Plumbing Questions when Buying a House

March 29, 2018

Plumbing Questions to Ask Before Buying a House

You make an offer on the home of your dreams and it’s accepted. Per your realtor’s advice, you order an inspection and everything looks good. Or does it? These days, having an inspection done before closing is an expected part of the home buying process. Unfortunately, sometimes these inspections aren’t all that thorough when it comes to plumbing.

More often than not we find that the homeowner didn’t know the existing condition of their plumbing system and within just a few months of moving in they are having to give us a call. Each home’s plumbing system can be different and can have its own problems. So, before you buy the home of your dreams, be sure to have these questions answered.

How Old Is The Plumbing?

If you’re buying a house from the earlier half of the 1900’s or before, you have a good chance of finding the original plumbing and it’s more than likely in need of replacement. Even the best plumbing can’t last much longer than 80-100 years before needing to be replaced. Thankfully, re-piping a house is a fairly straight forward job for any plumber. The price can vary widely depending on the size of the house, which is why it is so important to have a professional take a look so that you can factor the cost of replacement into your home buying budget.

Has The Home Experienced Any Water Damage In The Past?

A good inspector can usually tell if water damage has occurred, and any damage should be disclosed by the previous owner at the time of sale. Nevertheless, you should:

Check that exposed pipes in unheated areas are insulated.

Make sure washing machine hoses are in good condition.

Look for signs of pervious toilet leaks, such as discoloration and/or warping around the base of the toilet.

Often, water damage leads to moisture problems and moisture problems lead to mold. So, if you know there’s been major water damage in the home you have your eye on, you should have a professional check for any signs of mold before signing on the dotted line.

How Old Is The Water Heater?

Having to replace a hot water heater right after purchasing a new house is not ideal for any new home owner. Knowing the age of the home’s water heater before you buy will help you better prepare for when/if it needs to be replaced. Keep in mind, most water heaters have a life expectancy of about 13 years and a new high-efficiency water heater can cost anywhere between $900 and $2,000, depending on the size and model you choose.

Family Size Demand Gallon Capacity Needed
    Electric Gas
5+ High 75
  Regular 80 50
3-4 High 80 50-75
  Regular 50 40
2-3 High 50 40-50
  Regular 40 40
1-2 High 40-50 40-50
  Regular 30 30

How Big Is The Water Heater?

This is a question most home owners don’t think about until they are already living in their new home and have experienced a few too many unwarranted cold showers. To avoid fighting for the first shower every day, make sure the water heater in your future home is big enough to cover the needs of your household. Here’s a helpful guide:

What Are The Monthly Utility Costs?

Knowing the average cost of the utilities bills for your dream home will help you better prepare your monthly budget. It can also help you decide where you might upgrade to more energy-efficient appliances to save on energy costs.

Bonus: Test the Water Pressure

Not everyone likes the same water pressure, so be sure to check it throughout your potential new home to make sure it is just right for you. If it’s not up to par, contact the professionals at Eastern Plumbing to help!

Knowing everything you can about your potential new home’s plumbing gives you a leg up on surprises and helps you budget. The little bit extra you’ll spend on minor maintenance and inspection can go a long way towards knowing what you’re about to purchase, or whether it’s worth buying at all.

With over 15 years of service experience, we have helped thousands of homeowners in Eastern, NC with their plumbing needs. Our top-notch plumbing technicians are here to help – give Eastern Plumbing a call today!