Moving into a new house or apartment is an experience that comes with plenty of mixed feelings. There’s the excitement and exhilaration of moving to a new place, the fun and happiness of furnishing it. There’s also the worry, stress and anxiety that comes with finding the right place without too many disruptions and costly repairs.
The best thing you can do for yourself when searching for the perfect home is to invest your energy in the right direction. Once you’ve shortlisted the places you want to view, your next step is to do a thorough inspection of the home. One of the must-do elements is a plumbing inspection by contacting a professional plumber.
Here are seven details to look out for when checking your home before you sign the lease:
Do a visual inspection
You may or may not know much about plumbing or pipes, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t say if pipes are in good condition just by their physical appearance. In today’s world of modern plumbing, pipes are usually made out of steel, copper, and CPVC (thicker plastic). They are meant to last long, are durable and do not rust. However, if you see signs of rust, extreme wear and tear, cracked surfaces and water leaking out, the plumbing and piping system requires a significant overhaul.
Check the quality of water
The water quality is another easy detail to detect. It will tell you a lot about the plumbing condition in the house. Turn on all the taps in the bathroom, kitchen and even out on the lawn if there is a tap. See if it’s running clear, whether it’s rusty or if you see any discoloration. Alternatively, fill up a glass with tap water to assess its condition.
Check the water pressure
Of course, turning on the tap will also give you a clear indication of the water pressure. The optimum pressure allows the right amount of water to be released without causing strain to the plumbing, and it also ensures that you can wash up or fill up fast. Anything above or below 80 Ψ usually is not optimum. This means the water pressure is too low that you can’t even fill a bucket fast, or it’s too high to the point it may cause pipes to burst. You can use a pressure gauge to get a good reading of the water pressure.
Check the ceiling
Sometimes, plumbing issues present themselves as water stains on the ceiling or the walls. Brown stains, cracks in the paint and even watermarks on the floor are all signs of possible plumbing issues. Point this out to the realtor taking you on these home visits to get their insights. Your visual inspection of these water stains can give you a good idea of how big or small the plumbing issue is- the bigger or more frequent the water stains are, the bigger the plumbing issue.
Check for mold
This is another big red flag if there’s plumbing trouble. Mold can be easily seen when surveying a home, so keep your eyes open to any form of mildew or mold. When you see it, it usually means that the plumbing problem damages the paint and walls. Check with the realtor to assess the extent of the damage. Ask them about repairing it and see if this issue can be managed before you and your family move in. Mold is unhealthy and could cause health issues.
Check for drain clogs
When it comes to drainage, simple fixes such as using a plunger or drain cleaners can solve the problem. However, more significant issues usually require a professional plumber to assess the situation and make the necessary repairs. To check if the drains are clogged, run the taps in the house to see if the water backs up, if the water drains slowly or if you hear gurgling noises coming from the pipes. Signs of water accumulating are also indications of plumbing clogs.
Run appliances that require water
Some rented apartments come fully furnished with a dishwasher and a washing machine. These items need to be connected to a water source to function. Check with the realtor if you can turn it on for a few minutes to check if this equipment runs smoothly and if the water inlet and outlet works well. It also helps to turn on water faucets, the bathtub taps, and showers to see if they are all in excellent and working condition.
Identifying these problems earlier will save you money from expensive water bills, prevent infestation and protect your home. If you’re not sure what to look out for, hire a professional plumber to assess the extent of the damage, so you know what you’re in terms of potential costs and repairs.