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Inspection Of Residential Plumbing, Water Supply And Septic Tanks

Plumbing_Water_SupplyMost people are of the opinion that a home inspection becomes inevitable, as one takes a decision to purchase a property. This is true to some extent because buying a house is indeed a serious investment decision and a buyer should have it inspected to know its condition, especially its structural soundness and safety. However, the same cannot be said of residential plumbing, water supply and septic tanks and drainage systems. Inspection of the water supply and drainage systems of a house is mandatory before closing a purchase. Nevertheless, you should also consider getting the different sections of the plumbing system and drainage of your home checked from time to time.

What makes routine inspection of the plumbing system a must?

Routine inspection of the household plumbing, water supply and septic tanks and water heating systems helps to avoid emergencies. Imagine how chaotic the situation becomes when your kitchen sink is clogged! If you are smart enough, you may be up to the task; however, you will not be able to check or fix problems if they get complex. Will you be able to detect when leakage of water from a questionable source contaminates safe water? Will you be able to tell when the septic tanks of your house need be emptied?

The answer is NO and it had better be NO. Actually, inspection of domestic plumbing calls for a specific level of skill and knowledge, which only a certified plumbing specialist can provide. Therefore, you need to give a call to a plumbing inspector to thoroughly check the existing system for any flaws. The inspector, by detecting the flaws and proposing appropriate solutions will ward off emergencies.

What does inspection of the household plumbing system involve?

Home plumbing system is a complete network with different components and the inspector checks the following:

The Water Service Entry (i.e., the Water Meter) and the Water Supply Piping

The drain, waste and vent (DWV) System

The Water Heating System

Septic Tanks

The household Fuel Storage and Fuel Distribution Systems

Let us now deal with the different sections of the plumbing system separately starting with the Water Supply System. The Water Supply System of a house is inclusive of the water-well (the very source of water for the house), water-pump, water-meter, the water-distribution piping, even fixtures and faucets. The plumbing inspector checks the water level in the water-well. The water-pump and the water-meter too are checked for their efficiencies. Pipe sizes are verified and the pipelines (along with fixtures and faucets) are checked for signs of leakage and rusting or for faulty connections. The piping material too is sent through standard lab tests.

The inspector also identifies the location of the main water shut-off valve in the plumbing map of the house and ensures that the valve is operable.

The DWV System, i.e., drain, waste and vent systems are thoroughly inspected by the plumbing specialist. As with the water supply system, the wastewater piping and all fixtures are checked for leakages and rusting. Inspectors also ensure that the vent pipe sizes and materials match the required standard and can perfectly balance the water-pressure in the plumbing system.

Drains, sewer systems and wastewater piping need to be checked for proper inclination otherwise the downward flow of wastewater is hampered. The plumbing inspector also assesses the sump pumps for their efficiency depending on the drainage requirements of a particular household.

Next, the inspector examines the heating system of the house. This includes testing of the water heating equipment (along with its power source) for its storage capacity and performance. Thus, a plumbing inspection may result in the replacement of an old heating system with a more efficient new appliance, which has adequate controls and reduces power consumption. The other essentials that the inspector pays attention to are the chimneys and the piping system.

Inspection of the Septic Tanks is a fairly big chapter in the inspector's plumbing evaluation project for it involves a multiplicity of tasks. The inspector begins by marking out the spot where the septic tanks are located. An inspector carries on as many tests as he/she deems essential. However, assessment of the tanks for determining their capacity and condition is fundamental. Thus, the septic tanks are checked for cracks, holes and other structural defects.

The size of drain field is assessed and the inlet / outlet sanitary details of the septic tanks are examined for possible blockages. Most septic tanks need to be pumped every 3 to 5 years, however, plumbing inspectors recommend pumping and emptying of the septic tanks after inspection, depending on the tank size and the amount and type of solids entering the tank.

Household plumbing also includes fuel distribution piping. Plumbing inspectors undertake inspection of the fuel supply system right from where the entry point into the house to the point where it is utilized. The automatic emergency fuel shut-off valve also needs to mapped along with the rest of the plumbing work.

Household plumbing network has more to it than just water supply and septic tanks and sewer system. Only a professional capable of handling all the intricacies of the plumbing network can help you lead an uninterrupted, tension-free life; devoid of tensions of sewage backing up into your house or solids overflowing the drain field and other dirty incidents.

Get in touch with an able plumbing inspector and ensure health and safety for yourself and your family.

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