Plumbing Inspections: What to Expect and Common Issues

Plumbing inspections are an essential part of maintaining the health and safety of any home. Regular inspections can help identify potential problems before they become costly, ensuring that your home’s plumbing system operates efficiently. Here’s what you can expect during plumbing inspection and some common issues that inspectors often find.

What to Expect During a Plumbing Inspection

Visual Inspection

The inspector will start with a visual inspection of all accessible plumbing components. This includes checking sinks, faucets, toilets, and visible pipes for signs of wear and damage. For example, they’ll look for any odd discolorations on your pipes that might indicate rust or a slow leak you hadn’t noticed.

Water Heater Examination

The inspector will examine your water heater for any signs of corrosion, leaks, and proper functioning of the temperature and pressure relief valve. They’ll also check the age of the unit to determine if it might need replacement soon. Remember, a well-maintained water heater should last about 8-12 years, but this varies based on the model and usage.

Water Pressure Check

Inspectors will measure the water pressure throughout the home to ensure it is within the recommended range (usually between 40-80 psi). They’ll identify any areas with low or high pressure that could indicate underlying issues. It’s like checking the blood pressure of your home’s plumbing system – too high or too low can both be problematic.

Leak Detection

The inspector will check for leaks in the plumbing system. This includes inspecting pipes under sinks, in crawl spaces, and around appliances like dishwashers and washing machines.

Pipe Inspection

The condition of the pipes is critical for the overall health of the plumbing system. Inspectors will look for signs of corrosion, rust, or other damage that could lead to leaks or bursts. They can also determine if your pipes are outdated and need to be replaced with newer, safer materials.

Sewer and Drain Examination

If necessary, a camera inspection of the sewer line may be conducted to check for blockages, cracks, or other issues that could cause backups or leaks. It’s a bit like a medical endoscopy but for your house’s pipes!

Fixture Inspection

All plumbing fixtures, such as faucets, showerheads, and toilets, will be checked for proper operation and any signs of leaks or damage. This thorough check ensures everything functions as expected, offering peace of mind or a heads-up if something needs fixing.

Common Issues Found During Plumbing Inspections



Leaks are one of the most common issues found during inspections. They can occur at joints, in pipes, or around fixtures. Even small leaks can lead to significant water damage over time if not addressed promptly. They are pesky and can be quite the water wasters!

Pipe Corrosion

Over time, pipes can corrode due to the materials they are made from, the water quality, and other environmental factors. Corroded pipes are more prone to leaks and bursts, which can cause extensive damage. It’s like how even the sturdiest metals can wear down, similar to how even strong teeth can decay without proper care!

Water Pressure Problems

Low water pressure can be caused by various factors, including leaks, blockages, or issues with the municipal water supply. High water pressure, on the other hand, can damage pipes and fixtures. Both conditions need to be addressed to ensure a properly functioning system.

Blocked Drains

Blockages in the sewer line or household drains are common and can be caused by a buildup of debris, grease, or tree roots infiltrating the pipes. Blocked drains can lead to backups and unpleasant odors, turning your home into less of a castle and more of a dungeon.

Faulty Water Heaters

Water heaters can develop issues over time, such as sediment buildup, leaks, or faulty temperature settings. Regular inspections can help identify these problems early and extend the lifespan of the water heater.

Running Toilets

A running toilet can waste a significant amount of water and indicate an issue with the internal components, such as the flapper valve or fill valve. This is usually an easy fix but can lead to higher water bills if not addressed.

Outdated Plumbing

Older homes often have outdated plumbing systems that may not meet current codes or standards. This can include the use of lead pipes or other materials that are no longer considered safe. Upgrading these systems can improve safety and efficiency.


Regular plumbing inspections are vital for maintaining a safe and efficient home. By understanding what to expect and being aware of common issues, homeowners can take proactive steps to ensure their plumbing system remains in good condition. If you suspect any plumbing problems or it’s been a while since your last inspection, it’s wise to schedule an appointment with a professional inspector.


Tip for Homeowners: Between inspections, make it a habit to frequently check under sinks for moisture or small leaks, listen for running toilets that can signal an internal leak, and maintain your water heater according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Being proactive can save you from headaches and hefty repair bills down the road!

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