House hunting in Georgia is an exciting journey, but it’s essential to ensure that your potential dream home doesn’t come with hidden plumbing nightmares. Performing an initial plumbing check when looking at a house in Georgia can save you from costly repairs and unexpected surprises down the road. Here are some quick and easy tips for homebuyers on how to spot common plumbing issues during your house-hunting journey.
Turn on the Faucets and Showers
Run the taps in the kitchen and bathrooms. Check for consistent water pressure and any unusual noises, like loud clanging or sputtering. Extremely high or low water pressure might hint at plumbing problems.
Water Pressure Too High: If the water pressure in your home is too high, it can cause a variety of problems including burst pipes, leaks, damaged appliances and other issues.
Low Water Pressure: If the water pressure is too low, it can be a sign of potential plumbing issues, including: Pipe Blockages, Corroded Pipes, Pressure Regulator Problems, or several other underlying causes.
Inspect Under Sinks
Take a peek under the sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms. Look for any signs of water damage, such as water stains or mold. These could indicate past or ongoing leaks.
Flush Toilets and Check for Leaks
Flush the toilets and watch for any slow drainage or odd sounds. Look around the base for any signs of water seepage. A leaky toilet can lead to water wastage and costly repairs.
Check for a Rocking Toilet
Gently try to rock the toilet bowl back and forth. If it wobbles or feels unstable, it could be a sign of a broken pipe or broken flange, which may require repairs. A secure toilet ensures proper sealing and prevents leaks.
Examine the Water Heater
If accessible, inspect the water heater. Look at the parts and valves and check for rust, corrosion, or water puddles around the unit. An aging or poorly maintained water heater can be a headache.
For a more detailed evaluation guide of the water heater check out our Georgia Homebuyer’s Guide: Evaluating the Water Heater.
Check the Age of the Water Heater
Find the water heater and check its manufacturing date. Water heaters have a typical lifespan of approximately 10-15 years. Knowing its age can help you assess if it’s nearing the end of its life, which may require water heater replacement or maintenance. If the water heater is 10 years or older I would recommend replacing it, or at least budgeting for that in the very near future.
We discuss water heater age in more detail (along with other water heater evaluation tips) in A Georgia Homebuyer’s Guide: Evaluating the Water Heater.
Note: The age of the water heater is typically missing or not included in the Home Owner Inspection Report. For more on this and other overlooked items check out: 3 Plumbing Items to Check When Purchasing a Home (that are NOT on the inspection report)
Check for Water Quality:
Turn on the tap and taste the water. Georgia is known for its hard water, which can affect water quality and cause plumbing issues. Consider a water softening or water filtration system if the water tastes unusually mineral-rich.
Smell for Odors:
Pay attention to any strange smells, especially near bathrooms and the kitchen. Foul odors might indicate plumbing or sewer line problems.
Look for Visible Leaks or Drips:
While walking through the house, keep an eye out for any visible leaks or drips from pipes, fixtures, or the ceiling. Even a small drip can hint at plumbing trouble.
Inspect the Yard
Check the yard for any soggy or unusually wet areas. This is one of many signs that can indicate problems with the underground plumbing or the septic system, which can be costly to repair. Additionally, keep an eye out for a bright green stripe of grass, as it may suggest sewer line issues. Sewer leaks can sometimes fertilize the grass and result in this unusual growth pattern.
Note: The sewer line inspection is typically missing or not included in the Home Owner Inspection Report. For more on this and other overlooked items check out: 3 Plumbing Items to Check When Purchasing a Home (that are NOT on the inspection report)
Ask About Plumbing Materials
Inquire about the plumbing materials used in the house. Older homes may have galvanized pipes or polybutylene pipes that are prone to corrosion or other issues. Knowing the pipe material can give you an idea of potential plumbing problems. Polybutylene pipes, in particular, have a history of issues and may need replacement in older homes to prevent leaks and costly repairs.
Ask About Plumbing Maintenance:
Inquire about the home’s plumbing maintenance history. Regular maintenance can extend the life of plumbing systems and appliances.
Helpful Tips for Homebuyers to Spot Potential Plumbing Problems
Remember that while these helpful tips can help you spot obvious plumbing red flags during your Georgia house hunt, a professional plumbing inspection is always advisable for a more thorough assessment. Taking a few extra minutes to look for these signs can save you from potential plumbing headaches down the road. Happy house hunting!
Trinity Plumbing Service Area: Plumber in Acworth, Dallas, Kennesaw, Marietta, Smyrna
When you decide to purchase your dream home in Acworth, GA or a surrounding area, contact Trinity Plumbing. We offer a complete list of commercial and residential plumbing services, including repairing leaks, replacing toilets, or upgrading that outdated water heater.