If you’re currently in the middle of searching for a new home, you probably know all too well how buying a house can be both thrilling and overwhelming. Many critical factors need to be considered before deciding on a home. However, we are here to remind you that you don’t want to forget about one crucial element amidst all the busyness – the home’s plumbing system. To help you with this, your experts at Pickerington Plumbing & Drain have compiled a list of five red flags that you can look out for while touring potential homes. 

Red Flag One: How Old is the Water Heater and What Is Its Condition?    

Most listings will contain info about the water heater, but in case the house listing does not mention the water heater, you can inspect it during your walk-through to estimate its age and condition. Doing so will only give you a rough idea, but signs of poor maintenance or underlying problems include excessive dust, corrosion, or water puddles around the base of the unit. Generally, a well-maintained water heater will have a lifespan of 8-12 years. If you choose to buy a house with an older water heater, you may need to be prepared for a replacement shortly after your move. Even though this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, it’s important to be aware of it. This way, you won’t be caught off guard down the road. 

Red Flag Two: Does the Water Pressure Function Well?    

During your walk-through of a house, it’s also important to test the water pressure in faucets and showers. This will help you identify any low water pressure in the bathrooms and kitchen. While fixing poor water pressure is possible, it can be expensive. So, we think it’s helpful to check the water pressure beforehand to avoid any unexpected expenses. 

Red Flag Three: How Do the Drains & Water Lines Look?    

Ensure everything is in good working order with the drains and visible water lines. You can actually do this while testing the water pressure of sinks and showers. While you are letting the water run to check water pressure, scan the drains for rust buildup. This isn’t a common issue, but if you do have to deal with it, it can be expensive to fix. On top of that, you should also inspect visible water lines under the sinks for discoloration and potential leaks while the faucet is running. 

Red Flag Four: Are There Signs of Water Damage?    

Check out these helpful guidelines for identifying areas that have been damaged by water. 

  • Examine the bases of all the toilets in the house for any signs of pooling or puddles. Finding such signs could indicate leakage in the toilet and possible water damage in the surrounding area. 
  • It is equally important to inspect the ceiling throughout the house for brown spotting, as it may be a result of previous leaks from a pipe or the roof. 
  • As you continue your tour, check the basements and crawlspaces (if possible) for any water stains or signs of leaks.  

Red Flag Five: What about the Home’s Plumbing History?   

Don’t hesitate to ask about the plumbing system of the home you plan to pursue. It’s crucial to be aware of its condition, so feel free to ask thorough questions. Also, requesting information about the plumbing’s maintenance and repair history can prove to be beneficial. A lack of maintenance history could imply the home has not received any maintenance over the years, so this is something of which you will want to be mindful. Moreover, too many repairs in a specific area could be a red flag. 


It’s no secret that purchasing a house is a huge commitment. So, peace of mind matters. To help provide you with the extra assurance you need so that you know exactly what you are getting into, we provide a plumbing inspection service. This entails one of our licensed plumbers conducting a detailed inspection of all the plumbing equipment, pipes, and drainage systems. The home’s plumbing system will be thoroughly evaluated. The results can help you decide if the home is suitable for your family or can possibly provide you with the closure necessary to make the decision to continue your home search. Please, note that the homeowner typically arranges this inspection. 

We hope that these points have given you helpful information as you look for your ideal home. We are a local plumbing company that is available to assist you with all your plumbing needs.  Call Pickerington Plumbing & Drain today at (614) 350-1955, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here! 

Pickerington Plumbing & Drain

(614) 350-1955

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