I. The inspector shall inspect:
- the main water supply shut-off valve;
- the main fuel supply shut-off valve;
- the water heating equipment, including the energy source, venting connections, temperature/pressure-relief (TPR) valves, Watts 210 valves, and seismic bracing;
- interior water supply, including all fixtures and faucets, by running the water;
- all toilets for proper operation by flushing;
- all sinks, tubs and showers for functional drainage;
- the drain, waste and vent system; and
- drainage sump pumps with accessible floats.
- whether the water supply is public or private based upon observed evidence;
- the location of the main water supply shut-off valve;
- the location of the main fuel supply shut-off valve;
- the location of any observed fuel-storage system; and
- the capacity of the water heating equipment, if labeled.
- deficiencies in the water supply by viewing the functional flow in two fixtures operated simultaneously;
- deficiencies in the installation of hot and cold water faucets;
- mechanical drain stops that were missing or did not operate if installed in sinks, lavatories and tubs; and
- toilets that were damaged, had loose connections to the floor, were leaking, or had tank components that did not operate.
- light or ignite pilot flames.
- measure the capacity, temperature, age, life expectancy or adequacy of the water heater.
- inspect the interior of flues or chimneys, combustion air systems, water softener or filtering systems, well pumps or tanks, safety or shut-off valves, floor drains, lawn sprinkler systems, or fire sprinkler systems.
- determine the exact flow rate, volume, pressure, temperature or adequacy of the water supply.
- determine the water quality, potability or reliability of the water supply or source.
- open sealed plumbing access panels.
- inspect clothes washing machines or their connections.
- operate any valve.
- test shower pans, tub and shower surrounds or enclosures for leakage or functional overflow protection.
- evaluate the compliance with conservation, energy or building standards, or the proper design or sizing of any water, waste or venting components, fixtures or piping.
- determine the effectiveness of anti-siphon, back-flow prevention or drain-stop devices.
- determine whether there are sufficient cleanouts for effective cleaning of drains.
- evaluate fuel storage tanks or supply systems.
- inspect wastewater treatment systems.
- inspect water treatment systems or water filters.
- inspect water storage tanks, pressure pumps, or bladder tanks.
- evaluate wait time to obtain hot water at fixtures, or perform testing of any kind to water heater elements.
- evaluate or determine the adequacy of combustion air.
- test, operate, open or close: safety controls, manual stop valves, temperature/pressure-relief valves, control valves, or check valves.
- examine ancillary or auxiliary systems or components, such as, but not limited to, those related to solar water heating and hot water circulation.
- determine the existence or condition of polybutylene plumbing.
- inspect or test for gas or fuel leaks, or indications thereof
Common Issues we find during our inspections are:
Improper flex piping- This material is easily identified by its rigidity and is typically white. As with any ridgid material, this can easily clog with bacteria. Once the drain line becomes clogged, draining becomes worse and worse. Additionally, this is not an approved product. Meaning no licensed, qualified plumber will use this material.
Rust/Corrosion on the water heater nipple- This issue is presumably due to a tiny leak that has gone unnoticed. However, most of the time this is due to the piping not having a dielectric union fitting installed. This fitting should be installed when galvanized piping meets copper piping. The corrosion is not from a leak, but rather the 2 elements fight each other, which overtime turns into a buildup of corrosion.
Cast Iron Plumbing- There is an abundance of older homes here in the Fresno, California area. A large percent of these homes have old cast iron plumbing lines, typically in the crawl space. The issue with cast iron plumbing is that it erodes/fails from the inside of the line out. Meaning your plumbing line can be failing right now and you would have no visible evidence. This plumbing was popular in the 50's-60's. If you are a buying a home from this time period, I would almost guarantee you have this. A common note for this type of line is, "it's not if it fails, it's when". Meaning any home with htis type of plumbing should and will eventually need to be replaced.
S-Type Drain Traps- This issue is easily noticeable by simply looking under a sink. If the drain line looks like an S, you have an s-trap. Just like the white flex piping mentioned above this type of plumbing is not serviceable and is not permitted. Drain lines should have air behind it to flow properly.
For any of the above issues, a qualified, licensed plumber should repair as needed. If you have any questions in regards to the plumbing aspect of a home inspection, wherever you may be located we will be happy to help you. You can contact EC Home Inspections at 559-512-0197 firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.echomeinspection.com