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  • Writer's pictureDon Pinkney

What to Look for in Your 4 Major Systems: Plumbing

If you've been keeping up with the What to Look for When Searching for A Property Series, then you know that we covered what to look for in a neighborhood of your potential new property and how to properly inspect the electrical of a home.

If you haven't been keeping up you can catch up by reading the following articles:

Now that we've covered those 2 things it's time to go over how to properly inspect the plumbing in a home. The process is simple but does require you to PAY ATTENTION to detail.


You should always check the water line coming into the house. The line should be 3/4 copper and not lead. This is important because lead water lines are outdated and hazardous.


Check the plumbing stack. You want to see PVC pipe because it is more modern. If the plumbing stack is cast iron it will need to be replaced. Cast iron is outdated and tends to leak. It's better to just replace it BEFORE it gives you problems, to save you time, money, and a headache.


Check the house for missing water pipes, whether it's copper or pex. If there are water pipes missing be sure to include the price to replace them in your budget.


Make sure that the plumbing drain lines in the bathroom are not lead. If they are lead, they will need to be upgraded to PVC pipe. Once again, lead is outdated and hazardous. They will eventually begin to leak, therefore causing further damage to the property.


You'll want to check the 1st-floor ceilings for water damage. If there is any damage you need to be able to identify if it is a leaking pipe or just a simple caulk job.


As you're wrapping up the initial plumbing inspection be sure to flush all toilets and run water. You also want to listen to see if you can hear water running through your main drain to ensure it isn't clogged. You can find the main drain in the basement.

If the property makes it through the inspection phase and you purchase it be sure to drain water lines in the winter. This prevents pipes from freezing.

As I previously stated in the last article being thorough with these inspections is important because it allows you to create an ACCURATE budget for any upcoming construction you plan on doing. As an investor, you want to make money, not spend it on unnecessary costs and repairs because you failed to do your due diligence.

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