Plumbing Systems

Below are some common plumbing systems that have a huge affect on your home, these components need attention and care for property working order.

Bathtubs and Showers

Bathtubs and showers need to be kept grouted and caulked. This is typically somewhat of an ongoing maintenance issue. You don’t want water entering behind the tiles and becoming trapped in the wall. This will cause the tiles to become loose on the wall and the wall itself to deteriorate. It will be best to use the original type of grout or caulk when making repairs. The one exception is, you should use a silicone caulk at the base of the tile around the bathtub. Getting in and out of the tub tends to separate grout at this seam. A soapy finger or spoon will leave a smooth finish when applying caulk.

Water Heaters

Gas Meter Leak

Water heaters should be flushed every year. The first thing that you will need to do is shut of the gas or power to the unit. Connect a garden hose to the valve at the base of the unit and begin draining the water heater.  Exercise caution while doing this, as the water will be hot! Leave the cold side shut off valve open in order to flush the unit properly. You will want to flush the water heater for about 5 minutes. If the drain valve drips slightly after being closed, take a metal hose cap and a washer and place it on the valve fitting. All water heaters have thermostats to regulate the temperature. Do not set it all the way up, especially if you have young children in the house. Someone could get burned.

All water heaters should have a temperature and pressure relief valve installed somewhere near top of the unit. The relief valve is designed to relieve pressure in the tank if the thermostat fails and the unit continues heating beyond the preset temperature. The drain line from that valve should empty to the outdoors. Make note and check that area occasionally for indications of leakage. The T&P drain line should never empty under a pier & beam house.

The plumbing lines that penetrate through the roof are vent pipes to your sewer system. Dangerous gases are vented out of the home through these vents. Sometimes they can be used to run a plumbing snake through to clear a clogged drainpipe.

Outside Faucets

Plumbing Leak Defect

Outside faucets play an important role in maintaining a home’s foundation and landscape. Leaky exterior faucets can lead to foundation problems if repairs are not made in a timely manner. Remember to disconnect all hoses from faucets before freezing weather sets in or the pipes in the wall may freeze and break. During exceptionally cold weather, open the sink cabinet doors at exterior wall. This will also help keep pipes from freezing.

It is a good idea to have a water meter key and wrench in the garage. You never know when you may need to shut the water to the home off quickly.

Updated: November 1, 2016 — 1:49 pm

The Author

Mike Martin, Dallas home inspector

ASHI Certified Real Estate Inspector, focused on home inspections in the North Dallas communities of McKinney, Plano, Park Cities and Frisco TX. Mike earned his license as a TREC-certified Professional Real Estate Inspector — the highest designation available right out of training. He joined Advanced Inspection Service in October 2013. Mike is also a Certified Swimming Pool Inspector and Certified Termite Inspector - See more at:
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