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Common Plumbing Problems Found by Home Inspectors

Buying and Selling a Home In Tucson, Potential Plumbing Problems

Before you buy a previously-loved home, it is important that you first have a home inspection done. Otherwise, you may miss something important that could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in the future.

Plumbing may not be easily visible. However, it is important to keep it in mind when conducting home inspections. Often, the biggest concerns discovered by home inspectors are drainage issues and moisture that can trigger dry rot, mold, and structural damage. Slow drains, insufficient water pressure, and visible leak stains may all indicate plumbing problems.

Remember, once the sale is done, you will be the one to shoulder all necessary repairs. Getting a professional home inspection before deciding to buy a home will help you avoid unnecessary spending on repairs.

Having said that, here are some of the most common plumbing problems encountered during inspections done by home inspectors:



Outdated Pipes

PE or polyethylene pipes can be used in homes, but only for turn off valves in water mains as well as in water pressure tanks. They are, however, not to legal code for home use for any other application. Make sure that there are no out of date pipes installed in the home you are planning to buy.

Galvanized Pipes

Before the 1960s, a lot of houses used galvanized pipes. These lead pipes were coated with zinc. The problem is, zinc erodes over time, and there is danger that lead may seep into your home’s water supply. These pipes should be replaced before you move in.

Pipe Obstructions


If you are buying an older home, check if there are tree root growths that could possibly affect the pipes. Problematic or outdated systems are also common pipe issues that are detected by inspections.

Polybutylene Pipes

A kind of plastic resin, polybutylene is used in manufacturing water pipes as a cheap copper alternative from 1978 to 1995. Recent findings reveal that oxidants such as chlorine, which is present in public water supplies, can make the material brittle. This will result to micro fractures that can trigger system failure, as well as damage to personal property and the building’s structure. Because of the inherent weaknesses in PB, it is no longer accepted by the building code of both the U.S.

Broken Pipes


A lot of things can lead to a broken pipe. For example, you may accidentally crush a drain line while parking your car or you may crack a pipe while completing a DIY project.

Corroded Pipes

Rust build up or corrosion around or inside your pipes can result to blockages or decreased water pressure and flow in the household. Thus, it is important to replace rusty pipes right away.

Read more about the types of pipes plumbers use.

Clogs in the Sewer Line

Gurgling sounds, slow draining problems, and backups are often signs of a sewer line clog. This makes it difficult to get rid of waste from your home. It can also force water to back up, leading to leaks. Tree root growth is one of the most prevalent causes of clogs. The problem will only worsen if you don’t address it right away.

Leaks in the Walls

Leaks running inside your walls are hard to spot. Often, you will only begin to suspect that they are there once you notice your water bill climbing because of the slow leaking, or when you see mildew/mold growth, or damage to your flooring and/or drywall. The best way to identify the problem is through a professional inspection of your interior.

Water Heater Problems

Water heater replacement can be quite costly. You may be experiencing early damage with the presence of the following signs:

Some of these reasons may indicate your new potential home needs a new water heater or at the very least serviced by an experienced licensed plumber.

While these problems may be common and easily detected, it is best that the job be left to the hands of professionals like Spartan Plumbing. We have trained manpower and the necessary equipment for any plumbing job.