Buying a new home can be daunting with so much to consider. Here is a checklist of potential plumbing problems you should be aware of to help you avoid potentially expensive plumbing problems down the road.
Dripping faucets are one of the most common plumbing issues ailing both newer and older homes. The noise alone can be an unwelcome nagging in your kitchen or bathroom. The reasons behind faucet dripping can also be surprisingly difficult to diagnose with the untrained eye.
Different types of faucets, mainly compression faucets are more susceptible to dripping. Ball, disc, and cartridge faucets are more recent innovations. Knowing which faucet your prospective home has can help you know how likely they are to leak and can ais in repair if necessary. Compression faucets for instance still use washers, whereas ball, disc and cartridge faucets do not, making them more inclined to leak.
Here’s how to tell which type of faucet you have:
- Compression faucets have two very tight handles for both cold and hot water
- Ball faucets have a single handle attached to a rounded cap above the spout
- Disc faucets have a single lever on a cylindrical body
- Cartridge faucets use a stem cartridge which moves up and down to adjust the flow of water
A poor sealant or poor sealant installation can also deteriorate over-time and cause leaking. This can be remedied by a plumber or by purchasing a higher quality sealant that is compatible with your type of faucet.
If faucet leaks originate from the base or around the head of the spout, ageing or poor-quality sealant may be the culprit.
Slow Sink Drainage
Sinks that drain slowly can be a truly infuriating experience for any homeowner. Sinks are engineered to drain water at a rapid rate to avoid pooling and stagnant water, which is not only an eye-sore but also prevents you from using your sink to its full potential.
Slow sink drainage is caused by debris in the drainpipe, which can be cleaned with regular and simple maintenance. If maintenance is less frequent, this problem can persist and rear it’s head more often as build-up accumulates. Drain cleaners, sink snakes, and plungers can be used to de-clog your sink, but proper drain cleaning and maintenance can help prevent the problem in the first place. A garburator can also help prevent clogs.
Toilets That Clog Easily
Toilets that flush improperly or lack power are more likely to become clogged or need replacing in the near future. Having toilets that are unable to flush properly can be a sign of something as simple as a faulty handle or as severe as a main sewer line issue which can threaten the health and safety of your family.
Ensuring your potential toilets have adequate power to flush and expel water all the way down into the bowl is a priority when assessing a property’s plumbing.
Water Damage Around the Toilet & Shower
Water damage around the toilet and shower can be highly destructive as tainted water can leach into the ground of your home. This is a plumbing emergency, as it can damage your home and even ruin the structural integrity if the issue persists. If this happens in a room with wood flooring, it can warp and rot, and assessing the damage after this happens will require you to dislodge the entire toilet altogether, which can be an time-consuming and expensive task.
Look for warping near the base of toilets on laminate and wood, or water damage on the ceiling underneath bathrooms to assess if there are stains, which indicate water damage.
Water Colour & Quality
Oddly coloured running water can be alarming when you first notice it. Depending on the colour of your water, you may not have an issue at all. On the other hand, some colours can indicate a plumbing problem.
Black water can mean that you have mold, which can make you and your family sick. If you have black water running from anywhere, call a professional plumber immediately.
Green or blue water can mean that there is a possible corrosion issue which, if untreated, can damage your pipes and cause water breaks. Solving this typically requires a plumbing professional to look at your water line.
Yellow, red, or orange water indicate age or poor maintenance of pipes and faucets. High levels of sediment deposits in your tap water can also cause this tinting.
Clean, transparent water means your water supply and plumbing are working in harmony.
You’re Not In This Alone!
Making sure your potential new house has functioning plumbing is a crucial part of evaluating any new home. Avoiding plumbing pit-falls can save you the headache of costly and lengthy repairs, and allow you to truly enjoy your new home.