BOULDER – Plumbing inspections are for the most part visual. At minimum your inspector should verify that water flows and drains from fixtures at a reasonable rate that serves the fixture’s purpose. The physical condition of the plumbing that is hidden behind walls can only be evaluated by looking for water damage in the materials near the pipes or by the quality of the water dispensed.
A plumbing inspection should also identify the water source, which will either be public or private. The location of the point where the main waterline enters the house and the main shutoff valve should also be included in the report. For public water, it is typically on the street-side lowest level near the floor.
Tests should include both hot and cold supplies and the presence of a reasonable amount of water flow when separate fixtures are operated simultaneously on the highest level of the home. Sink faucets should be properly aligned with the hot water control on the left and the cold water control on the right. The same is true for the bath tub and shower. Toilets function properly and have at least two feet of clearance in front.
Kitchen appliances should also be included in a plumbing inspection. Verification of functionality, proper installation as well as water supply and drains should be noted. Water heaters should be inspected for proper water line connections, heating, venting and age. Most water heaters will last 10 to 15 years if properly maintained. The type of pipes used for supply, drains and vents should also be noted.