If you have had a water leakage problem or a clogged toilet, you know that plumbing damage is not for the faint-hearted. Yes, water is a useful resource, and a house without it is a shed. But with it comes a lot of caution and maintenance. You don’t want to have a night of “rain” in your bedroom or a swimming pool in your washroom. That is a total nightmare.
A plumbing inspection checks for damages in the property’s piping system. It includes leaks, corrosion, outdoor piping, and sewer line health checks. Such an inspection can reveal your plumbing problems and help you undertake repairs before they escalate. Plumbing inspection costs are cheaper than total overhaul repairs, so it makes financial sense to assess your plumbing beforehand.
Regardless of these grave repercussions related to plumbing problems in homes, property owners still overlook inspection. This is mainly done in order to avoid plumbing inspection costs. But what exactly are these costs? read on to find out.
Is a Plumbing Inspection Important for Homebuyers?
Absolutely! As a real estate investor, a plumbing inspection will help you uncover the filth inside the pipework of your new home. It is part of the real estate due diligence that you should undertake before committing to buying a property. Failure to do this before buying a home can result in serious maintenance costs and loss of rental income. Plus, only a few tenants will have the patience to live in a house that has a ‘water problem’.
As you consult on what properties to buy for investment, you are to look at the infrastructure of the particular home. Highlight the different areas where you think there might be a problem, especially in the pipework.
But to an untrained eye, looking inside the kitchen cabinets or under the sink may be the last thing you will remember. Let a professional inspector check the house for plumbing efficiency. Then you can decide whether to buy the house if the repair is workable to your budget and consequently your investment plan. You may be surprised to know that some sewer lines in old homes have roots in them that cause a drainage hustle. This will be something you will want to run away from indefinitely.
And how often should you do a plumbing inspection of your home? The recommended time frame is every two years. However, as a new buyer doing it is highly recommended. Houses that are more than 20 years old should have plumbing systems checked. The same goes for houses surrounded by many trees where roots tend to destroy the sewer line, or if your home inspector recommends that you do one.
Plumbing Inspection Costs: How Much Will You Pay?
The average cost in the US is about $200 for a plumbing inspection. This price may vary depending on the state and extent of work involved. If the inspector checks the sewer line only, the cost may be lower than when doing a full board inspection.
Which is better? If possible, a full house plumbing inspection, complete with a sewer line inspection. This way, you can comfortably say that your pipework is sorted. You no longer have to worry about a sudden pipe burst in the middle of the night.
It’s important to note that the plumbing inspection cost does not include repair costs. You will have to pay extra for that; $250 on average. The good thing is that you can diagnose the problem early enough, preventing a possible large-scale repair cost.
And How Much Does a Sewer Line Inspection Cost?
The cost of sewer inspection in the US is between $300 to $500 for a standard full-length sewer line. Some inspectors will charge an hourly rate, while others opt for a cost per foot of sewer line checked. Ask your inspector what metric they use so that you can track your expenses.
What Is Included in a Plumbing Inspection?
As mentioned earlier, plumbing inspection covers water inlets and outlets piping into the house, water heating systems, outdoor plumbing, and your sewer line. But these are broad categories, so here is a more direct pointer to what these inspections cover:
- Water heater- checking for leakages, and operational efficiency
- Toilets-checking for leaks and clogs in the line
- Bathtubs-checking for leaks in the piping
- Showers-checking for leakages on joints
- Faucets-checking for leaks, and maintaining the serviceable parts
- Sinks-checking for leaks
- Hose spigots-checking for leakages, rust, and corrosion
- Plumbing pipes-checking for leaks, rust, and corrosion
- Sewer line- checking for leaks, and blockages
Types of Plumbing Inspections
Visual Plumbing Inspection
The inspector will look for physical leakages on pipes, sinks, baths, and adjust the fasteners. He will also note any required repairs. He then provides you with an inspection report based on what he has assessed. The report will include:
- The repair cost estimates
- What you will need to buy as material
- The extent of the issue (urgent, important, can wait, etc.).
You can then decide to hire them or hang on to the report for your DIY work.
Camera Plumbing Inspection
While house pipework may be visible, some inspections may need adept tools to manage. Underground pipes and sewer lines are accessed using a camera. The camera can snake through the sewer pipe and take real-time images of the interior.
The inspector can note exactly which section of the pipe has a problem. The process lifts the repair costs by a significant amount. You will not do a whole sewer line replacement, which can cost anything from $7,000. The price is way higher than the $200 paid as plumbing inspection cost. The camera inspection is perfect for all underground plumbing that is impossible with a visual inspection. Ask for a recording of the camera record for future assessment.
With a combo inspection, the plumbing is checked visually, and confirmation is done for interior clearance with a camera. The inspector will sight any blockage, rust, and corrosion in your pipes. A combo inspection is the most recommended plumbing inspection before buying an investment property.
How Do You Hire a Plumbing Inspector?
Hiring the right person for the job is always the key to getting it done faster and efficiently. Hiring an inspector to check your plumbing works is a step towards making sure you buy a safe property, safeguarding your investment. A good way is to get recommendations of a good plumbing inspector from your real estate agent. They have these contacts, and they can be of more use than selling you a house.
You can also contact a plumbing company in your area to have a look at the pipework. If you have a qualified and licensed plumber, then contract him to check the pipes for you. He will be cheaper so you can always call him to fix your new home.
When choosing a plumbing inspector, ensure that they are qualified and have certifications to do the job. In America, inspectors must have relevant licensing and be registered by the appropriate professional bodies. There are for mainboards registering plumbing inspectors:
- American Society of Home Inspectors
- National Association of Certified Home Inspectors
- National Association of Sewer Service Companies
- American Home Inspectors Training
Ask for a full report from your inspector which illustrates the full plumbing inspection cost and the repair costs. Let the breakdown of the repairs be done so that you can understand what costs what amount. This way it will be easier for you to contact a local plumber to do the repairs. If your inspection had a camera check, then ask for a copy of the footage too.
Another thing you should ask before the inspector starts work is what the plumbing inspection covers. You don’t want to think that you had a good deal only to realize that you bargained for a visual pipe check only.
Who Pays for the Property Plumbing Inspection? The Buyer or the Seller?
It is the responsibility of the seller to make sure that he sells you a clean house. However, you cannot leave it to chance that they will be honest in their dealings, especially on repair issues like plumbing. They know this may scare you from purchasing, so mostly they will say nothing.
To safeguard your investment, be sure to have an inspection done on both the home and the plumbing system. You can note what it will cost in repairs to make it an income-generating venture. Note that the cash on cash return will be defined by the total cash flow from the investment. A positive cash flow is achievable when you have lesser expenses attached to the property.
So are plumbing inspection costs worth it to you as a home buyer? Yes. Pay for a plumbing inspector to avoid buying a faulty property with high maintenance costs. It is cheaper than doing extensive repairs to a wrecked piping system. The same goes for sewer line inspection costs-totally justifiable.
A plumbing inspection is a crucial part for any home buyer looking to invest in a new property. It will reduce the stress involved in repairs and leakages, giving you peace of mind. Not to mention the stable income from the rental investment. So next time you are looking for a home, make a plumbing inspection your top priority.
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