As a new homeowner, you may not know exactly what to look for when inspecting the bathrooms of a home. I was lucky enough to have a home inspector (and a plumber) who walked me through the whole process. There are many things to take into consideration. In addition to checking floors, walls and ceilings, there are substantial plumbing issues to consider. Your home inspector should know what to look for, but a little basic knowledge will help you understand the process. Here’s what you and your home inspector should look for when inspecting the bathroom of your potential new home.
Loose tiles in or around the tub or shower could indicate a water leak. They could also simply be a sign of poor construction. You and your home inspector should pay close attention when encountering loose tiles on your bathroom inspection.
Does the water work? It’s surprising how many new homeowners or renters never even bother to check. Turn on each faucet in the bathroom to see that water runs and has adequate pressure. This includes the sink, tub, shower and toilet. Does water properly divert from tub to shower if applicable? Be sure to check for signs of leaks and water damage as well.
Hot and Cold
How about that water temperature? Do you have adequate hot water? Home inspectors will often leave water running to see how long the hot water lasts. It also gives them a better idea of drain problems and leaks. While you’re at it, are the hot and cold water reversed? This can be a big problem when it comes to your morning shower.
When flushing the toilet, check for water flow as well. Does it fill properly? Look around the bottom of the toilet, tank and pipes for leaks. Does it seem adequate for flushing? Sit on the toilet. Does it support your weight without wobbling?
While you have all the water running, how is it draining? There should be a circular cyclone effect as the water runs down the drain. Don’t forget the toilet. Sluggishness or large pockets of air could indicate sewer drain problems. Wise new homeowners get a sewer camera inspection along with their regular house inspection. A new sewer costs thousands of dollars.
Old, Rusty or Worn Pipes
In the bathroom, you will find visible pipes under the sink and in back of the toilet. Tubs and showers usually have access panels so you can see the rest. Check the pipes for age, leaks and rust. Look for mold or water damage, while you’re at it. These bathroom inspection issues may seem small, but they can save new homeowners a fortune in repairs.