Check The Pipes Before You Buy

One of the most common calls Los Angeles plumbers get is from new homeowners. They’ve found their dream home, secured the financing, closed the deal, and moved in, then disaster strikes. Suddenly their dream home is a nightmare because of a flooded basement or other water damage and they’re shocked that this could have happened in their ‘new’ home.

The fact is that most homes we purchase aren’t new, and if they had of checked things out they would have realized that their dream house had hidden problems. We strongly advise potential homebuyers to contact us to arrange an inspection of the home before purchase. There are many things that we will notice in a home that the average person wouldn’t, and these are likely to be problem areas after the purchase.

First, all exposed pipes need to be checked to ensure that they are in good working order with no leaks or cracks. For those not fortunate enough to live in the always warm Los Angeles area it’s also a good idea to make sure exposed pipes are properly insulated in order to prevent freezing. A plumber can also tell if plumbing in a home—especially an older one—is safe and up to code. A good rule is that if the pipes in a home aren’t made from PVC or other polymer materials that the plumbing isn’t up to code and could be ready for problems. Also, in extremely old homes, the pipes could be made from metals, including lead, which are not only health hazards but likely to fail and cause major damage and costly repairs. We look for problems such as these and will advise you if the home is worth buying and upgrading or if you need to look elsewhere.

A plumbing inspection can also expose problems with appliances. Old water heaters and washers not only use more energy, they could fail and lead to water damage and repairs. It’s important to not only check the appliances, but also any hookups and drains used by them. Things that a potential buyer might miss won’t get by the eye of the trained professional and could give you negotiating leverage with the seller. We’ll also advise you about the condition of sinks, showers, bathtubs, and other fixtures that might need replacing in the near future.

Another good idea is to check the water meter before buying a house. With every faucet closed and no water running in a house the water meter shouldn’t move at all. If the meter is still running with everything shut off it means there’s a leak somewhere either in the house or between the house and the meter. Either way, this is a major problem, and the savvy buyer would demand that these problems be addressed before purchasing the house. It might not be enough to negotiate a lower price. Major plumbing projects such as laying new main water lines or redoing the existing plumbing in a house can be very expensive. If a major problem is exposed in this way it might mean that it’s time to look at another house.

It’s never a good thing when a plumbing problem finds you instead of the other way around. Water can be destructive whether it’s a raging river or a busted water pipe. A broken pipe in the wall or under the floor can lead to tens of thousands of dollars in damage in no time at all and, like a fire, can destroy cherished keepsakes and heirlooms.

Don’t take chances on the plumbing in your dream home. Let us give that house a proper inspection before you buy and we’ll keep your dream house from turning into a wet, soggy nightmare.