Discovering Potential Issues in a Plumbing Inspection

Is your home facing constant plumbing issues? You’re not alone. Many homeowners discover problems during a plumbing inspection that they weren’t aware of. This blog post will guide you through the potential inspection issues, offering solutions to keep your house safe and efficient.

Keep reading to learn more!

Importance of Plumbing Inspections

Plumbing inspections are a critical tool in safeguarding the health and safety of your home. They delve deeply into unseen areas of plumbing systems, unveiling issues like hidden leaks or ageing pipes that might not be immediately apparent.

These checks are indispensable for catching problems early, saving homeowners from the headache and expense of major repairs down the line.

An annual inspection helps maintain water quality and ensures everything from your sump pump to sewer lines functions correctly. It’s all about preventing emergencies by identifying risks, such as faulty connections or potential gas leaks before they escalate.

Moreover, these inspections can enhance energy efficiency by recommending upgrades to low-flow fixtures or improving hot water delivery systems, thus contributing to healthier living conditions and protecting property value.

Potential Issues Discovered in a Plumbing Inspection

A plumbing inspection can unearth hidden problems that may not be immediately obvious. These findings are crucial for ensuring the safety and efficiency of your home’s plumbing system.

S Traps

S Traps have a distinctive “S” shape and are commonly found in older homes. These fixtures usually sit under sinks where plumbing might not be properly vented, especially in houses undergoing DIY remodelling.

Due to their shape, they can lead to several plumbing issues, including drainage problems and system failures. An S Trap could signal improper venting or a hasty installation by someone taking shortcuts.

Their unique structure does more harm than good because it may cause sewer gases to enter the home, creating health hazards such as smells and humidity, which can encourage mould growth.

Experts often pinpoint S Traps during home inspections as potential red flags for bigger underlying problems with the sewage system. Addressing these concerns early helps prevent water damage and maintains healthy living conditions within your house.

Polybutylene Piping

Once common in residential plumbing, polybutylene pipes have fallen out of favour for various reasons. This type of piping cannot withstand the harsh chemicals found in water treatments, leading to deterioration over time.

As a result, new installations no longer permit the use of polybutylene due to its unsuitability for modern plumbing systems.

Leaks frequently occur with this material because it becomes brittle and develops tiny cracks easily. Despite claims from some companies that failures stem from poor maintenance or incorrect installation, a significant lawsuit highlighted the inherent flaws of polybutylene pipes.

Households still equipped with these pipes might experience unexpected leak detection calls, emphasising the need for routine maintenance and potential future services to address any underlying issues promptly.

Absence of a Sewer Clean-Out

The absence of a sewer clean-out poses significant challenges to a plumbing system. Homes without this feature often face strange smells, find it tough to manage large volumes of water, and notice unexpected leaks.

A clean-out allows easier access to the sewer system, making maintenance tasks simpler and more efficient.

Professional plumbers recommend conducting video inspections of drains and sewer lines if a property lacks a sewer clean-out. This method helps pinpoint any issues that might arise from its absence.

Such preventative services are crucial in avoiding emergency problems related to the home’s plumbing infrastructure, ensuring that drain and sewer lines function optimally even without direct access for cleaning or repairs.

Ungrounded or Unbonded Plumbing

Ungrounded or unbonded plumbing poses a significant risk in homes. Electrical grounding prevents electric currents from travelling unrestrictedly through supply lines, reducing the danger to individuals who might come into contact with plumbing fixtures.

If plumbing systems lack proper bonding, they can become conductive paths for electrical faults. This oversight jeopardises safety and may lead to failures in water heaters and other connected appliances.

Plumbers ensure that all metallic components of the plumbing system are securely bonded together and grounded. This process protects against potential electrical shocks and enhances the overall safety of the water supply system.

In inspections, professionals rigorously check for signs that indicate grounding issues, such as irregular water pressure or unexpected shocks from shower taps or other fixtures. Repairing ungrounded or unbonded sections promptly avoids major hazards and ensures that your home complies with safety regulations.

