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Buying a Home? Look for Signs of Bad Plumbing

House shopping is a time-consuming experience. If you've finally found your dream home and feel ready to make an offer, wait — you might have faulty plumbing in the residence that can be costly to repair. Use this guide to identify signs of bad plumbing in any home you want to buy.

Soft Spots in Floors

When doing your walk-through of the home, pay attention to any flooring spots that appear to be soft or spongy under your feet, particularly if the soft spots are:

  • Around tubs or toilets.
  • Near the washing machine.
  • In the kitchen by the sink, dishwasher, or fridge.

Soft spots can indicate a past or present leak in plumbing that has damaged flooring as a result. However, soft spots in your potential new home's flooring do not always mean a plumbing problem; for example, you could have an issue with the subfloor. Be concerned about soft or spongy flooring if you also see water stains on nearby walls or smell a moldy, mildewy scent around questionable floor areas.

Plumbing Fixtures That Don’t Match

A quick look under sinks and behind the water heater will tell you whether recent fixtures have been added onto a plumbing line. New parts are especially obvious if they do not match material-wise with the old (such as old copper fittings with poly pipe connections).

Non-matching plumbing parts should prompt you to ask questions, such as why have the fixtures been updated and have the repairs been made professionally?

Non-matching plumbing parts might mean future disaster because plastic and metal components do not typically go together. The result of this type of connection may lead to weakened pipe connections, leaks, and eventual bursts in plumbing lines.

Amateur Repair Jobs

If your home has exposed plumbing wrapped in plastic or tape, then you should be wary of the home’s plumbing. Typically, wraps or tape around pipes indicates a homemade attempt to keep faulty plumbing from leaking. Unless the wrap itself is insulation — which is actually a good sign since insulated pipes are better protected against freezing — wraps usually aren’t a good sign.

Another sign of weak or poorly repaired plumbing is supported pipes. If boards, ropes, or even boxes are holding up a plumbing line, then call a plumber to examine the home's plumbing system before you make an offer on the property. When you have one home repair, you may have more, and you do not want to get caught up in a costly sewer makeover once you've purchased your new home.

Bad Water Pressure

Test the home's water pressure by flushing a toilet or running water from the tap. If the toilet barely flushes or has low levels of water in the bowl, then water pressure may be an issue. Tap water should have enough pressure to create a thick stream of water. If no more than a trickle comes out of the tap, you probably have a plumbing problem on your hands.

Any leaking pipes or water heater components can cause a water pressure issue in the home. Clogs, tree root damage, or even deteriorated pipes may be to blame for bad water pressure in the home you wish to buy.

Make the current homeowner repair any plumbing problems before making an offer on the home or include repair demands with your offer.

You deserve a home that is free of plumbing problems. Shop smart, and call an expert plumber to inspect any home you wish to buy. Our plumbers at Cleary Plumbing & Air will ensure your new home has safe and reliable plumbing. Contact us today to learn more and ask any questions you have.