Roto-Rooter Helps Home Buyers and Sellers Identify Common Plumbing Problems That Can Prevent Sales

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Home sellers or buyers should avoid surprises that can stall or prevent a home from selling. Follow Roto-Rooter’s checklist of common plumbing problems to address before buying or selling a new home.

plumbing experts at Roto-Rooter
The average plumbing system represents approximately 8% of a home’s overall value. That means the plumbing for a $200,000 home has a value of $16,000. Read Roto-Rooter's tips to identify hidden plumbing problems before buying or selling a home.

Even in a slow real estate market, this is the time many buy or sell a home. Roto-Rooter wants to alert homeowners to household plumbing problems that can prevent a home from selling or turning into costly repairs for unsuspecting homebuyers.

The average plumbing system represents approximately 8% of a home’s overall value. That means the plumbing for a $200,000 home has a value of $16,000. The experts at Roto-Rooter, North America’s largest provider of plumbing and drain cleaning services, recommends home buyers check for telltale plumbing clues when shopping for a home.

Sellers should address plumbing problems to better their chances of selling their home and those in the market for a home can use these same tips to identify hidden plumbing problems before taking the plunge:

Check Toilets for Plumbing Problems

  •     A soft floor around the base of a toilet is a sign of water damage. Straddle the toilet and rock back and forth on each foot. If the floor feels spongy, it has probably experienced water damage.
  •     Check for toilet flushing problems. See how fast each toilet flushes. Slow toilets may indicate water pressure problems or partially clogged pipes.

Inspect Bathtub for Plumbing Problems

  •     Check for loose tiles that may indicate a water leak behind the wall or beneath a floor.
  •     Press on the walls where they meet the tub. If they're soft, water damage has occurred.

Test Water Pipes

  •     Test water pressure by turning on the water in the bathtub then the kitchen sink. If there is a noticeable reduction in volume, the pipes may need to be replaced because of calcium and mineral buildup.
  •     If the house has a basement or crawl space, check for rot or mildew around exposed pipes and signs of leaks or recent repairs.
  •     Be sure the house has a main sewer line “cleanout” port and that it is accessible.

Water Heater Troubleshooting

  •     Check the date on the water heater (the first four digits of the heater's serial number are the month and year it was built). If your conventional gas or electric water heater is over 12 years old you will likely need a water heater replacement.
  •     If the gas water heater vent ties into the home’s chimney, verify that the chimney is lined, indicated by a metal liner sticking out of the top.

Other Vital Home Plumbing Tips

  •     Make sure the garbage disposer, dishwasher and washing machine connections work properly, and supply hoses aren’t cracked or bulging and shutoff valves aren’t stuck in the open position.
  •     Use a flashlight to check for signs of water damage inside cabinets around sinks and in the laundry room. Turn water supply valves on and off to test for leaks and stuck valves.
  •     Marshy spots or areas of especially green grass in the front yard indicate possible breaks in water supply pipes or sewer mains. This should be a giant red flag that merits closer inspection.
  •     A professional video camera inspection of a sewer main – before the sale, could save a buyer upwards of $10,000 to $20,000 in future underground sewer repairs depending upon depth and length of the pipe.

About Roto-Rooter
Roto-Rooter was established in 1935 and is the largest provider of plumbing and drain cleaning services in North America. Roto-Rooter operates businesses in 115 company-owned territories and more than 500 franchise territories, serving approximately 90 percent of the U.S. population and 41 percent of the Canadian population.

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