Plumbing Checks To Do Before Buying a New Home

The process of buying a new home brings with it a mix of excitement and potential risks. It marks the beginning of a new chapter, yet it also involves significant financial investment and decision-making.

As you embark on this journey, it’s crucial to be mindful of the various factors that contribute to the overall value and condition of the property. Among these factors, the plumbing system stands out as a critical element that warrants thorough evaluation.

Conducting comprehensive plumbing checks as part of the homebuying process is essential to avoid future problems and unexpected expenses. By paying close attention to the plumbing infrastructure before finalizing your purchase, you can ensure that your new home is equipped with a reliable and well-maintained system. This proactive approach not only provides peace of mind but also helps you make an informed decision based on the property’s overall condition and long-term maintenance needs.

Plumbing Checks

1. Run All Taps for Signs of Blockage

When conducting a plumbing check in a potential new home, it is essential to run all taps and showers to look for signs of blockage. This step is crucial as it can indicate underlying issues within the plumbing system.

To test for blockages, follow these steps:

  1. Turn on each tap individually and observe the flow rate. Limited flow or water coming out in fits and starts could be a sign of a blockage somewhere in the system.
  2. Pay attention to the water pressure. High pressure could potentially damage your pipes, while low water pressure could suggest a blockage. Explore our article for expert insights on identifying and resolving low water pressure issues effectively
  3. Inspect the quality of the water as it flows from the taps. If the water appears rusty or has a malodorous smell, this could be a sign of damaged pipes or contaminated water, which is a health hazard.

💡 Tip: Sometimes rusty water can be due to the faucet not being used for some time. However, to be on the safe side, it’s recommended to get the taps checked by a professional plumber to rule out any possibility of rusty or corroded pipelines.

Common problems with blockages include limited flow, low water pressure, and discolored water. These issues can stem from various causes such as rusted pipes or contamination. By identifying these signs during a plumbing check, you can address any potential problems before purchasing the property.

Remember, thorough testing of taps and showers is an essential part of evaluating the plumbing system in a new home. It provides valuable insights into the overall condition and functionality of the plumbing system, allowing you to make an informed decision about your potential purchase.

Next, let’s move on to another critical aspect of plumbing checks: checking for leaks and discoloration.

2. Checking for Leaks and Discoloration in the Plumbing System

When you’re inspecting a potential new home’s plumbing system, it’s important to pay close attention to any leaks and signs of water damage. Catching these problems early can save you from expensive repairs later on. Here are some key things to look out for:

Comprehensive inspection

Take the time to carefully examine all areas where leaks might occur, such as visible pipes, faucets, and ceilings. Keep an eye out for:

  • Water stains
  • Warping
  • Mold growth

These could be indications of hidden leaks behind walls or within the plumbing system. Here is how you can find a water leak inside a wall.

Water discoloration

Discolored water can be a warning sign of potential pipe issues. If you notice brown or yellowish water coming out of the taps, it could mean:

  • The pipes are rusted
  • There’s sediment buildup

Investigate where the discolored water is coming from and consider getting a professional opinion on how serious the problem is.

Toilet inspection

Don’t forget to check the toilets too! Flush each one thoroughly and watch out for:

  • Leaks around the base
  • Inconsistent water levels after flushing
  • Unusual odors or sounds

These could indicate underlying plumbing issues that need to be addressed.

Checking for leaks and discoloration is an important part of assessing the overall condition of a home’s plumbing system. By catching these problems early, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about whether to buy the house or negotiate repairs with the seller. Just keep in mind that while minor issues can usually be fixed easily, major plumbing problems may require more extensive repairs that could impact your budget.

3. How to Test the Hot Water System

When you’re looking at a potential new home, it’s important to check the hot water system to make sure it’s working well. Here are the steps to follow when testing the hot water system:

Step 1: Check for Consistent Hot Water Availability

  • Turn on the hot water taps in different areas of the house, such as sinks and showers.
  • Make sure that hot water is coming out consistently from all outlets.
  • If you notice any issues like a weak flow or sudden changes in temperature, there may be problems with the water heater or the way hot water is distributed throughout the house.

Step 2: Inspect the Water Heater

  • Take a look at the water heater tank and examine its condition.
  • Look for any signs of rust, corrosion, or leaks.
  • A well-maintained water heater is important for ensuring that you’ll have reliable hot water whenever you need it.

