Jul 13, 2023 | Plumbing, Drain, History, Leaks, Maintenance, Pipes, Plumbing Inspection, Plumbing System, Records, Water Damage, Water Heater, Water Line, Water Pressure, Water Stain


If you are currently looking for the next place to call your home, congratulations on beginning your journey to buying a house! Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or have been down this road before, there are important factors to consider and steps to follow before finalizing a sale. As you tour potential homes, it’s important to keep the plumbing system in mind. Unexpected plumbing expenses can be costly and cause significant inconvenience. Therefore, it’s crucial to know what you’re getting into before making any decisions. Fortunately, your Five Star Columbus Plumbing experts have compiled a list of five red flags to watch out for when visiting and walking through potential homes. 

1. The Age of the Water Heater    

If you’re unable to find information about the water heater in the house listing, you can inquire about its age during the walk-through. If that doesn’t get you the information you need, you can aim to quickly inspect it yourself just to get a rough idea of its age and condition. Signs of dust or corrosion could indicate that it is an older unit or was not well maintained. If there are water puddles at the base of the unit, this could also indicate an underlying issue with the water heater.  

Bear in mind that water heaters generally last around 8-12 years, so if you decide to purchase a house with a water heater around this age, you’ll want to be prepared that it may need to be replaced in the near future. Though this is not something we believe to be a huge red flag, it is still something you want to be mindful of, nonetheless, as having to dish out this extra expense right after moving in is not ideal for anyone. 

2. The Water Pressure 

When doing a walk-through of a house, it’s important to check the water pressure. Low water pressure can be a headache to deal with. So, as a precaution, it’s advised to run the water for a few minutes in each shower or sink to identify any potential issues with poor water pressure. 

3. The Drains & Water Lines 

While you’re checking out the water pressure, you can move on to inspecting the visible drains and water lines. You’ll want to check each drain for signs of rust buildup. While this is a rare red flag to find, it can be a significant issue to resolve, so keep your eyes peeled for this warning sign. Moreover, while the water is still running, inspect all the water lines that are exposed under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Search for any stains or leaks and ensure there are no indications of dripping water. 

4. Water Damage 

It can be expensive and difficult to repair water damage. To stay alert for signs of it, it’s important to know what warning signs to watch for. Water damage can present itself in different ways, so here are some suggestions on how to detect and identify it. 

  • Inspect the toilet bases and look for any signs of pooling or puddles. If you see either of these, it is possible that there is a leak, and if this has been a prolonged issue, there could be water damage in the surrounding area. 
  • Check the ceilings in every room of the house for water stains, as they could indicate previous pipe or roof leaks. 
  • Make sure to examine the basement and crawlspaces thoroughly for water stains and leaks. These areas are not invincible to water damage. 

5. The Home’s Plumbing Records 

It is important to ask questions about the plumbing system of a home you are considering buying. Knowing the condition of the plumbing system is crucial. Additionally, a good tip to bear in mind is that you can request to see the plumbing maintenance records for the house to have that reassurance. Maintenance and repair records could be useful to you in the future. Furthermore, the absence of maintenance records or documentation of multiple repairs to one area may also be another red flag. 


When buying a house, having peace of mind is important. Luckily, we offer a plumbing inspection service to provide reassurance before making a big commitment. If you decide to purchase the house, you can negotiate this service into the sale terms. (If the inspection is done before the sale is complete, the owner will need to arrange it.) 

Even though it may feel like an unnecessary step, our licensed plumbers will inspect all plumbing equipment, pipes, and drainage systems to ensure they’re working properly. Furthermore, they will examine various crucial plumbing areas and equipment to guarantee maximum functionality. This will provide you the extra assurance you need to confidently decide if this home is right for your family or if this is your final sign to move on and continue your search endeavors. Furthermore, based on the inspection results, it can possibly provide a better negotiating point that will most benefit you.   

Looking for a dependable plumbing company you can call your own? We’re available, and we would be ecstatic to serve you! Call Five Star Columbus Plumbing today at (614) 401-8086, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!