What Happens During a Home Plumbing Inspection?

D.P. Taylor
Written by D.P. Taylor
Updated September 27, 2021
Plumber inspecting water flow
Peathegee Inc via Getty Images

A home plumbing inspection typically involves checking permits, checking for leaks, examining appliances, and more

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There are a lot of reasons you may be thinking of getting a plumbing inspection. Maybe it's been a couple of years and you just want to make sure everything is OK because you like to prevent problems before they arise. Or maybe you're thinking of buying a home and want to make sure you're not getting a lemon. Or perhaps you've been hearing dripping somewhere and are worried your bathroom plumbing is in need of repair.

Either way, a plumbing inspection is a low-cost way to put your mind at ease—or at least spot a problem that needs dealing with before it becomes bigger and more expensive down the road.

This guide breaks down what to expect in a plumbing inspection and what parts of your home a plumber will check out.

What Is a Plumbing Inspection?

The purpose of a plumbing inspection is to check all of the pipes in your house to make sure they're in good repair. That applies to both interior plumbing as well as to exterior drainage systems.

During the inspection, a plumber will check your toilets, sewage lines, water supply, pipe condition, water heater, and so on. They're looking for signs of corrosion, leaks, and general poor condition that could result in problems later on.

Why Should I Get a Plumbing Inspection?

A homeowner should get a plumbing inspection because it can potentially save a lot of money. Homeowners should generally have a plumber inspect their home every two years in order to catch issues before they become major problems.

As a homeowner, this is not something you should skip. A plumbing issue could result in massive water damage to your home, which could leave you with a bill in the thousands. A simple plumbing inspection only costs about $200 on average, and it more than pays for itself because a plumber can spot issues before they become expensive disasters.

What Are the Steps of a Plumbing Inspection?

A lot goes into a plumbing inspection, but generally, it will involve four basic steps.

Permits

The plumber will check to ensure that all proper permits and plans are in place according to city codes and ordinances.

Water Heater

The plumber will check your water heater to determine if it is in good working order and there isn't corrosion.

Fixtures and Caulking

The plumber will run the water in your fixtures and check them for costly plumbing leaks. They'll also look at your caulking to make sure there are no issues that could lead to water damage down the road.

Dishwasher

Opening dishwasher in kitchen
Yakobchuk Olena - stock.adobe.com

The plumber will check the dishwasher to determine that it is in good working order and has an air gap, as well as ensuring it is properly anchored to the countertop.

Insulation

The plumber will examine hot and cold water piping to determine if they are properly insulated and thus your pipes won't freeze when temperatures drop. Frozen pipes lead to burst pipes, which is a major plumbing problem.

Lead Pipes

Some older homes have dangerous lead pipes that need replacing. A plumber will check your home to determine if you have these pipes.

Other Actions

In addition to those listed above, a plumber will check your sewage line, water supply, venting system, drains, toilets, and anything else associated with pipes in your home to ensure everything is in working order and there's no sign of corrosion, damage, or clogs.

What Might a Plumber Recommend After the Inspections?

That depends on what the plumber discovers during the inspection. Hopefully, all they'll recommend is another inspection in a couple of years.

Chances are, problems like leaks and clogs are things you knew about before the inspection—and it may have even prompted the inspection. Plumbing issues that you may not have noticed are corrosion or some kind of damage to the pipes. In that case, they may recommend replacement of the affected pipes.

You may not be aware of some leaks that are ticking time bombs for your house. For example, pipes may be leaking into the foundation rather than into your home, which could cause extensive damage if not corrected.

It's impossible to say what a plumbing inspector will recommend for your home. However, it's wise to get the inspection done regardless. You want to know these issues ahead of time and you can alway get a second opinion if you doubt the recommendation.

Schedule an Inspection as Soon as Possible If You Suspect Problems

If you even suspect that there may be some plumbing issues with your house, or you're thinking about purchasing a home and want to make sure everything is good internally, a plumbing inspection is a low-cost way to prevent huge bills in the future. Contact a plumber near you and schedule an inspection right away, because you don’t want to wait when it comes to something as important as this.

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