By carefully checking the hot water system, you can be confident that this essential part of the home is functioning properly, which will make your decision-making process easier.

4. How to Examine Sewer Lines in a Potential New Home

Assessing the condition of the sewer lines in a potential new home is crucial to avoid future sewage issues. By examining the sewer lines, you can identify and address any potential problems before they become major headaches.

Signs of Sewer Line Problems

Pay attention to these signs that may indicate that you need sewer lines repair or replacement:

  • Foul odors coming from drains or slow drainage
  • Water backing up into sinks, toilets, or showers

These could be indications of clogged or damaged sewer pipes.

Plumbing Checks - Tree Root Intrusion

Tree Root Intrusion

Tree roots are one of the leading causes of sewer line clogs. Over time, tree roots can infiltrate the pipes and cause blockages, leading to backups and possible pipe damage. If there are large trees near the property, it’s important to inspect the sewer lines for any signs of tree root intrusion. Find out more about how you can get rid of the roots in your sewer line.

Risk of Pipe Deterioration

Older homes may have deteriorating sewer pipes made from materials like clay or cast iron. These pipes are more prone to cracks, leaks, and collapses. It’s vital to assess the condition of these pipes to prevent potential sewage backups and costly repairs in the future.

To thoroughly evaluate the condition of the sewer lines, it’s recommended to hire a professional plumber who can conduct a camera inspection. This involves inserting a small camera into the pipes to visually inspect their condition and identify any potential issues.

💡 Expert Tip: A professional plumber will have the expertise and equipment to accurately assess the sewer lines and provide recommendations for repairs or replacements if necessary.

Remember, neglecting sewer line issues can result in significant problems down the line that are both inconvenient and expensive to fix. Taking the time to examine the sewer lines before purchasing a new home will help ensure a smooth transition into your new property without any unpleasant surprises.

5. Contact Previous Owners and Schedule a Professional Plumbing Inspection

Information from Previous Owners

If you’re considering buying a house, it’s a good idea to contact the previous owners and ask them about the property’s plumbing maintenance history. They might be able to provide valuable insights into any issues or repairs that have been done in the past. However, keep in mind that this should not replace a thorough inspection by a licensed plumber.

Professional Inspection

While getting information from the previous owners can be helpful, it’s still important to have a professional plumbing inspection before making your final decision. Hiring a licensed plumber with experience in conducting homebuyers’ inspections can give you peace of mind knowing that no hidden plumbing issues will be overlooked.

Plumbing Expertise

As one of the leading plumbing companies in Chicago, Lifetime Plumbing has extensive experience in providing comprehensive plumbing services, including pre-purchase inspections. Our team of skilled plumbers in Chicago can thoroughly assess the condition of the plumbing system in the house you’re interested in and identify any potential problems.

Safety Priority

When it comes to buying a home, safety should always be a top priority. The plumbing system plays a crucial role in maintaining the safety and integrity of a house. By prioritizing a professional plumbing inspection, you can ensure that you’re making an informed decision and avoid potential costly repairs down the line.


In summary, conducting thorough plumbing checks before buying a new home is essential to evaluate water flow and prevent costly water damage issues. By following the steps outlined in this article, prospective homebuyers can ensure the safety and integrity of the plumbing system.

Here are the key points to remember:

  1. Run all taps and showers to check for signs of blockage, such as limited flow or rusty water.
  2. Examine the house for leaks and discoloration, paying attention to visible pipes, faucets, ceilings, and toilets.
  3. Test out the hot water system by running hot water from different outlets and inspecting the water heater for any signs of damage.
  4. Evaluate the condition of sewer lines to avoid potential sewage issues, considering signs like foul odors or slow drains.
  5. Reach out to previous owners for insights into the property’s plumbing maintenance history but schedule a professional plumbing inspection for a comprehensive evaluation.

To ensure a smooth and worry-free homebuying process in Chicago, it is highly recommended to schedule a professional plumbing inspection with Lifetime Plumbing. Our experienced plumbers will conduct a thorough assessment, ensuring that no hidden issues are overlooked.

Prioritize the safety and integrity of the plumbing system when making your final decision on a home purchase.

Plumbing Checks To Do Before Buying a New Home

Need help? Hire the Lifetime Plumbing experts today by giving us a call on (773) 595-1867.