Is there anything more stressful than moving?
Short answer: no.
Long answer: noooooooooooooo.
Moving is a universally stressful experience. You have to pack up your entire life and transport it to a new place where you might not know anyone. When you get there, you have to do things like stake out the local schools, find a great emergency plumber, and try not to kill your kids when their indoor football game causes the movers to drop your favorite vase. Moving is hard enough, so the last thing thing you should have to worry about is finding out that the real estate agent lied about the quality of your new home’s plumbing.
Why do real estate agents do this? Simple! If they sell a house they get a commission. Real estate agents are devoted to one thing: selling you a house and making money. Good ones will also try and ensure that the house they sell you gives your family a good quality of life. There is no guarantee that your agent is one of the good ones, so we put together a checklist of things that you need to inspect yourself before agreeing to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into any home.
What does the water smell/taste/look like?
When you’re deciding to buy a house, make sure that you turn on every faucet. Run the hot and cold water for a few minutes each, noting what the water smells and looks like. Make sure to run those taps both separately and together. You’re looking for symptoms like: a chlorine smell that’s “too strong”, discoloration of any kind, or a sulfur smell, etc. If the water smells and looks OK, the next step is to run some water into a perfectly clear glass and check it for anything floating in it. Small floating white or black specks for example aren’t necessarily harmful, but are absolutely worth looking into further. Taste is also important, but we recommend you wait until after you’ve followed the last item on this list before tasting this untested water.
Do the toilets flush?
While non-flushing toilets are a relatively easy fix, this isn’t something you want to be surprised with during the first day living at your new house. Give all toilets a quick flush during your walk through. You’re checking to see that it flushes quickly, doesn’t clog, and fills right back up again without running for ages.
Do the sinks work properly?
While looking at your new house, turn on the hot and cold water taps both separately and together. You want to ensure that the water adjusts to the temperature you need quickly. Another thing to be sure of is that any garbage disposals in your house work, and that the drains empty within a reasonable amount of time.
Are there any issues with the boiler?
If your boiler is leaking or broken, it isn’t just inconvenient, it’s potentially dangerous. Have a plumber do an inspection of your boiler before moving in to be sure that it’s in good condition. Your plumber can also tell you if you have the right size boiler for your particular house’s needs. If your boiler is too large and you put in a smaller more suitable one, that will lower your bills greatly over time.
Are there any leaks or drips?
Leaks are inconvenient and can be costly if left unchecked. Leaks can both raise your water bill and damage property via mold and/or water stains. While you should check for leaks when you’re turning all your taps on and off, there are often hidden leaks which can be harder to detect. A great way to check for those leaks is to read the water meter twice during a two hour period while the house is unoccupied, once at the beginning and once at the end. If there is a difference in the water levels in two hours when no one is home, there’s a leak somewhere.
Is the water contaminated?
If you only look into one of the items on this inspection checklist, please make it this one. A house with contaminated water can not only be incredibly costly, but harmful as well. Have a certified expert come to your house and take samples for analysis before you agree to move anywhere, as you could have old lead pipes or other contaminants ruining the safety and quality of your water.
Do not rely solely on the seller’s expert for this! You want an independent, third-party expert you hire yourself with no stake in the outcome of the test to be the one performing it. Testing for contamination will reveal hidden problems such as invasive roots damaging the pipes, chemical contamination, lead, rust, and many more. It’s also a good idea to have the water tester come directly to your house and take the sample themselves, to be sure that your seller can’t argue that any issues are the results of your sample taking abilities.
If you’re moving into a new house and need a great Las Vegas plumber to go over this list with you, or for help with any other plumbing issues, visit Pure Plumbing Las Vegas, or call us at (702) 710-7388.