New home

How to Check Plumbing When Buying A New Home

buying a new home in the Austin, Texas area

When looking at a home for the first time, it's easy to get overwhelmed with all the different tasks to check off and potential red flags to be on the lookout for. Your future home's plumbing system may not be the first thing on your 'must-have' list, but it is one of the essential parts of your home.

Unfortunately, even a home with a shiny new bathroom can be hiding plumbing issues that could cost thousands to fix. Check out these three areas to ensure you aren't in for any surprise renovations.

Outdated Water Heater

How old is the water heater? A well-maintained water heater will last about ten years. If you aren't budgeting for a new water heater, make sure the one in your new home isn't too close to this deadline. Ask the seller or realtor for information on when the water heater was installed. If they can't tell you, or if you are still uncertain, hire a professional to check it out.

Other questions to ask:

  • Where is the water heater located? Location matters. If the water heater is set up on hardwood or carpet, will your floors be ruined if it leaks? Will the drywall have damage?
  • How big is the water heater's tank? Necessary tank capacity varies by how large your family is—a 1-2 person household may only need a 36-gallon tank, but families of 5+ will need a tank that can hold over 56 gallons of water. Does the water heater hold enough water to fill up that pretty bathtub with warm suds, or will you end up with chilly baths?

Sewage

Sewage systems are another costly repair—the national average to repair a sewer line is approximately $2,703. Most of the time, sewage systems require very little upkeep. A yearly inspection is more than enough for a sewer that seems to be in good working order.

Signs that could indicate an issue with the sewer line include:

  • Foul odors inside and outside the home
  • Consistently overflowing toilets
  • Standing water or soft soil on the lawn

Toilets

Taking a look at the toilets is often overlooked, especially if the toilet itself is new and "pretty." It can be easy to skip through the process of looking for issues if you aren't sure what to look for. Run through this list to help avoid future toilet troubles:

  • Flush the toilet. Does the bowl refill without issue? Check that the toilet isn't constantly running, as this could indicate a leak inside the tank.
  • Inspect the floor near the toilet for warping or discoloration. Does the floor seem discolored or flimsy at the base of the toilet? If the floors feel soft or give when applying weight, the toilet could have a leak.
  • Check toilet stability. If the bowl rocks when you grasp it on either side, there could be problems with how the toilet is secured to the flange.

If you are looking for a new home and want to make sure the plumbing is in good condition, give S & D Plumbing a call at (512) 648-4663—our team can help you identify any future problems and estimate the cost of necessary repairs.

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