Why You Need a Pre-Purchase Plumbing Inspection

Having been in the industry for over 35 years one would think you’d pretty much seen it all but amazingly there is still never a week that goes by that doesn’t have me scratching my head in disbelief at some of the bizarre Plumbing disasters we come across.

Most people know that the general standard in the construction industry is not what it used to be back in the days where the vast majority of skilled tradespeople would take pride in their work and most homeowners would let the professionals undertake this specialised work knowing that the job would be done well and at a fair price… oh how times have changed!

Over the years slowly but surely it has gotten to a point where the vast majority of customers have had a terrible experience with a ‘tradie’ and even worse it is also common to hear people say that they simply cannot find ANY trades company that they can trust – that is across all trades!

Dodgy workmanship is extremely common and often illegal and or non compliant too.

Being the cheapest to win the job is often the way these shonky operators get their foot in the door but these kinds of companies can only survive by cutting corners and using poor quality materials. There’s no other way to get the price down without going bankrupt.

They get away with it most of the time because the customer they are ripping off has no idea what to look out for and if the hot water tap is working after the new hot water system has been installed then it must have been a good deal – yeah? Eh NO actually!

People are sick and tired of being ripped off by trades companies and understandably many customers turn to Google Reviews to find someone that they can hopefully trust. This is a good way to help avoid the cowboys but even still it is not a guarantee that the company with 5 Stars will send out their 5 Star Plumber to you.

Given that there is a plethora of online information and helpful assistants in stores like Bunnings we now find ourselves living in a time where it is not uncommon for homeowners to have a go and do their own repairs. People get the basic hints and tips from YouTube or ‘the guy at Bunnings’ then load themselves up with ‘the gear’ and fix up their own Plumbing, Gas and Electrical issues at home. This is no exaggeration – we see this EVERY week and it is getting worse.

So when it comes time to purchase your next house, how can you avoid buying a property that is full of Plumbing nightmares?

Most people think that their Building Inspection has all this covered but it DOESN’T!
Building Inspection Reports will have a very small section that will state the condition of the Plumbing – literally a few lines of very basic information (from a visual inspection by a builder) in a report that is often 10 – 15 pages long, sometimes much longer.

It is important to remember that the majority of Building Inspectors come from a Building / Carpentry background and not from a Plumbing background.

These people are experts (though not always) in their own field but they are not qualified nor equipped to carry out the kind of inspection that you need on your plumbing.

They will not carry out an extensive inspection of the Plumbing system before they sign off on their report (which often states that the Plumbing works are satisfactory but it will usually highlight the fact that they are not qualified in this area).

Do not fall into this trap and assume that the Plumbing system is in good condition unless you have had an experienced and trusted Plumbing professional carry out a detailed investigation and provide a full report – it is the only way to be sure of what you are buying into.

Plumbing includes drainage, pipework, valves, pipes, taps, toilets, hoses, the hot water system and associated gas works.

Repairs can be VERY expensive and there may be all sorts of invisible issues like low water pressure, or not being able to turn on more than one tap at a time, lurking in the shadows waiting to give you a nasty surprise.

Here is a short list of some things that you would want to know about the Plumbing system in the house you are potentially buying next…

  • Is there any non-compliant work?
  • Are there any underground pipe leaks?
  • Are there any in-wall pipe leaks?
  • Has pressure and flow testing been done?
  • Have performance tests been done on all taps and toilets?
  • Has the Hot Water System operation been tested?
  • Have the drains had performance testing done?
  • Have the drains had a camera inspection done?
  • If relevant, have gas appliances and pipework checks been done?

If you are thinking of buying or you know someone that is then please get a thorough investigation done by a Plumbing company that specialises in these kinds of inspections.

Don’t rely on your Building Inspection Report like many others have because saving $1,000 now often leads to spending $10,000 later.

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