If you’re in the market to buy a house, congratulations. There are few things as exciting as buying a new home (or a home that’s new to you!) While curb appeal, the style of the home, the neighborhood, local schools, and taxes are all important factors in choosing a home, as a plumber, we want to make sure you know there are some plumbing problems to watch out for when you visit an Open House, or if you have a realtor show you the home.

By law, a home seller has to disclose major issues with a home that they know of. But some people try to skirt around those issues. So it’s your job as a home buyer to do your homework, check things out, and ask lots of questions.

Plumbing issues to check for when you look at a home include:

  • A leaky or aging water heater – Most water heaters have a sticker on them that will tell you how old they are. If the water heater is 10 years old or more, it’s on its last legs. Check for puddles underneath the water heater.
  • Leaky toilets – Flush all of the toilets. Does the water continue running? Is there a sign of water damage around the base of the toilet?
  • Run all the faucets individually. Is there good water pressure? Any sign of leaks under the sink?
  • If the home has a septic system, look around outside. Do you smell a foul odor? Is the drain field soggy? Ask to see the septic inspection records.
  • If the home is on a water well system, ask for inspection documentation and repair records. How old is the well pump? Is there low water pressure?
  • A wet basement – while not necessarily a plumbing issue, find out if the home has sump pumps, and when they were put in.
  • Polybutylene pipe – Polybutylene was installed in more than six million homes during the 80’s and early 90’s. Pipes leaked in thousands of homes across the United States, devastating some homes. But don’t fret! We specialize in replacing Polybutylene pipes.

If you make an offer on a home, make sure you get a home inspection. A home inspector should be able to tell you if there are signs of previous water damage, mold, etc. They will be able to tell you a little bit about the condition of the plumbing, but remember, a home inspector is not a plumber.

If the home has a water well system or septic system, be sure to get those inspected by a reputable plumber. It’s cheaper to pay for an inspection beforehand than have to pay for repairs the first month after you buy the home. A plumber can also perform a whole house plumbing inspection, which is especially valuable if you’re considering buying an older home. Many older pipes can cause health issues, or have been recalled. You can always walk away from the deal if the seller won’t make the necessary plumbing repairs.

If you need a plumbing inspection or you’re selling a home and need some plumbing problems fixed before you put hour home on the market, call Five Star Plumbing today at 410-836-0118 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve Baltimore County and Harford County.