4 Common Plumbing Problems Found During a Home Inspection

Charles Sargray
Written by Charles Sargray
Updated September 8, 2016
water heater gauge
If temperature and water pressure gauges on your water heater aren't working correctly, they can burn out your system and create irreversible damage. (Photo by Summer Galyan)

When buying a previously loved home, don't forget to have a home inspection conducted.

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Not doing so can result in something being missed that could later cost you thousands of dollars. Ask your inspector to look for these common plumbing problems during the home inspection.

1. Main sewer line clog

A sewer line clog doesn’t only make it hard for the waste to exit your home. A clogged sewer line can cause water to back up and leak. If a consistent problem, this standing water can damage flooring. Tree roots often are common culprits for sewer clogs. If you discover tree roots causing a sewer clog, take action immediately. These problems don’t solve themselves, and left unattended, will only get worse.

2. Undetected leaks in the wall

Water leaks increase your water bill and cause damage to your home. The problem with these hidden leaks is you typically don’t know they exist until major damage is done. Imagine a water leak in your walls slowly creating more and more damage over time, destroying the drywall or flooring, and creating mildew in your home. A proper inspection can cut this damage off at the pass. 

3. Galvanized pipes

If your home was built before the 1960s, it may have galvanized pipes. Galvanized pipes are lead pipes covered with a protective layer of zinc. The problem with them is that the zinc erodes over time. Galvanized pipes that have had lead service lines (present or past) run the risk of releasing lead into your water supply. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, consuming excessive amounts of lead places adults at higher risk of cardiovascular issues, decreased kidney function and reproductive problems.

4. Water heater problems

From having the wrong size unit, high water pressure, bad thermostats, sediment buildup and internal rust, there are many issues to be mindful of when dealing with water heaters. Pay extra attention to water pressure and temperature gauges. If they aren’t working correctly, they can burn out your system and create irreversible damage to your water heater.

Hire a home inspector you can trust. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re making an investment that you'll probably be paying for 30 years or more, so make sure you start off on the right foot.

As of September 8, 2016, this service provider was highly rated on Angi. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angi for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angi.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.