spotting plumbing concerns new homes

Tips for Spotting Plumbing Concerns in New SLC Homes

Anytime you’re moving into a new home, you naturally have a number of factors you’ll be thinking about. And when it comes to ascertaining the quality of the new home, one of the most important areas to keep an eye on as an upcoming homeowner is the plumbing system.

At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric, we’re proud to offer numerous residential plumbing services throughout Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah, including assistance to new homeowners looking to assess the state of their system and make any required fixes soon after they’ve moved in. While you’re still in the process of finalizing your home deal, the ability to spot potential plumbing concerns might allow you the time to ask the seller to remedy these concerns (or credit you money in exchange for you doing so), so it’s vital to keep an eye out. Even if you don’t have much plumbing knowledge, here are some basic methods to keep in mind when visually inspecting a new home to ensure the plumbing system is in good working order.

Common New Home Plumbing Issues

Firstly, let’s go over some of the most common plumbing issues found in new homes, or homes that have recently been purchased — including those that sellers may try to hide:

  • Leaking issues: Sinks, toilets, showers, and other home fixtures can be an indication of a larger leakage issue. In addition to these lesser-noticed leaks, check for any obvious signs of major water damage or moisture seepage in the basement or crawl space.
  • Fixture issues: You may also want to check out the overall condition of sinks, faucets, and toilets in various parts of the home. If you spot any fixture issues right after moving in, these can also be signs of a larger issue: For instance, if you find a toilet is running with every flush and wasting hundreds of gallons of water each week, this could signify that there’s an internal problem or blockage that will require professional assistance.
  • Potential signs of flooding or other significant water damage: As part of your overall inspection, you may also want to take note of any potential warning signs that an area has suffered major flooding in the past. For instance, if you notice mold on the walls at one point under the sinks or within a crawl space, this could be a sign that there was some sort of water damage in the past.

Our next several sections will go over some simple practices to help you identify these issues before it’s too late.

Visual Inspection

Whether it’s during an initial home tour or any other occasion, you’ll want to closely inspect your new home’s plumbing system. As part of this inspection, you should be looking for issues like rusting pipes, visible cracks or leaks, and other problems that could lead to water damage or severe malfunctions down the line. You might even take some time to familiarize yourself with your house’s various plumbing fixtures so you can detect any problems quickly during an initial walk-through.

Check for Water Leaks

One of the quickest ways to spot problematic pipes or signs of past leakage is to simply turn on all of your home’s faucets and take a peek at the areas around them for any telltale moisture seeping from the corners. This step is especially important to include in your initial walk-through, as you can’t be sure if there have been any recent basement floods or other issues that might lead to serious problems down the road — and if you do spot any moisture on your pipes or fixtures, this is a telltale sign that more work will be needed.

In addition to looking for suspicious wet spots on your home’s flooring (and ceilings), take some time to check for rust along the water lines as well as around your toilets and sinks. This corrosion is often a telltale sign of water damage, and it may be time to call in professional help.

Test Water Pressure

Another excellent way to ensure your home’s plumbing is in good condition is to actually test the water pressure. This can be done simply by turning on a faucet and letting it run for several minutes without interruption. You’ll want to make sure that water pressure remains at a strong level throughout the duration of its operation; if you notice any sudden drops during this test, there’s likely an issue with your home’s water system somewhere that will need to be addressed by a professional.

Look (and Listen) for Clogs

As you move through your house’s plumbing system, you might also want to take a look for any signs of blockage or clog in your sinks and toilets. In particular, if there aren’t any visible sources for this issue — such as visible buildup in the pipes — it may be time to call a plumber just to be safe.

You’ll also want to listen closely to the sounds that various fixtures make as you turn them on and off. We all know that toilets sometimes make weird gurgling or swishing noises when they’re operating, but if you hear any hissing from your sinks, it could be a sign that the water is leaking somewhere else in the line — and this will definitely need to be addressed by a professional.

Beware of Suspicious Odors

On a final note, it’s also important to be on the lookout for any strange smells coming from your home’s plumbing system. Now, the smell of natural gas isn’t anything out of the ordinary when it comes to homes with furnaces or other heating devices installed, but the smell of sewer gas or any other noxious odors could be a sign that your drainage system is having some trouble.

For more on how to inspect the plumbing system of a new home to ensure there aren’t major issues lurking beneath the surface, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services in SLC or other parts of Utah, speak to the team at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric today.