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How to Check for Proper Indoor Plumbing

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A properly functioning plumbing system is essential to the comfort, health, and well-being of any household. If you have bad plumbing, it can lead to leaks and other problems that can cause serious damage, which can be expensive to repair.

Outline:

According to researchers from ECONorthwest, King’s College London, and the University of Arizona, around 470,000 urban households in the U.S. live in homes without proper indoor plumbing (Meehan, 2020)

Surely, you don’t want your house to be included in that number as improper indoor plumbing can lead to several health problems, such as respiratory infections and skin diseases. It is also associated with higher rates of mortality and morbidity in children.

But how do you know if the house you’re buying has proper indoor plumbing? Are there tell-tale signs that can give away if your realtor is hiding something from you? Here’s what you can do:

Bring your trusted plumber with you.

If you want a foolproof way to ensure that the indoor plumbing is working as it should be, tag along your trusted plumber when you inspect the house. Your plumber will be able to tell if the pipes are clogged, if there are leaks, or if there is too much rust in the system.

As often is the case, a professional plumber is in the best position to help you assess the real condition of the house’s indoor plumbing system. Just make sure that your plumber is trustworthy and honest; otherwise, he could be biased toward the seller’s interests and will tell you whatever he thinks will get him paid.

If you’re new in the area and still need to get a trusted plumber, you can always ask for some recommendations from friends and relatives. You can also ask the original owner for a list of plumbers that they have used in the past. Getting this information not only gives you access to a professional who can help you when things go awry, but this will also give you a good idea of how well this property has been maintained over time.

Check the fixtures around the house.

If you can’t tag a plumber along, or if you prefer to inspect the property yourself, you can do an ocular inspection of the fixtures throughout the house. Check if the sink and bathtub drain work, and test the toilet flush. If the fixtures work, this is a good sign that at least some of the plumbing is in working order. If they don’t work, this could be a sign that the house has been neglected.

Do note that the toilet flush is particularly important to check because it’s one of the most common problems in homes with poor plumbing.

Check the ceiling and the walls.

Look for any obvious signs of damage, like peeling paint or stains on the ceiling, as these may be caused by water leaks. If you see signs of water damage, you should have the house inspected by a professional plumber. It will also help if you get a quote for the slab leak repair, and you should include this in your overall consideration of the total cost of the house you’re acquiring.

Check for an overflow pipe.

If the house has proper indoor plumbing, then there should be an overflow pipe installed near the toilet bowl or bathtub. The purpose of this pipe is to prevent water from overflowing onto your floor if there is a clog in the system. If the pipe has been removed or is not in place, then you may be looking at some major plumbing problems. This could also mean that there is a leak somewhere in your house, so you should have it inspected by a professional.

Check for mold and mildew.

If there are signs of mold and mildew in your basement, then this could be an indication that moisture is getting into the house through cracks or gaps in the walls. This can lead to structural damage over time, so if you find any evidence of mold or mildew on surfaces like concrete walls or wooden beams, then you should have the area inspected for water damage.

Check the property’s water pressure.

If a garden hose is available, use it to test the water pressure throughout the house. Checking the water pressure is especially important if you’re buying an old house because older plumbing systems tend to develop problems over time, such as slow drainage or low water pressure. A low water pressure often indicates that there’s a leak somewhere in the plumbing system. However, if you’re buying a new house, then this isn’t as much of an issue because the plumbing system is brand new.

Check the water heater.

If the house has a gas water heater, make sure that it is properly ventilated and that there are no leaks. If it has an electric water heater, then make sure that it is working properly; if it isn’t, factor in the cost of its repair in the house’s price tag.

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Professional Plumbers in Waco, Texas

It can be challenging to do an indoor plumbing inspection yourself, especially if you don’t have a background or interest in plumbing systems. To save yourself from trouble, contact us at Smelscer Plumbing.

We’ve been in the plumbing business for many years, and we know exactly how to spot and investigate any damage to your home’s plumbing system. You can count on us for expert advice and honest opinions.

We offer on-site evaluations and inspections, as well as trenchless sewer repair. We also offer emergency plumbing services to help you with burst pipes or other plumbing emergencies. Call us today at 254-749-7955 to schedule an appointment with one of our professional plumbers in Waco, Texas!

Reference:

[1] Meehan et al., Geographies of insecure water access and the housing–water nexus in U.S. cities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2020). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2007361117

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