Plumbing Inspection | Why Your Home Needs One

Plumbing InspectionWhole House Plumbing Inspection

A annual plumbing inspection for your home is a must, because nobody likes to wake up to a plumbing emergency.

Plumbing is often taken for granted and one of the most overlooked areas of home maintenance.  Chances are that you never thought about having a  plumber out until it gets to that emergency status.  So how do you prevent  a flood, backed up drain, or no hot water?

Much like you should see the doctor every year; your plumbing system needs the same attention and care.  The best way to prevent a plumbing disaster is to have a regular, thorough whole house plumbing inspection. Most people don’t realize that this service even exists. It does, and it can save you many headaches and a lot of money down the road.

When was the last time you were under your crawlspace to check and make sure that nothing was leaking?  How about having your water heater flushed,  as required by the manufacturer on an annual basis?  Have you had the water pressure checked, ever?  What about environmental issues?  Would you like to make your home more energy and water efficient?  Our technicians are accredited green plumbers and show you ways to conserve and save.

Plumbing inspections are also important if you are thinking about buying or selling your home.  Our plumbers will not only inspect your plumbing and fixtures, they will also document their findings and present their recommendations along with an estimate that will allow you to decide what, if anything you would like to change, upgrade or repair.  Our recommendations will be prioritized by immediate needs, maintenance issues and a wish list.

When was the last time you looked underneath your sinks, in your toilet tanks or your water heater connections?  Materials and installation methods vary; a good plumber can spot a potential problem in a valve or assembly by the way it was installed, the type of part, and by manufacturer or design, as well as the age and condition of the valves and piping.

Do you have your water heater flushed  as recommended by the manufacturer?  What is the current static and running pressure of your potable water system?  What should the static pressure be?  What about environmental and health issues?  Is your home energy and water efficient?  Our plumbers are accredited green plumbers and can show you ways to conserve and save.

At Black Mountain Plumbing, we inspect all your plumbing fixtures and systems and give you a detailed written report.  If we find problems in the making, we’ll point them out and recommend the best course of action.

Here’s some of what our plumbing inspection includes:

  1. Piping.  We will check all the piping we can see; in some cases, we will need access to an attic or crawl space.  OSHA requires a second person when entering an attic or crawl space.  This will add to the inspection costs in some cases.  We will want to determine the age and material used in your waste and vent piping, gas piping, combustible vent piping, condensation piping and potable water piping, checking for leaks, proper installation, known faulty material and health and safety issues.
  2. Water pressure.  Your water pressure should be 55-65 psi static pressure with no more than 8-10 psi drop in running pressure.  Most pressure reducing valves, if installed in your home, are set to not exceed 75 psi.  Over 80 psi, a good working PRV (pressure reducing valve) should be installed before the water enters your home or building.  Water pressure will vary depending on the day and time the pressure is checked.  For instance, the water pressure coming from the municipal water supply is often in excess of 140 psi and even greater at night when there is less demand on the system.  Most manufacturers warranties of plumbing products and appliances are void if water pressure is in excess of 80 psi.
  3. Thermal Expansion.  Expansion tanks are needed per Code when street pressure is in excess of the blow-off pressure of the T&P (temperature and pressure) valve.  For instance, if the T&P valve blows off at 150 psi and the street pressure is above 150 psi, an expansion tank is required by Code.   Expansion tanks can be supplied and installed to prevent serious damage to your plumbing system and fixtures.
  4. Relief Valves.  If you have a tank or tank less water heater, it needs to have the correct BTU rated relief valve.  This is a safety feature, that if not installed correctly, could cause the water heater to burst – go to YouTube and search for “Mythbusters Water Heater Explosion.”  This video is worth a thousand words.  It shows what happens when a relief valve is installed incorrectly or capped off.
  5. Isolation of Valves.  These valves are located prior to water or gas entering your home as well as adjacent to the appliances or plumbing fixtures they serve.  In-wall tub or shower valves usually only have isolation valves in a multi-unit building, but all sinks and toilets for sure have them as well as your water heater and appliances.  Some of these valves are known to be problematic, such as gate valves or single use type angle stops.  The problems with these vary from material used to age and manufacturer.  Isolation valves need to not only function well, some styles off isolation valves have a high failure rate which equates to potential water damage in your home or building.
  6. Fixtures.  Fixtures such as faucets, sinks and  in-wall tub/shower valves have potential issues that usually can be caught or diagnosed prior to causing damage.  All plumbing fixtures should be in good, safe working order.  Safety of the user as well as the home or building is a concern to us.  Most of the time, if fixtures need repaired, we will be able to direct you to the manufacturer for warranty parts.  Most manufacturers have a lifetime (limited) warranty.
  7. Toilets.  Toilets need to function correctly to try and prevent serious damage to a home or building. They are a crucial part of any plumbing inspection.  Problems can include aging, deteriorated or defective parts.  Sometimes, we notice that toilets and/or the parts in the toilets are installed incorrectly which could cause problems or flooding.  A poorly functioning toilet is also a huge waste of water and should be die-tested.  Toilets should also be fastened securely to the floor and caulked at the base.  A toilet that is not secure or has a broken closet bolt can allow leaking even on a concrete slab just enough to cause roots to climb under the home or building and past the wax ring and down into your sewer drain.
  8. Sewer Drains.  We can camera your sewer drains and document any problems as well as electronically locate where issues may be located.  Some problems with sewer drains are just at the source, such as p-traps, pop-up and drain assemblies.  These can be cleaned easily.  We want to check for proper accessible clean-outs for your sewer system and inform you where they are and what they are for.  It is not our policy nor is it very safe to suggest climbing on a roof to clean out a sewer drain.  Clean-outs can be installed if they have been buried or behind cabinets.  Homes or buildings built from the early 70s until now usually have ABS waste and vent piping which is typically problem free for the first 20 years.  The two-inch kitchen sink and/or laundry drain will be the first drain line needing to be serviced.  Older drains typically are cast iron as well as some newer homes and buildings.  Cast iron piping has its own set of known problems.  Some homes or buildings also have a back-water or check valve on the sewer system which should be cleaned and serviced.  
  9. Water Alarms.  We can provide water alarms for your water heater, or under your sinks, as well as behind your automatic washer, dishwasher and refrigerator.  These are very helpful, especially around water heaters and under kitchen sinks where most water damage occurs undetected.
  10. Water Damage.  Sometimes water damage is unrelated to the plumbing, such as deteriorated or incorrectly installed tub/shower doors, tile installation, irrigation in proximity to the home, roof and flashing issues, although we won’t be climbing on your roof.  There are certain tell-tale signs of structural problems, some of which are listed above that we will undoubtedly notice and bring to your attention hopefully before costly damage occurs.

And that’s just a small sampling   of what our plumbing inspection includes.  We invite you to contact Black Mountain Plumbing and schedule a whole-house plumbing inspection today.

Call us today at 858-536-4161 or complete our online request form.

Black Mountain Plumbing Inc

Plumbing inspection


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