Buying a home can be a long and draining process. Once you find the perfect house, you might feel keen to scoop it up quickly before someone else does. However, to make sure you won’t have any regrets, do all the essential checks before closing the deal.

Most people now know a building inspection and pest inspection are worth getting done, but a plumbing inspection should not be forgotten. A pre-purchase building inspection only includes the sewer layout, not drains or plumbing.

You don’t want to discover a big and expensive plumbing problem a few months down the track, so make sure you cover this checklist when buying a home.

Things to look for in plumbing when buying a home

1. Hot water system

Hot water systems have a lifetime of about 10-15 years. Note the model number and the serial number of the hot water unit, which is usually outside the house. If it’s inside, pay attention to its location. If there was a leak, where would it go in the house and what damage would it cause? You’ll most likely be able to estimate the age of the unit based on the model. Check for any damage and corrosion too.

2. Water leaks

Check the areas around taps, toilets, showers and sinks for any sign of water leakages. While a leaking tap itself is cheap to fix, if it has been left unattended for a long time, it could have caused damage to the surrounding structures. Check the walls too, any water stains could be a sign of a bigger problem.

3. Drains and toilets

Run all the taps in the house to make sure that the sinks drain quickly. Flush the toilets to make sure all the water drains out and the toilet fills up again properly. Poor drainage is another issue that should be looked into quickly, so it doesn’t lead to worse problems.

4. Main sewer

The main sewer of the house often gets blocked by tree roots or breaks down over time. Replacing the main sewer can get expensive and unfortunately checking in on it is not so simple. You’ll need to get a qualified plumber to inspect it with a camera to be sure.

5. The pipes

Try to find out when the plumbing was installed and what material the pipes are made of. If you’re buying a very old home, there’s a chance the pipes might need to be completely replaced at some point. Older homes might sometimes have galvanised steel pipes, which will corrode and rust over time. Newer homes usually have copper or plastic pipes, but it’s always good to check. While the seller doesn’t have to upgrade the plumbing for you, it’s another factor that can help you negotiate a lower price.

The main reason for getting a plumbing inspection done is to know what you’re about to buy. Nobody likes to be hit with extensive repairs right after moving in, so get a professional plumber to help you go over this checklist. The good news is, if any of these issues are present, you can either ask the seller to fix them before buying or to reduce the selling price.

Looking to buy a new home soon? The skilled and friendly maintenance plumbers at Botanical Plumbing are here to offer you honest advice.