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How to Check Plumbing When Buying a House

How to Check Plumbing When Buying a House

8 Plumbing Checks That Could Save You a Fortune

Finding your dream house is an exciting helter-skelter journey to a new life. Buying it can feel like trudging through sludge. So why is the Simply Plumbing team adding yet another check list to work through? Because knowing how to check plumbing when buying a house can save you a fortune – especially if you enlist the services of a professional plumber.


The thing about plumbing problems is that they tend to be invisible, until they’re not. And by the time they’re not, they’re costing you. The people you’re buying from may not be aware that they have a plumbing problem, because they haven’t had the system checked for a while. Which means you could be left with an expensive problem, if you don’t pick it up before you buy.

We’ve compiled a plumbing checklist, so you can be sure the plumbing in your home is in a good state:

Table of Contents

1. Boiler Service Record

A gas boiler that’s on its last legs could be expensive. It’s worth tracking down the last boiler service record – which should be available via the Estate Agent, or your solicitor. Ideally you would want to see the full service record and the paperwork from the initial installation. This will let you know whether it’s still under the manufacturer’s warranty.

2. Where’s the Stop Tap?

This is one of the most important checks to make in your prospective property. If there is a problem with your plumbing, the stop valve is how you turn off the water supply and avoid a leak turning into a flood. It’s normally located under the kitchen sink or in the downstairs toilet. Failing that, look in the utility room, or garage.

3. Toilets, Taps & Sinks

These are the places where you’ll spot any current issues, as well as long-term problems.

bathroom sinks
  • Check all flushes to see that the drainage is efficient.
  • Check around the base of toilets, and behind them for leaks.
  • Test every tap to check out the water pressure and look out for dripping taps.
  • Inspect the area below sinks, and around taps for leaks.
  • Turn on the central heating and note any strange noises it makes.

4. Damp and Water Stains

Take a walk around the property with your focus on four things: damp patches, water stains, mould and mildew. If there are signs of any one of these, it will need further investigation. It’s also worth using your nose as well as your eyes; often problems with blocked or leaking pipes make themselves known via bad smells.



5. Check the Sewer System

This is something that you’ll need help with. In older properties there can be problems with the sewage system due to blockages, broken pipes or tree root ingress. If caught early, these problems can be dealt with quickly and simply, but they’re not visible to the naked eye.


CCTV drain surveys use remote-controlled CCTV cameras that are sent down into the drainage system in order to inspect the condition of the pipes. They send real-time images back to the surface, allowing drainage engineers to pinpoint any problems and propose solutions.

6. What’s the Water Pressure Like?

In houses where there is excessive demand on the water supply, the pressure is likely to be low. In most cases vendors will be up-front about this, and many will have fitted new taps and showerheads to deal with the problem. You can check it out for yourself though. 

7. Are Pipes Insulated?

The further north your dream home is situated, the greater the risk that your pipes will freeze due to snow and ice in the winter months. The way to avoid this is by insulating any external pipes, so you should check that this has been done.


8. Hard Water/Soft Water?

This is a check that it’s easy to forget, but it’s well worth knowing. Hard water causes limescale, which can cause problems if it’s allowed to build up in the pipework. If the property is in a hard water area, it’s worth having a conversation with the sellers about any problems they may have encountered with low water pressure, or blockages caused by this issue.

About Simply Plumbing

We hope that you now know how to check plumbing when buying a house. If you have any queries about what you find, or you would like some help with the process, the Simply Plumbing team would be happy to help. We’re an independent Bedfordshire business with over 10 years of experience in Luton, Dunstable, and the South Beds region.


Since we started out, we’ve built a reputation as local plumbing specialists that can be relied on in an emergency. This is because we don’t let our customers down, we always work to the highest professional standards, and we keep our prices affordable.

Need local plumbing services in Luton, Dunstable or Bedfordshire? Call Simply Plumbing straight away on 01582 250030

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