If you’re considering buying a home, starting a home improvement project or refinancing your current mortgage, you may want to (or be required to) get a plumbing inspection. It’s important to understand the costs associated with this type of inspection.
This article will discuss how much plumbing inspections cost, what is involved in the process, and why it’s important to have one completed before proceeding.
Table of Contents:
1. What’s a plumbing inspection?
Once you find out that you need an inspection for your home’s plumbing, you might wonder what is typically included in this type of inspection.
Your home plumbing inspection should include the following things:
- a) Toilets
- b) Tubs
- c) Sinks
- d) Lines
- e) Pipes
- f) Water leaks
The inspector will look both inside and outside of your house during the inspection.
Inside the house, the inspector will check things like flappers, filters and water levels in toilets. When looking at your water heater, your inspector will check water temperature, pressure relief valves and pipes before testing and flushing the system.
Outside, the inspector will look around (or under) the house to check the pipes and hydrants for leaks and to be sure they’ve got the proper support. They’ll also check for freeze protection to see how pipes will respond during cold winter weather.
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2. I had a home inspection. Do I need a plumbing inspection, too?
If you’ve recently purchased your home, you likely had a home inspector come out prior to closing, so you may feel like you don’t need an additional plumbing inspection.
Home inspectors, though, are only required to look for superficial plumbing problems during a visual inspection. They check for water running from the taps throughout the house, that the sinks are draining and no standing water remains, and that the toilets flush. While that is all important information, there’s much more to learn about the quality of the plumbing systems within your home.
Professional plumbing inspectors will focus on the entire plumbing system. They’ll be able to give you a more complete picture of the plumbing currently in your home. This is valuable information for home buyers to have. They’ll thoroughly look at things like:
- a) Water filtration systems
- b) Fixtures, supply lines and drains
- c) Exposed (above-ground) plumbing like shut-off valves, traps and visible pipes
- d) Sinks, showers, baths and toilets
- e) Drains and venting
- f) Water storage tanks or tankless water heaters
- g) Shut-off valves
- h) Sump pumps
- i) Condition of water and sewer lines
- j) Water damage
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They may even perform a video camera inspection of underground drains and sewer pipes.
You can find a complete list of things to be addressed during your plumbing inspection here.
If you want to check some things yourself before hiring someone, start with things like the taps and drains and make sure they’re working properly. Taps should run clean water with pressure, and they shouldn’t be leaking. Drains should be completely draining the basin, and the pipes shouldn’t be leaking. To be able to have a complete inspection, though, you’ll need to hire someone.
If you have a septic tank, you can have it inspected separately from a plumbing inspection. Check for a local service provider to do your sewer line inspection for you.
In order to pass your plumbing inspection, all parts of the system must be working properly. Inspections are recommended every two years, and they can give you peace of mind while protecting your home. They’ll also save you money by alerting you to things that need to be repaired before they break.
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3. Do I need a camera sewer inspection?
You’ll want to find someone who can do an inspection with a camera if you’re purchasing a new home or remodeling in order to get a good idea of the current state of your plumbing lines.
Clogged drains that can’t be cleared with a traditional auger or snake may require a camera sewer inspection. Tree roots or sediment buildup could also be a reason to need a sewer camera inspection.
A drain camera inspection can get down into the pipes to see what the issue is so the plumber can figure out how to best address it. Using a camera to do a visual inspection will help detect any damaged pipes that may not otherwise be visible.
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4. How much will I pay for my plumbing inspection?
Inspection costs can vary depending on the size of your home and how many fixtures and fittings are part of the inspection. The extent of damage and the length of pipes that are being inspected will also play a part in the inspection’s cost.
The total cost will also depend on the type of inspection and whether you’re having the whole system or only a portion of it inspected.
Sewer line camera inspections range from about $250 to $1,200. You may be able to get a better rate if you bundle this inspection with additional services the plumber offers, such as potential repairs or additional inspections.
Contact trusted plumbing inspectors to see if they can provide a free quote prior to coming out for the inspection. Ask to see if there is any discount or package if any damage is found and repairs need to be made.
You may also be able to find a licensed plumber who will provide the inspection as part of a maintenance plan or service agreement. This may save you some money, especially if you have an older home that may need more frequent inspections or repairs.
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5. Who can do my plumbing inspection?
There are some things you can check yourself, but the untrained eye could easily miss problems. When having someone inspect your plumbing, it’s important to hire someone you can trust. They should be licensed and insured, at the very least.
Many licensed plumbers offer inspection services and have the special equipment needed to do a thorough inspection.
To find inspectors in your area, ask friends and family for recommendations. You can also search online for contractors in your area who offer this service. While you’re looking online, you can also find reviews for the companies so you can learn more about previous customers’ experiences.
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6. What happens after the inspection?
After your inspection is complete, then what? Depending on what the inspection finds, you may have to do some repairs or even replace some things within your home.
When inspectors find issues with your plumbing, they’ll recommend an appropriate course of action. This could mean repairing or replacing damaged pipes, sewer lines, septic systems, or other things.
You might get great news from your inspection and hear that there are no major issues that need to be addressed. In that case, the inspectors will likely give you some tips to keep things running smoothly.
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