Plumbing problems found at inspections – October 27, 2014

Plumbing problems found at inspections – October 27, 2014

Plumbing repairs called out in a home inspection are usually minor.  However occasionally we find problems that must be repaired.  These are usually do-it-yourself projects gone terribly wrong.

Many plumbing repair problems can easily be addressed by a handy man or a proficient do-it-your-selfer.  Other problems such as a replacing a sewer main should only be addressed by a licensed plumber.

Some of the more common plumbing problems we find are;

  • leaking faucets
  • garbage disposals that leak
  • garbage disposals that are not working
  • leaks in pipes under the sink or vanity
  • low water pressure
  • slow flowing drains
  • outside faucets that leak under pressure
  • clogged drains and traps
  • hot and cold water lines installed backwards
  • tub/shower controls installed backwards

As we move through the inspection process we will note;

  • any improper repairs to water pipes or drain pipes
  • inoperative sump pumps
  • missing or improper extensions of the pressure relief valve on the hot water heater
  • missing expansion tanks on the hot water heater (not enforced in all areas)
  • check for leaks in the water or drain lines
  • slow moving drains
  • any other normal and customary deficiencies

Here are a few of the most common plumbing problems we find:

Duct tape was a wonderful invention but really does not belong in a plumber’s tool box very often.

This is neither proper use of duct tape or proper plumbing practice.

A close second to duct tape abuse is the use of black vinyl electrical tape to “cure” leaking drain pipes.

The proper fix is usually not much harder than the imaginary fix often used by do-it-yourself plumbers.  Some leaks require no more than tightening a loose fixture nut or other simple no tool fixes.

Occasionally we find an outside faucet that has frozen and burst.

Remember if you leave your garden hose connected the water may not drain properly. A good cold snap can spell disaster when you turn your faucet on in the spring.  Even a “freeze proof” hose bib will freeze if a hose is left connected and the water can not drain properly.

Properly installed plumbing is no match for the well intended Saturday afternoon plumber.  Plumbers in our area have to be licensed and complete a four year apprenticeship.   Some projects are best left to the experts with the proper training and tools.

Seemingly harmless openings in the sewer drain may allow harmful sewer gases to enter the home.  All vent and drains should be properly sealed.

Many times we will find plumbing vents that are blocked or do not exit the home.  Occasionally we will find one or more vents that terminate in the attic,  All vents should vent to the outside and clear the roof by a minimum of twelve inches.  Short vents can be added to in order to meet the minimum height.  Although proper this is not considered to be a major deficiency.

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