When doing a home inspection, more often we get caught up with the outward aspect of the home. Plumbing like water pipes is one undetectable area that you shouldn't disregard to check.
Water Pipes – Drip, Drip, Drip
Water pipes may not exactly be the most lovely feature of a home. Most water piping in homes are perfectly acceptable in quality to keep you in hot showers while you live there and take care of all your water needs. However, if there is a problem with the interior water pipes, that is when you are in for a very costly and troublesome experience. Most common problem with water pipes is its location inside the house. They are kept out of sight usually behind the walls which is good from a visual perspective. But what if it starts leaking or suddenly breaks inside your wall? Water leaks don't just cause structural damage, they can also cause pest infestations posing a risk to your family's health. A ruptured pipe can also lead to flooding, new carpets, rebuilt walls and huge bills.
So here's how you can assess the water pipes in your home or during inspection and its usual issues.
- Copper – is relatively easy to work with because it is much softer than iron or lead. It can be considered as the best piping material for water pipes. It can function well for a considerable length of time and insusceptible to hard deposit build ups which can impact the amount of water flowing through the pipes. Copper pipes are also the sign of a quality construction effort as they tend to be more high-priced than alternatives.
- PVC – These kind of pipes are often used on sprinkler system or from the main street line to the house. If you see it anywhere other than mentioned, red flags should wave before your eyes. The presence of PVC piping is a sign of an owner doing the piping themselves, as most construction companies will not use PVC. In a majority of locations, such use of PVC is outright illegal. You may want to reconsider buying a home with PVC piping in the walls.
- Iron Pipes – This was pretty much the standard in home construction for a long time. There is nothing particularly wrong with using such piping with one exception. Iron piping is sensitive to water and will rust over time. If you find this such in a home, ask when it was installed and check for rust. Iron piping should last roughly 30 years without any major problems. If replacements must be made, go with copper.
Water is an important part of our daily lives so don't leave yourself vulnerable to any failures when it comes to plumbing. Repairs can be expensive so go for water pipes which are not just safe for you and your family, but can also hold out against the effects of time and usage.