Plumbing Vents That End in The Attic

Plumbing vents that terminate in the attic create a range of problems. They can lead to unpleasant drain noises, and persistent gas smells infiltrating the living spaces. Such issues disrupt the comfort of your home by allowing septic system gases to enter rather than being safely vented outside.

Vent terminals must avoid ending under the structure’s overhang with soffit vents. This configuration helps prevent mould growth caused by moisture from the plumbing vents. Ensuring proper termination of these vents is crucial for maintaining water efficiency and preventing septic tank complications.

How to Care for and Maintain Your Plumbing System

Taking care of your plumbing system ensures it functions efficiently, saving you from costly repairs. Regular maintenance can also save energy by keeping everything in optimal condition.

  1. Regular visual inspections should be conducted to identify any signs of leaks or damage early on. Spotting issues like moisture on walls or under pipes early can prevent them from turning into bigger problems.
  2. Check sump pump functions periodically, especially before the rainy season, to ensure it works properly and protects your basement from flooding.
  3. Inspect s-traps under sinks and basins; these should be replaced with P-traps to maintain an effective water seal and prevent sewer gases from entering the home.
  4. Look for any signs of corrosion or damage on polybutylene piping, which is prone to failure and should be replaced with more durable materials.
  5. Ensure there is a sewer clean-out access point for easy maintenance and blockage removal, reducing the risk of sewer back-ups.
  6. Verify that all plumbing is properly grounded and bonded to safeguard against electrical shock hazards related to wiring issues.
  7. Ascertain that plumbing vents do not end in the attic but extend outside to prevent moisture build-up, which could lead to mould growth.
  8. Check water pressure regularly; too high pressure can strain pipes and fixtures, leading to leaks or breaks.
  9. Regularly clean out aerators on taps and showerheads to remove mineral deposits that can reduce water flow or cause clogging.
  10. Flush your water heater annually to clear sediment buildup at the bottom of the tank, enhancing its efficiency and lifespan.

By implementing these regular checks and maintenance steps, homeowners can tackle common issues effectively, keeping their plumbing systems running smoothly while benefiting from potential water bill reductions and preventing water damage.

The Role of a Professional Plumber in Inspections

Professional plumbers undertake critical responsibilities during plumbing inspections. They meticulously examine a property’s plumbing system to pinpoint current issues and potential problems.

This involves assessing the condition of pipes, checking for hidden leaks, and ensuring all components meet building codes.

Their expertise allows them to diagnose complex issues that might not be obvious at first glance. For example, they can spot ageing infrastructure that could lead to significant concerns if left unaddressed.

Licensed plumbers use their specialised training to conduct comprehensive whole-house inspections, which is crucial for homeowners wanting to avoid unexpected plumbing disasters.


Discovering potential issues during a plumbing inspection can save much trouble and expense later. Homeowners prevent bigger headaches by identifying problems such as leaks, corrosion, and improperly installed piping early.

These inspections are crucial for maintaining a safe and efficient home plumbing system. They empower you with the knowledge to act swiftly, ensuring your home remains in top condition.

With DIY and professional routine checks, you’ll keep your water flowing smoothly without unexpected disruptions.

For more detailed guidance on keeping your plumbing system in optimal condition, please visit how to care for and maintain your plumbing system.


1. What is the purpose of a plumbing inspection?

A plumbing inspection aims to check your home’s pipes and fixtures for problems or potential issues.

2. How often should I get my plumbing inspected?

Inspecting your plumbing once every two years is wise to ensure everything is in good working order.

3. Can I perform a plumbing inspection myself?

While you can look for obvious signs of leaks or damage, a professional plumber can identify less apparent issues during an inspection.

4. What common issues are found during a plumbing inspection?

Common issues include leaky faucets, clogged drains, and corroded pipes that may need repair or replacement.

5. Will fixing the problems found in a plumbing inspection save me money?

Yes, addressing the problems found during an inspection can prevent costly repairs and lower water bills by fixing leaks and other inefficiencies.

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