Check the plumbing... Things to look out for when buying a home

A plumber at work installing a circulation pump

A plumber at work installing a circulation pump - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

One of the most import things to inspect when buying a house is the plumbing. Since the sellers only have to disclose what they know, you must try and uncover any potentially serious and expensive problems that aren’t always apparent.

Here are a few things to look out for...

Water stains: Water stains on the walls or ceiling could be a sign of leaky pipes. Make sure you’re on the lookout for mouldy spots as well. Leaky pipes don’t have to be expensive to fix, but if they’ve already done some damage, the repair costs could mount up. Also check for limes scale around the edges of taps – this may suggest hard water, in which case you may need a water softener.

Water pressure: While sometimes you can fix bad water pressure with a new shower head or taps, it may be worth checking it out anyway. One way to determine how the water pressure might work throughout the home is to turn on the shower farthest away from the water source. If the upstairs shower has great water pressure, it’s likely that the rest of the home does, too. While you’re at it, make sure you flush all the toilets in the home to ensure that they flush and fill up properly.

Check out the boiler: An old, inefficient boiler could cost more than you think. Remember you will obviously have to pay bills in this home if you purchase it and an inefficient boiler could cost you money on both your water and heating bills. Remember, if the boiler is more than 10 years old, it’s efficiency will be down by about 30 per cent.

Check for leaking taps: Make sure that both the kitchen and bathroom taps, as well as toilet and shower, are in good working order and condition and free of any noticeable leaks.

Having a plumbing survey before you purchase the property is essential and could potentially save you thousands of pounds.

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Often plumbers are called out to a job to repair a do-it-yourself project gone wrong. When there are complicated plumbing repairs, it is best to leave it to the professionals.

With a professional plumber the problem will be fixed the way it should be – which means no complicated problems arising from the repair in the future.

For anyone having heating or plumbing problems customers should always use registered plumbers, especially where gas is concerned. Making sure that the plumber is Gas Safe registered is essential. Always ask to see his credentials before letting him work on your property.

Tenants should always make sure that the property they are renting is issued with a Gas Safe Certificate and has a carbon monoxide alarm fitted.

On Tap Plumbers is a plumbing and heating business which has been providing general plumbing and heating services to both the domestic and commercial markets since 2009.

It has a vast amount of experience with systems in a range of building types such as schools, high-end residential apartments and houses, offices, retail outlets, leisure facilities and industrial warehouses.