Common Plumbing Problems to Look Out for Before You Buy a New House

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Well before you make an offer on a new home, you must carefully look over the entire plumbing system. No one wants to move into the home of their dreams only to realize that there are major plumbing problems that must be addressed.

Leaky Faucets

Even though a leaky faucet might not seem like a big deal, that type of plumbing problem could end up costing you quite a bit in the coming years. A slow leak can easily waste hundreds of gallons of water every year, and that is going to have a huge impact on your monthly utility bills. Multiple leaky faucets could also be a sign that the previous owner didn’t properly maintain their home, and you might want to consider finding a new piece of property.

Slow Drains

Checking all of the drains is one of the first things that you should do when you are shown a home that you are thinking about buying. If multiple drains are slow, then there might be some major issues deeper in the plumbing system. Multiple slow drains are typically caused by a larger clog in the sewage line, and that is going to require professional plumbing services.

Unpleasant Sewage Odors

As you walk around the outside of the home, you might want to take note of any unusual smells. A sewage or rotten egg smell could be the result of a damaged pipe. When a sewage line is cracked, it can also lead to discolored patches of grass or excess mud out in the yard. You should be especially wary if you notice unpleasant smells inside the home around the sinks and toilets.

Aging Water Heater

An aging water heater doesn’t necessarily need to be a dealbreaker, but it is something that you might want to consider before you make an offer. When a water heater isn’t replaced for decades, it could let excess sediment and rust into the rest of the system. Over time, that could result in any number of plumbing problems. At the very least, you will probably want to take the water heater into consideration when you are making a formal offer.

While you should be able to carry out a basic inspection on your own, you need to hire a professional inspector before you make any offers. Your home will probably be one of the biggest purchases that you ever make, and you want to be absolutely sure that you are making a good financial decision.


Anita Ginsberg is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg


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