plumber inspecting a sinkHere are a few simple plumbing tips for anyone looking to buy a home this summer, whether it’s your primary home or a vacation getaway.

As you know, the real estate market is sizzling hot right now. In many communities, sellers receive multiple offers within days of listing their property for sale. Some realtors report that homes are selling for nearly 97 percent of their list price. When the market is hot, there is a tendency to move quickly for fear of losing out. But moving too quickly on a purchase can bring a lot of headaches.

Among other things, you’ll want to make sure the plumbing system in the home you’re considering is in good shape. We strongly suggest you have a home inspected by a professional property inspector. A thorough inspection will identify what needs to be fixed and will include an estimate of expenses you’ll incur making things right. This is incredibly valuable information because it will affect how much you’re willing to pay for the home. But even before you get an inspector in, there are a few tests you can do on your own. Here’s a few simple tests anyone can and should do before putting a bid in on a house or condo.

Check the water pressure. Turn on the water in the kitchen sink and then turn on the water in a bathroom and see what happens to the water flow. A slight decrease in pressure is usually not a problem, but a noticeable dropoff in volume could be an indication of calcium deposits built up in the supply lines. Sometimes the only way to fix this is to replace water lines, and that can be expensive.

Check water pipes in the basement for signs of mineral deposits or leaks. Are there signs the water lines have recently been repaired? The homeowner is required to disclose problems that needed to be fixed, but many don’t volunteer this information until asked.

Check the area around the toilet to see if there’s any water damage. Straddle the toilet and rock from one foot to another to see if the floor feels spongy. If so, the sub-floor likely needs to be torn out and replaced because of an untreated leak.

Feel the walls around the bathtub. Press on the tiles to see if the wall is solid. Again, if you detect loose tiles or if the wall seems soft or spongy, you probably have a problem hidden from view. Let this send up a red flag.

Check out the water heater. How old is it? How big is it? Will it be adequate for your family’s needs? Todays water heaters are very fuel efficient, whereas the older models can really use a lot of electricity. If the tank you’re inspecting is more than 10 years old, it’s probably an inefficient tank. If it’s more than 15 years old, you should consider replacing it immediately.

Finally, when in doubt, call The Plumbing Source with any questions you have. ┬áIn fact, if you’re the seller, you can have us come out to your house to do a pre-listing inspection of your plumbing system so you’ll be able to fix the problems before even listing your house for sale.

Need to make repairs? Call us anytime toll free at 877-768-7239 and we’ll schedule a trip to your home at your convenience. We’re plumbing, heating and air conditioning experts who can assess your problems and fix them in a timely, professional manner.

Remember, when you call The Plumbing Source, you’ve made the right call!