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What to Watch for: a Plumbing Checklist for New Home Buyers

Home » What to Watch for: a Plumbing Checklist for New Home Buyers

Faucet running into a bathtub.

Buying a new home? Use this simple plumbing checklist to do a DIY inspection. You should always have a professional home inspection done before you make an offer, but a DIY inspection can tip you off to issues you should be aware of when you first view a home.

Water Meter & Main Shutoff

Check the water main shutoff for signs of leaking, as this is a common spot for leaks to spring up and is sometimes forgotten by homeowners when they are prepping their home to sell.

Turn off all of the faucets in the house and look at the water meter. Is the meter still moving? That likely indicates a leak somewhere in the house.


Determine the age of the water heater. This can be found on the manufacturer label on the side of the water heater. An average hot water tank lasts about 6 – 10 years, while a tankless water heater has an expectancy of about 20 years if well maintained. Keep this in mind when you check the water heater and consider whether you would need to replace it soon after buying the home or if you have a number of years left.

Do a visual inspection of the water heater. Look for rust, discoloration, and leaks. Make sure to check the outlet and inlet valves. Remember that if you don’t see a puddle of water but you do find condensation accumulating, this may also indicate a leak.

Listen for unusual noises. If the water heater or boiler are making strange noises, this may be indicative of a problem.

Inspect exposed pipes. Take a close look at all exposed pipes and check them for visible signs of damage, including leaks, cracks, corrosion, and rust.

Kitchen & Bathrooms

Check water pressure. Turn on all of the taps and make sure that the water pressure is good. Be sure to run multiple taps at once to see whether that impacts the pressure as well.

Check that the sink drains. Fill up sinks and let them drain, noting whether the drainage is slow or not.

Look under sinks. Take a look at the exposed pipes located beneath each sink, checking for leaks, rust, cracks, and corrosion.

Test shut-off valves. Try turning off shut-off valves for each sink, then turning on the tap to see whether or not the shut-off is functioning properly. Check the valves for leaks as well.

Flush toilets to make sure that they are working and check for leaks on the toilet tank and around the base.

Turn the shower on to make sure that it works and has good water pressure.

It is important to have any home you are considering buying inspected by a professional, but these simple plumbing checks you can do on your own are a great first step to help you determine whether you want to pursue the home further or not. To find out more or to book a professional plumbing inspection, call Waterline Plumbing Ltd. today at 778-869-2902.

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