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Why you should have a plumbing inspection before buying a home

For anyone, a home is a major investment. Whether it is a first home, a third home, or if buyers are regular home flippers, the question arises of whether it is worth it to have a plumbing inspection performed before signing the final paperwork. Some argue that having a general home inspection is enough, but there is a strong case to be made for including a separate, independent plumbing inspection as well. For homeowners looking to protect their assets as much as possible, see why it’s worth agreeing to a plumbing inspection before making a home purchase.

The Sewer System

Running below ground, the sewer system is an oft-overlooked area in general home inspections. Which makes sense, as thoroughly inspecting the sewer system can require tools specific to plumbing professionals. However, looking at the sewer system is a good idea, as it will indicate the health of the pipes below the ground, pointing out whether there are any potential blockages or areas where roots have broken through the pipes to create clogs. Any of these issues could require a sewer line cleaning, or even a partial or complete sewer replacement, which are important items to factor in before closing on a home.

Water Heaters

A particularly expensive, and very necessary, part of the home is the water heater. Moving into a home to find that the water heater is immediately not working can add thousands of dollars of costs upfront, which can be staggering for first home buyers. Make sure water heaters are thoroughly inspected to determine they’re fully functional, free of rust and leaks, and still able to consistently run hot water. Also, check their age — most water heaters have a lifespan of 10–15 years, so any heater reaching up into that range will need to be replaced sooner rather than later. 


Outside of the water heater, toilets are going to be one of the most used plumbing staples around the home. Inspect each one to ensure it flushes properly, is free of major cracks around the base, and that there is no discoloration or soft spots in the floor around the toilet. The last issue specifically can indicate a leak, which will not only need to be fixed in the toilet but will likely require replacing part of the floor.


In bathtubs, showers, faucets, and throughout the basement, make sure each drain is cleared and free from blockages. Running water for a minute or two down each drain should indicate that it’s in working order, and also provides insight into how well each tap functions. If there appears to be any sign that the drain is backing up, an inspection of the pipes will need to be performed, and any issues resolved immediately before greater damage can be done.


It was not so long ago that lead was a fairly common item in several household applications. In fact, lead as plumbing was only discontinued in June 1986 via the Safe Drinking Water Act. While not nearly as common as before, there is still a chance that some homes have remnants of lead pipes leftover from before this act passed. It’s very important that any sources of lead pipes be removed and replaced prior to using water in the home, to ensure that the water remains potable.

While scheduling an additional inspection is not exactly fun, it is a vital step for potential homeowners to help ensure the property they’re moving into is safe, stable, and free of nasty surprises. If you are looking for a reputable plumbing inspector in the Northern Illinois area, or if you have additional questions about plumbing issues, reach out to the technicians at Duane Blanton Family Home Services. With over 30 years of experience, the professionals at Duane Blanton have the knowledge and expertise to guide future homeowners through the checks and steps to see if there are any potential plumbing issues lurking about their homes. Reach out today, by calling (815) 781-2567, or schedule online through the convenient online scheduling portal


Dave, Mike & Matt were our guys from estimate to installation. All of our workers did amazing work. They were on time, worked efficiently, explained…

Britni S.

Mike and Tim were a great help with my water heater issue. They went over what the problem was, what the solutions were, and did…

Eric B.

Very friendly phone operators. Professional workers. Arrived very quickly and it wasn’t even a serious emergency. Very good communication throughout the whole process with every…

Danielle D.

These guys are WONDERFUL! Especially if you have an older home and old pipes. We have the service package that covers pipes, boiler (heating) and…

Lisa M.

We had water coming through our kitchen ceiling and someone was able to come out same day and identify the problem. Michael B and Aaron…

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