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Two Minute Home Inspection: Plumbing Fixtures

Posted by Geordie Romer on March 2, 2010

If you’re new to the Two Minute Home Inspection series, it’s true, you can’t do a home inspection in 2 minutes.
 A home inspection generally takes 2-4 hours and we always recommend using a home inspector who is licensed by the State of Washington and a member of a national home inspection organization like ASHI or NACHI.
Here’s another guest post by Chip Roberson, of Mission Home and Pest Inspection:
When looking at a house you are considering turning into your home, take two minutes to examine the plumbing fixtures.
Plumbing fixtures include the faucets, tubs, toilets and sinks in all their varieties.

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To begin, visually inspect all faucets and supply piping for any drips or leakage as well as any missing, broken, cracked, loose, corroded or rusty components as well as any temporary or suspect repairs. These less important matters may be of small monetary consequence; however, they can contribute to other maintenance problems that can seriously affect other components in the house such as counter tops, cabinetry, flooring and/or structural members by contributing to damage and/or infestations from wood rot, wood destroying insects and/or mold.
It is important to evaluate the operation of all of the faucets. I suggest starting by engaging the water stoppers at sinks and tubs, and noting their operation, followed by opening the faucets and noting their operation and confirming that hot water is available and piped to the left side of the faucet. Then release the water stopper mechanisms to allow the water to drain, note the rate of drainage and examine the visible drainage piping connections for any signs of leakage. Damp stains at the bottom of the cabinetry and/or corrosion on the supply and/or drainage piping are reliable signs of previous or ongoing problems that should be evaluated further. Fixtures that are slow to drain should be evaluated further as this can be a sign of a blockage and/or poor ventilation in the system.
You will also want to check for the amount of water that flows through the faucets during their operation. The most common method is to run two or more faucets at the same time, preferably at the highest level in the house. A significant drop in water flow at an individual faucet during this test is a reliable sign for potential problems such as poor water supply pressure or partially clogged piping. Excessive water pressure should be avoided with the use of a pressure regulator to help avoid wear on the supply piping and faucets.
All toilets should be evaluated by looking closely at the water supply valve, piping and all connections for signs of rust, corrosion or leakage. Also observe the quality of waste flush, stability and/or connection to the floor and other possible defects such as cracked or missing components, stains and soft or damaged flooring.
Sinks, bath tubs and shower pans should all be examined for stability, damage, rust and corrosion as well as maintained water tight sealants/caulking at all junctures along the counter top, floor and walls to prevent moisture intrusion and material damage.
Interested in more articles by Chip Roberson?
Click Here to Read About:
Electrical Systems



    If you’re planning to buy a home in this area, the best place to start is with the Leavenworth Home Buyer’s Guide.

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