When buying a home, there are various things to consider, from the location and size of the property to its architectural design and layout. However, plumbing and electrical work are two of the most important aspects of a home that most people overlook.
These two elements play critical roles in a home’s comfort, safety, and convenience, and paying close attention to them when buying a property is essential. It’s also important to enlist help from architectural consultants to help you evaluate plumbing and electrical considerations as they also assess the whole house. Below are a few plumbing and electrical issues you should consider when buying a home.
You should thoroughly examine the plumbing elements before buying a house, especially if it’s your first home. From the sewer lines to the toilets, you must inspect everything beforehand to avoid issues that can cost you a lot of money after buying the house.
Assessing the plumbing system is one of the crucial tips for buying your first home. A properly-functioning plumbing system is essential for your daily household chores, such as cooking, washing, and cleaning, and for your health and comfort. Here are some key plumbing considerations to keep in mind when buying a home.
Water Supply Pipes
Over the years, the materials used for water supply pipes have changed from galvanized steel to copper and plastic. So, the home you’re considering has steel pipes, it’s a sign that they’re outdated and will need to be replaced eventually due to corrosion. If the lines consist of a mix of different materials, this could indicate that repairs have been made and there may be numerous problems.
If you’re buying the house, immediately replace any pipes made of cast iron, polybutylene, or lead. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes are usually not approved for indoor use; thus, they must be upgraded. Consult a plumber to assess the pipes in the home to determine their age, the materials they’re made of, and whether they must be replaced or are safe to use.
Check Plumbing Fixtures
Inspecting all toilets, showers, sinks, and bathtubs for leaks and proper functioning is essential. The faucets should be easy to use, and when fully turned on, the water should flow down the drain without filling the basin. It should also apply to the toilets. Flush each toilet and ensure the water drains completely and the bowl refills to the proper level.
Take note of the age of each fixture. Ensure the fixtures are modern and blend well with the room’s design style. Examine whether they need replacement or a plumbing upgrade to align with your design plans if you buy the house.
Hot Water System
Hot water is a vital aspect of daily living, but it may not be included in the seller’s inspection. Investing in a new water heater can be expensive, so it’s essential to know its condition before deciding to buy the home. Enlist help from a professional to examine the following closely:
- Evidence of rust or corrosion
- The tank’s age
- Any issues with the emergency gas shut-off valve
While having an outdated or faulty water heater may not be a deciding factor in purchasing a home, it’s vital to be aware of its condition.
The seller’s inspection process may only entail checking if water runs from the faucets, ignoring a crucial aspect of home usability—plumbing pressure. Low water pressure not only makes everyday tasks like washing dishes or showering more challenging, but it can also be an early sign of a leak. On the contrary, high plumbing pressure can cause pipes to rupture, affect toilets and appliances like ice makers, and lead to breakdowns.
Contact a plumbing professional to examine the water pressure and alert you of other potential issues. If the pressure is too low or high, it might indicate other problems you should be aware of before buying a home.
The electrical safety of a home is a crucial matter that could impact your decision to buy or sell a property. Here are some electrical concerns to keep in mind during the home-buying process.
During a home inspection, one of your top priorities is identifying any potential hazards, particularly electrical hazards, which can lead to various dangerous outcomes, such as fires and electrocution.
If you’re buying an older home, check to see if the electrical work has been updated and that the wiring doesn’t pose any imminent or future risks. Electrical hazards that could result in electrocution or shock are significant warning signs and should be a priority for repairs before finalizing the sale.
Before buying a home, check the electrical outlets to ensure they’re well-grounded. Checking out the electrical outlets helps prevent potential hazards when plugging in appliances. Any damaged electrical outlets pose a safety risk and may indicate more substantial issues.
The placement of wall and switch outlets will also be evaluated, especially in areas prone to moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms. The kitchen outlets require extra testing because they supply power to essential appliances in the home.
Check The Electrical Panel
The electrical panel is consistently a key focus during a home inspection, as it acts as the central control for all electrical systems in the home. Panels that are improperly labeled, malfunctioning, outdated, or vulnerable to moisture exposure pose severe risks to your safety while living in the house.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are a critical safety consideration for homeowners and should be evaluated during a home inspection. These devices are built to protect against electrical shock and electrocution by quickly shutting off power to a circuit in the event of a ground fault. GFCIs are required in areas with potential exposure to water, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor spaces.
In older homes, it’s essential to ensure that the electrical system includes GFCIs and is in good working order. Upgrading to GFCIs can help prevent electrical accidents and ensure the safety of those living in the home. Regularly testing these devices is also critical to ensuring they function correctly. When buying a home, it’s wise to ensure that the electrical system includes GFCIs and that they’ve been maintained to ensure the safety of the residents.
A home’s plumbing and electrical systems are crucial factors when buying a house. From the water pressure to the condition of the electrical panel, these systems are essential to your comfort and safety. A thorough home inspection can help identify potential issues and ensure your new home is in good condition for occupancy.
It’s always advisable to work with a licensed and experienced inspector or structural engineer for residential work to ensure that your home is inspected thoroughly and that you are fully informed about any necessary repairs or upgrades. When buying a home, investing in plumbing and electrical systems is a smart move that’ll pay off in the long run.