3 Plumbing Questions and Answers You Need Before Buying a House

3 Plumbing Questions and Answers You Need Before Buying a House

Knowing the right plumbing questions and answers you need can save you a lot of money in repairs. Read on to learn more about what questions you should be asking before you sign any mortgage papers.

1. Has the Sewer Line Been Replaced?

One of the first questions you should ask when buying a home is if the sewer line has been replaced. In the old days, these lines were made of clay tile or cast iron piping. But over time, these lines can wear out and become vulnerable to tree roots and leaks.

If the current homeowner says the sewer line has been replaced, ask how recently. If it hasn’t, request a camera inspection of the line. You want to look for any signs that there are tree roots or leaks in the line and that there aren’t any clogs causing problems in the line.

2. Has the Exterior Water Line Been Replaced?

Aside from the exterior sewer line, you also need to check on whether the lines that supply water to the house have been replaced since the original construction. Lead piping was common in water lines in older homes, so it’s crucial that you make sure these have been replaced. Lead poisoning can be incredibly dangerous for you and your family.

But even if the pipes aren’t made of lead, they may still need to be replaced. Galvanized pipes made of iron and coated with a layer of zinc were common in older constructions, and they tend to spring leaks after a few decades. You might also have polybutylene, a material popular in construction from the 1980s and 1990s that was the subject of a class-action lawsuit that proved the pipes were defective.

3. Have the Interior Water Lines Been Replaced?

Making sure your exterior water lines have been replaced is important, but making sure the interior water lines are intact is crucial. Not only could you risk the personal dangers from lead pipes, you could also risk damage to your house if these pipes have sprung a leak. If the current owners haven’t recently replaced the interior pipes, there are a few things you can look for that can indicate leaks or water damage. 

Look for soft spots in the floor around sinks, toilets, and other water sources in the house. On the pipes you can see, check for discoloration, rust, and corrosion. Water stains on the walls or ceilings can also be an indicator that the interior pipes have begun to break down somewhere.