Do I Need a Plumbing Inspection?
Gurgle, gurgle. Hiss. If you immediately recognize these sounds from any plumbing in your Austin, TX, home, it could indicate you’re in need of a home plumbing inspection. The whole idea of a plumbing inspection is to head off any potential big plumbing issues in your home––to avert a disaster or needed insurance claim. But why do so many people not have one then? They probably don’t realize these inspections should be part of their regular home-maintenance plan.
What Exactly Is a Plumbing Inspection?
A home plumbing inspection is a whole-house plumbing system examination by a licensed plumber, like ours at AiRCO. It’s best to be proactive and schedule an inspection before anything goes wrong with your plumbing. It’ll be less costly to know about a potential issue before it becomes a full-fledged, expensive problem. But if you suspect something amiss, like strange gurgling sounds in your pipes or toilets, call to schedule an inspection. Of course, if you already have a toilet overflow or a pipe leak, at this point you need a plumber’s repair, not an inspection. So don’t wait. Plumbing problems rarely, if ever, resolve themselves––unfortunately, they just get bigger and more expensive.
When your plumber inspects your home’s plumbing, basically he or she primarily looks at your plumbing system from where it enters your home (from on the street with “city water” or from your well), through your home, and back out through the drain lines. Your plumber will look at both the supply side of your system, as well as the drainage side, and be sure everything is up to code in regard to both installation and materials used. A complete check of your water heater will also be included in the inspection.
Here are some things that should be part of your plumbing inspection (where applicable):
• Interior faucets checked
• Water pressure checked
• All sinks inspected
• Undercounter pipes checked
• Garbage disposal inspected
• All toilets inspected
• Exposed waste stacks checked
• Proper operation of sump pump checked
• Sump pump discharge line checked
• Backup sump pump inspected
• Shutoff valves labeled and inspected
• Water softener checked
• Sewer ejector pump and vents checked
• Septic tank maintenance tips offered
• Well tank/city water supply/meter inspected
• Outside spigots checked
• Water heater checked:
–– Temperature and pressure safety relief valve checked
–– Water leaks checked for
–– Main burner/pilot checked
–– Condition of wiring on electric water heaters checked
How Often Do I Need One?
Simply put, you should have a plumbing inspection by a licensed plumber every year––or sooner if you suspect you have a plumbing issue. If you live in an older home or have mature trees with complex root systems, you may need to consider scheduling an inspection every season rather than only annually. For an annual inspection, many people like to schedule theirs when the weather changes, particularly in the spring after winter’s effects on any pipes––like freezing them. But anytime of year will work well.
Can I Do Anything at Home Myself Between Inspections?
There are definitely things you can keep your eye on to help between your licensed plumber’s inspections. This makes you proactive and more apt to spot a potential issue before it evolves into an actual problem.
Every week you could check all the hot and cold faucets in your home, including showerheads, tub faucets, and outdoor spigots, for low water pressure, water sputters, water discoloration, and strange noises. All the drains could be checked for bad odors and slow drainage. Then every month or so you could check your water heater for corrosion and leaks, your emergency shutoff valves for their efficacy and leaks, and your exposed pipes for corrosion and leaks. If you notice any abnormalities, call your plumber.
An annual home plumbing inspection is more than a proactive maintenance appointment. It’s an investment in your home, saving you both money and headaches in the long run. Call one of our licensed AiRCO plumbers at 512.537.1234 to schedule your plumbing inspection or if you suspect you may have a plumbing issue.