If you’re looking at a property with a view to purchasing it, then you’d probably see the wisdom in arranging a pre-purchase building inspection. You may even take the time to book a pest inspection and check that the heating and cooling systems are operating correctly so unexpected maintenance and defects don’t occur. But would you see the value in organising a pre-purchase plumbing inspection? Despite the fact that plumbing issues are often the costliest to repair, many buyers overlook the importance of having a professional plumbing inspection carried out prior to making an offer on a new home.
Getting a Professional Opinion
While you may notice any major plumbing problems, smaller issues can easily go unnoticed if you don’t know what you’re looking for. In time, these could cause major damage to the home, potentially setting you back thousands of dollars. Investing in a pre-purchase plumbing inspection gives you an honest and upfront assessment of the property, allowing you to identify any problems before you’ve committed to the sale. Consulting with experienced professionals, enables you to negotiate for a lower house price should any costly issues be identified pre-sale.
A detailed plumbing inspection should include all of the following areas:
- Sewerage System: Ensure your pre-purchase plumbing inspection includes an examination of the property’s sewerage system using a specialised camera. Interference with the sewerage is the kind of problem that may go unnoticed for years, eventually resulting in a major backup that will require extensive repair work. New housing developments with extensive earthworks can result in sewer lines shearing or blocking up, while properties surrounded by established trees often encounter sewer problems caused by tree roots. A camera inspection will allow these kinds of issues to be identified before they become a costly problem.
- Valves & the Water Meter: Systematically checking the water valves will allow a plumber to determine if the property water lines are functioning the way they should be. When the main water valve is turned off, you shouldn’t be able to obtain water from any of the taps throughout the home. In a similar way, checking the water meter will show if there are any leaks occurring throughout the property – if the meter is turning over when all water outlets are switched off, then this means that there is a leak that will need to be found and fixed ASAP.
- Hot Water Service: The majority of hot water services have an approximate lifespan of around 10 years, but this can be affected by whether or not they have been serviced. Most hot water services have what’s known as the “sacrificial anode”, a device that attracts corrosive elements in the water, thereby rusting out in place of the actual tank. When this anode is replaced every 5 years, the life of the hot water service can be significantly extended. Likewise, checking and replacing the temperature and pressure relief valve can ensure the hot water service lasts a lot longer; but conversely, if this hasn’t happened then the hot water service may need replacing much sooner than you’d expect.
- Toilets, Sinks & Taps: There are a number of plumbing issues that can occur with toilets, sinks and taps, so it is important that all are thoroughly checked for signs of faulty operation. Clogged drains, leaking cisterns and dripping taps are all commonly ignored problems that could add up to hundreds of extra dollars on your water bill, in addition to causing significant damage to surrounding areas. This is also the time to check that the water pressure is adequate in all areas of the home.
When it comes to buying a property, you can’t be too careful particularly if you want to invest time and money revamping your home. Trying to save a few extra dollars by skipping a pre-purchase plumbing inspection could potentially cost you thousands once the sale has been finalised. To save yourself from any unpleasant surprises and for greater peace of mind, it’s well worth investing in a pre-purchase plumbing inspecti