Plumbing Checklist for Homebuyers – A Detailed Guide

Purchasing a new home is always exciting, and you do not want to ruin the joy by investing in a house with lots of plumbing issues.

It is possible to be carried away by some aspects of the new home and forget to examine other essential features.

So, always pay attention to the plumbing details of the house you are about to buy. Imagine moving into a home, and a few days later, the taps are faulty, or pipes are leaking.

Here is a plumbing checklist detailing all the main issues that you must examine before buying a house. 

Check Flushes and Showers

When assessing a new house, ensure you check the toilet flush to determine if it is working correctly.

If you detect water pressure issues, such as clogging or leakages, discuss with the homeowner how the problem will be fixed. Also, test out the shower to check if the water pressure in all bathrooms is okay.

In case the water pressure is low in one or all the bathrooms, request if this can be sorted out before you move in or need a quick fix; check out here because there is an expert team who can help you.

Assess the Water Heater

Never assume that the water heating system is without flaws, just because the house is new. Examine to be sure it functions properly.

Check if there are traces of corrosion on the water heater, which may occur when the system is not serviced as required. In this case, request for a replacement to be done. 

Examining the Water Pressure 


Remember, the water pressure must be adequate; otherwise, your water-based appliances like the washing machine and dishwasher will not function as required.

So, run the shower or the hot water system to check if the water pressure is sufficient for the optimal performance of your water-based appliances. 

Establish the Pipe Age and Material

Pipes are built of varied materials such as PVC, cast iron, copper, or galvanized. Some of these materials can withstand massive pressure while others wear out too soon.

For instance, galvanized pipes can serve you for 30 years without the need to replace them. 

So, learning about the pipe’s age and the material will help estimate how long they can last before you start budgeting for replacements and repairs.

If you come across a home where the plumbing is built of lead, avoid this deal to avoid being exposed to risks related to lead contaminants. 

Check for Damage Signs

Rusty or weary fittings of pipes can be a worrying sign. Examine all the outlet and inlet pipes, and all the other fixtures to check if they are corroded or worn out.

This inspection will help detect rusts, leaks, and backlogs. If such signs are detected early, repairs or replacement can be done before you occupy the house. 

Take a Close Look at the Basement

You may consider the basement as your storage space, but this does not mean you overlook the need to inspect it before your house purchase.

A trip to the underground room is crucial to a prospective buyer. This section of the house is highly exposed to plumbing issues, and checking the drains and pipes can help detect possible leaks or damages.

Also, seek to know the reliability and capacity of the sump pump. 

Inspect the Outdoors


It is possible to ignore the lawn and backyard during a home purchase, but checking them can save you many plumbing issues.

A walk in the yard and around the home compound can help detect leaking pipes. Do not be excited by the indoor features that you forget to inspect the outdoor plumbing system.

As you stroll outside, take heed of the suspicious wet patches and molds as this may be an indication of leaking pipes.

Inspect the Sewerage System

Check the condition of the sewerage system and seek to know when it was last serviced. The homeowner should provide you with evidence that the system is functioning correctly.

Never take chances with a sewerage system, and so, it may be wise if you avoid a house with sewerage issues.

Check the Rain Drains

All houses must have an efficient and faultless rain drainage system to avoid water flooding during the rains.

Besides, the systems will help address humidity issues, which may lead to health problems and house damage. Before you buy a home, examine the downspouts and rain drain to make sure they are effective. 

Check Pipe Size


The size of the pipe impacts on the water pressure levels. Thus, to achieve adequate water pressure, the pipes installed should be ¾ from the water supply source to the home and ½ or higher to the faucets.

Thus, assess the installations to confirm if these standards were adhered to during the plumbing installation. 

Search for Leaks

Inspect all the walls of the entire house for signs of dampness or leaks. If you detect possible seepage on the pipes, inquire to know if they can be replaced.

In case you spot damp walls, it will mean the leaking is inside the wall, which may indicate a need for a significant reconstruction to help address the issue. 

Check the Tiles 

Inspect the tiles and especially those installed in the bathroom and kitchen sinks. Apply the knocking technique and listen to the sound produced. If the hollow sound is more than 20%, then waterproofing is damaged.

With compromised waterproofing, you are exposed to mold and moisture problems. If the waterproofing flaws are not addressed, this can have adverse effects on the structure in the long run. 

Before you decide to purchase a home, perform a comprehensive inspection of the plumbing system.

Check all the elements detailed in the above plumbing checklist, and if you have any concerns, you can seek clarity from the homeowner.

Note that working with a professional plumber is a plus as they understand each installation’s technicalities and can help detect flaws that are hard for you to spot.

With a full inspection report on the house plumbing status, you can make an informed decision if to buy the home or consider other alternatives. When you are not satisfied with the plumbing quality, share your views with the seller or the agent.