Do you need a plumbing inspection before buying a home?

plumbing inspection

Purchasing a new home can be an exciting and equally stressful endeavor. Between obtaining loans, scouring the market for the perfect property, negotiating prices, and closing costs, things like plumbing can get overlooked. That’s because many home-buyers heavily rely on the general-home inspection to reveal everything they need to know about the property. However, what many don’t realize is that while a general home inspection covers the overall plumbing system – it doesn’t cover everything you should know, before making a purchase. 

What’s included in a general home inspection?

The home inspection will include anything that’s affected by water flow such as piping, showers, bathtubs, sinks, faucets, toilets, and spigots. Inspectors will look at all exposed plumbing pipes and fixtures and check for leaking, rusting, and cracks. They will check for any amateur, plumbing work or repairs that do not meet codes. They will check for cross-connection or contamination issues and inspect walls, flooring, and ceilings for any evidence of moisture or water damage.

He will check all installed fixtures such as the garbage disposal, water heater, and dishwasher. If the property has a sump pump the inspector will check that it works properly.

What’s not included in a home inspection?

The state of your drain system. While a home inspector will look for visual signs of water damage that could indicate a drain issue, they will not perform a camera inspection to check the actual condition of your pipes and search for the root of the problem. This is important to understand because many serious or potential plumbing problems are not visible to the eye right away. What this means is that while your dream home may pass the general inspection, things can quickly turn into a nightmare as plumbing problems come up in the not-so-distant future. A small leak in the drain system may not reveal itself until some time later, leaving you with a demanding repair you were not prepared for. 

The sewer line. Most inspectors will only inspect your home up to the city limits, meaning they will not look at the sewer line. Just like your drain, sewer lines can be the cause of severe and costly plumbing problems. Yet many home inspectors won’t consider the sewer line as the extension of a home, overlooking the opportunity to catch a potential problem. Requesting a sewer camera inspection is definitely something you should add to your to-do list when searching the market for a new property. 

The septic tank. Another important area a general home inspector will likely omit is the septic system. To identify a defective septic system the home inspector will check for visible signs of damage but they will not inspect the state of the actually septic tank. Many homeowners don’t commit to regular home maintenance due to a lack of knowledge or time resulting in minor problems growing into larger issues. To further investigate the septic tank, a specialist would need to insert a small camera into the system. The home inspector will not when the tank was last pumped, or whether or not the tank it’s far from wells or streams. He will check the sludge level and ensure the tank is the appropriate size for the home. 

While a home inspection covers many important aspects of the home, it will omit some big-ticket items related to the plumbing system. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you hire a professional plumber to perform a thorough camera inspection and check all the areas of the plumbing that do not meet the eye. Camera inspections are an inexpensive solution that will leave you feeling confident about your decision.

In the market for a new California home? Contact your trained, professionals at VIP Sewer and Drain Services for a camera inspection and take the plumbing guesswork out of home buying.

If you have any emergency plumbing need, simply call our 24 hour emergency service line