Buying a House: Plumbing Inspections

Monday, August 19, 2019

Buying a home for the first time is a really exciting process, but it can also be incredibly stressful. Between finding the perfect place to negotiations and home inspections, there are lots of items to check off before saying ‘Yes’ to the house!

In this two-part series, we will cover the most important plumbing items to consider when purchasing a home.

The first thing to consider is an overall inspection of all the house plumbing features. Let Marines Plumbing help you with this process by performing an in-depth inspection in addition to the home inspection. We can identify any potential plumbing issues before you sign the lease, so there are no surprises.

What to check

Water Heater

We’ve written about these a few times. Water Heaters have an average life of 10 years, depending on how it’s used and taken care of. Their life span can be shorter if they weren’t installed correctly.

A Marines Plumbing customer previously bought a home without a plumbing inspection and within 6 months of living there the water heater died and needed to be replaced. If they had consulted us ahead of time, would have pointed out the age and likelihood of this happening, enabling them to either get the water heater replaced ahead of time as part of the closing agreement or get appliance insurance. In this case, they did neither and were out a significant amount of money.

We can determine the age of a water heater easily from the model type and serial number. In addition to checking the age, we will make sure it is up to the current code and working correctly. Another thing we will check is if it is the appropriate size for your home. A condo will not need the same size water heater as a single-family home. We will also check for any signs of mineral deposits.


Toilets are used every day and can be susceptible to many issues. Some, homeowners ignore and choose not to fix. You want to ensure that you aren’t inheriting toilets with existing issues that someone neglected to take care of.

We will check for:

  • Current leaks
  • Evidence of previous leaks
  • Non-professional fixing of issues
  • Quality of the flushes
  • Overall health of the toilet


One of the biggest things to check for when purchasing a home, especially one built before 1986, is if there is any lead piping in the house. Homes of that age typically have galvanized or lead plumbing, neither of which is ideal. If we discover lead piping, you may choose not to purchase the home, or to have the piping replaced.

Spend a little more on a plumbing inspection to avoid spending a lot within the first year of home ownership. If you are buying a house in the Northern Virginia area, contact Marines Plumbing today to get a thorough inspection!

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