Ahhh – Springtime finally comes to the Twin Cities! And with spring, more people are looking at and buying homes. Before you get all starry-eyed about what seems to be the perfect home for your family, take a closer look at the plumbing.
Most of us don’t like to think about water coming in and going out of our homes. There are systems hidden behind the walls and underground, that provide us with modern indoor plumbing. But there are a few easy tests you can perform to give you information about the home’s plumbing health and give you bargaining power.
Remember, it’s also a good idea to get a professional inspection before you sign on the dotted line and put your hard-earned money down.
As a potential home owner, there are some simple tests you can do on your own to help flush out hidden plumbing problems.
1. FLUSH: Give every toilet a flush. Put a few sheets of toilet paper in the bowl and watch it flush down. Take the top off the tank and watch the tank empty and re-fill. Is it a reluctant flusher? Does the paper go down obediently? Does the water shut off when the tank is full, or does it continue to dribble?
2. FAUCETS ON: Turn every faucet on fully and off. Check water pressure for every fixture, including all showers, tubs, and laundry faucets. Turn on the shower, keep it on, and try the water pressure in the kitchen faucets. If you have significant water pressure drop-off with more than one faucet on, you’ve got pressure problems. Check both hot and cold taps.
3. WATER HEATER: Ask to see the water heater; note the make, model, and date. Most water heaters over 8 years old will need replacing soon. Give us a call for a replacement quote: 651-212-5253.
4. DOWN INTO THE DEPTHS: Spend some time in the basement, looking for evidence of water damage. Is there a sump pump? Does it work? If you see standing water, or any drips, that’s information you need to know about. Also, look at the ceilings below upper-floor bathrooms; any water spots?
5. LEAD PIPES: Look at the exposed piping in the basement and under the kitchen and bath sinks. Are the pipes copper or plastic? Any home built before 1986 may have lead pipes, which will contaminate your drinking water. You’ll want to replace all lead piping, especially if you have children.
6. SIZE MATTERS: Measure the exposed piping in the basement. Water pipes should be at least 1/2 inch in diameter, and the piping into the home 3/4 inch.
Happy House-hunting in Saint Paul and Minneapolis!
– Deb at Jake the Plumber