Whether you’re buying or selling a home, a home inspection is to be expected. What is not expected are the plumbing problems that may be hidden behind the walls. A home inspection should reveal most plumbing problems lurking behind the walls.
These are the most common plumbing problems home inspectors find:
Plumbing Pipe Problems
- Polyethylene (PE) pipes are illegal for most usages. They are only allowed for home use with regards to water pressure tanks and main water turn off valves.
- Polybutylene pipes were used between 1978-1995 as an inexpensive alternative to copper. Polybutylene is a type of plastic resin. It’s now believed that oxidants like chlorine in public water supplies cause this material to become brittle, resulting in micro-fractures that may cause system failure and damage to building structure.
- Galvanized pipes were used prior to the 1960’s in many homes. The galvanized pipes used were lead pipes covered with a layer of zinc. The problem is, over time, the zinc erodes and there’s a risk of lead leeching into the water supply.
- Broken pipes can occur in any home, new or old. Pipes can become broken by accidentally crushing a drain line with your car or can happen as a result of a plumbing DIY project.
- Rusty pipes occur when there is rust build up in or around pipes, which can cause blockage or reduced water pressure and flow.
Sewer Line Clogs
- When a sewer line is clogged you will usually be warned with gurgling sounds, slow draining issues, and backups. These are often the most common indicators of a clogged sewer line. The most common cause of these clogs is tree root growth. A clog in your main sewer line makes it hard for waste to exit your home and can result in a water back up through the piping, resulting in leaks. If this problem is ignored, it will only get worse with time.
Leaks Inside the Walls
- Plumbing pipes are hidden behind the walls, a small leak over time can destroy drywall, flooring and cause the growth of mold and mildew. That’s why it’s so important to have a professional inspect a home properly.
Water Heater Issues
- Common water heater issues found during home inspections include: having the wrong size unit, high water pressure, improperly functioning thermostats, sediment build-up and internal rust.
These common plumbing problems found during home inspections can result in moisture and drainage issues, which lead to dry rot, structural damage and mold. This is why it’s so important to have a qualified plumbing professional fix the issues. Some of these plumbing issues are obvious, some are not, but they are all common. Keep this information handy for the next time you buy or sell a home and don’t hesitate to contact A.J. Perri with any plumbing questions.