the plumbing system thoroughly.
The different types of plumbing inspections are:
This is a basic and the most affordable type of inspection carried out by plumbers. The plumber inspects all sinks, bathtubs, showers, toilets, fixtures, and connections for proper drainage and water leakages. Furthermore, the water heater is also inspected for proper functionality, and the water pressure is also checked to ensure the pressure falls within the normal range. Once all of this is done, the plumber gives you a plumbing inspection report that has all the details of any repairs required.
A camera inspection is very useful in exploring the underground pipes for any damages or clogs that may be suspected. It is also very useful for inspected sewer related issues. These cameras can go down very deep, as much as a hundred feet into the pipe, to check the sewer well. In-camera inspection, a high-resolution camera is mounted on a flexible rod that sends real-time images to the plumber for a better picture.
In case of a sewer related issue, a camera can be put down the drain of a sink to closely check the pipes inside the house, or it can be put down an outdoor pipe to check the sewer in the yard. These cameras have sensors that can send signals as soon as they find a clog in the pipe, giving the exact location of the inspector.
As the name suggests, this involves both the type of inspections to get the most accurate results as possible.
The plumbing inspection cost includes the cost of labor and the expertise provided by the inspector. However, it does not include the cost of the repairs. Usually, a plumbing inspection costs between $150 to $500. Mostly, it depends upon the type of inspection you wish to get done. The approximate prices for the different types of inspections are mentioned below.
Whole-house inspection costs between $244 and $421. One thing to keep in mind is that a standard home inspection only includes the inspection of the plumbing system, but not the sewer line. Most home inspectors offer this service separately.
During the plumbing inspection, the home inspectors check for the following:
The home inspection is not just limited to indoor pipes, outdoor pipes are checked too. In areas where the temperature drops too low during the winter months, your inspector would ensure that the pipes have functional anti-freeze protection around them.
The main sewer line could be rusted or damaged due to tree roots, or due to decrepit pipes running from indoors to the main sewer line. This can be inspected with a camera.
The inspector would also inspect the water heater to ensure that it is operating to its full capacity with adequate pressure. The pressure relief valves and pipes are also checked, along with rust in the tank. As part of the annual maintenance of the water heater, the plumber would drain water out of the tank, and then wash out any residue and build up with a hose, and rinse thoroughly.
These include sinks, lines, toilets, bathtubs, and pipes. The inspector checks them for any leaks, damages, or ill fittings.
The home inspector will check the indoor plumbing system and the outdoor pipes, including the sewer.
The home plumbing inspection involves a thorough inspection of the whole plumbing system of the house. This includes the inspection of drains, pipes, valves, and water heaters. The inspector look for any leaks, ill fittings, corrosion, clogs, and drainage problems in general. Different types of plumbing inspection checklists have been discussed below.
Home plumbing inspections are carried out to buy and sell real estate. This involves the inspection of just three main things. These are:
Home inspectors do not have the technical knowledge to inform the homeowners of any major issues in the plumbing system since it is a very basic inspection.
This involves a professional plumbing inspection. This is more thorough than a home plumbing inspection. This involves the following:
The most common issue faced with water heaters is corrosion. Hence, the water heaters must always be checked for any signs of corrosion. Furthermore, the water heater must also be checked for its proper operation i.e. heating the water to the desired temperature.
The plumbing commissioning checklist involves questions about the piping system, to ensure that it complies with the design and functionality standards set by the local authorities. This checklist involves the following questions, split into three categories:
The final plumbing checklist helps to inspect the complete plumbing system under the local authorities’ requirements. This includes questions mostly about the documentation and installation of equipment, such as water meters, on the property.
The rooftop is also an important part of the house, with the drainage system going through it. A few things that must be examined include:
The bathroom is inspected for the following:
An underground plumbing inspection is easily carried out with the help of a sewer camera. It gives real-time information to the inspector for any clogs seen in the drains. These cameras can even detect tree roots growing in the sewer line.
A pressure test can be conducted by the following steps:
Cameras can be used to inspect the condition of pipes. These cameras can detect the exact location of a blockade or deteriorated pipes. This helps the inspector in finding out the exact location and taking action accordingly.
Water leak inspection can be done manually and as well as through electronic listening devices, to help hear the water pressure leaks in the pipes. Once a general area is suspected, then a tracer system is used to conduct a small electrical charge through the water lines to detect the exact location of the leak.
The plumbing top out inspection list consists of details regarding the following:
Plumbing water lines are split into two systems- one that gets the clean water in and the other that tales the dirty water away. These lines are connected through fixtures, i.e. sinks, toilets, showers, washing machines, etc. The clean water supply gets split into two- the cold and hot water systems. Similarly, the wastewater pipes are also split into two- one that takes the water away, and the venting pipes that keep the sewer gas from getting into your home.
The sewer drain inspection can be conducted by the inspector visually and with the help of cameras. Leakages can be checked by other electrical devices.
The lateral sewer is a pipe connecting a house’s plumbing to the city’s sewer system. The ideal way to perform this inspection is through robotic CCTV crawlers with the capability to perform lateral inspections from the closest manhole. While inspecting from the house, push cameras are mostly used.
This type of inspection is performed then the plumbing system is located underneath a slab. The piping must be protected from impact and corrosion. The piping must be tested by water or air pressure test. However, an air pressure test must not be carried out in PVC pipes.
The whole house plumbing inspection involves the inspection of the interior and exterior of the house. The plumbing system of the whole house is inspected for any leakages, damages, or corrosion.
While performing the plumbing inspection, certain things must be kept in mind. These include the following vital points that must be performed during the plumbing inspection:
Shutting the main water supply helps in finding out if there are any leaks present in the plumbing system of the house. Once when the valve has been shut off and if the water meter reading is continuously changing, this is a clear indicator that there is a leakage somewhere along with the plumbing system.
This is checked by filling half of every tub installed to check if there is a tight seal present in the drainage system.
For testing the normal working water pressure, the inspector switches the pressure from 75 psi to 100 psi. Then, the water supply is checked if the water is running smoothly with the minimum water pressure requirement.
The sewer and drainage lines are checked thoroughly for any damage, corrosion, clogs, or leakages along with the plumbing system.
The inspector looks around for any signs of water damage indoors and outdoors. It is recommended that all fixtures must have separate valves to control the water supply of each fixture individually.
Clean water supply is the basic necessity of every household. There are two types of water sources for your house- water on your property from a well, pond, or nearby stream, and the city’s municipal system. The water from the water source has to be pushed through the pipes through pressure. There must be a cold water supply and a hot water supply. The hot water supply is taken care of by a hot water tank. Furthermore, the wastewater system should be running smoothly and does not mix with the clean water at any cost. There must be adequate traps and vents in your plumbing system.
A plumbing system must have the following:
Regular plumbing maintenance could prevent any major damages to your plumbing system. A few of the plumbing maintenance tips have been mentioned to help save you from additional costs:
Managing plumbing reports on paper is a very time consuming and boring task. In this digital era, using technology to streamline plumbing reports could help in organizing and managing the plumbing reports better. You can have all your reports in one place and access them whenever you want. From the many options available in the market, Foilo3 is a good viable option for streamlining all your plumbing reports. This app even lets you access your plumbing reports from anywhere in the world, with just one click. Technology helps in reducing the chances of errors in your plumbing reports, producing the most accurate report for your clients. Investing in a good app would be a long-term investment for you.
Conducting a plumbing inspection is an important task to be done before moving into a new house. Inspecting everything regarding the plumbing system and the sewer line will give you a better idea of the repair costs if any, that you may have to incur. Also, getting a plumbing inspection done professionally is much better than doing one by yourself.