5 Quick and easy plumbing checks to do before buying a house

Found the house you love? It looks great, meets your budget and is in the location you wanted. Fantastic!
Buying a home is a big investment.
Now is the time to do your checks before you close the deal.
The building inspector gave the tick of approval. The pest inspection passes with flying colours. Have you forgotten anything?


What about the plumbing?

Unfortunately, the pre-purchase building inspection does not include examination of the drains and plumbing, only the sewer layout. It does include details as to the condition of the plumbing inside and outside the house.

Mr Drains have heard so many stories from customers that they didn’t check the condition of a houses’ plumbing before they purchased, only to find out months later, sometimes just a few weeks, that they have an issue with the plumbing. We hate having to tell them that they now have to spend money fixing problems and blockages that could so easily have been avoided.

Blocked drains and dodgy plumbing and pipes can be a huge expense, occurring at a time when you least expect it. Not to mention the damage it can cause to your new house, property and perhaps your neighbours’ property – not a good start for friendly neighbour relations.

There are some easy checks that you can do before purchasing a home. Here are the things you can look at before purchasing a home. It won’t take long if you follow our checklist and will give you peace of mind and could save you thousands of dollars in plumbing problems later –

1. Hot Water System

Most hot water systems last for approximately 10 years. Check the unit itself, which is usually installed outside the house. Note the model number of the hot water heater and the serial number. The age of the water heater is usually determined by the model of the heater.

You can email Mr Drains at service@mrdrains.com.au with this information and we can advise on its age.

Check for any damage to the hot water heater and if there is any corrosion. This may reduce its life.

Take note of the location of the hot water heater, especially internal hot water heaters. If the unit were to leak, will it cause water damage to your home?

If the hot water system is old, a new replacement hot water system can range in price from $1700 up to $3500, fully installed.

2. Water Hammer

Turn on the taps and check that there is not a hammer noise when the water flows through the pipes. A hammer noise is the pressure caused when water has to stop suddenly or change direction when a valve has to close quickly. This pressure can cause major problems, from noise and vibration to pipe collapse.

You will need to get a plumber to assess the cause of the water hammer. Your plumber will recommend solutions to remedy the noise and stop further damage to the pipes.

3. Water Leaks

Check around taps and under sinks for any sign of water damage or water lying on a surface. You may be able to follow the water to see where it is coming from. A leaking tap is easy and inexpensive to fix but if it has been left unchecked it could be causing bigger problems such as ruining the vanity or weakening the floor.


A leaking toilet can do severe damage to the flooring and subfloor. Check for discolouration or warping around the base of the toilet and check if the floor around the toilet feels weak or moves when standing on it. Also try to wiggle the toilet bowl. If it moves it could mean that the seal is weakened, the flange is not secured or the toilet bowl is not secured to the flange.

4. Noises

Gurgling sounds as the water flows down the drains could mean that they are blocked. It could be blocked with kitchen scraps, oil, soap scum or hair or it could mean there are tree roots and/or cracks in the pipes. This is a more serious problem and can cause heartache and damage to your new house if it overflows.

5. Healthy trees and grass patches

Take a look through the garden noting the layout for the sewer pipes. Are there very healthy trees along this sewer line? This could mean the tree roots have penetrated the sewer pipes and are having a great feed from them.

Healthy grass patches could mean that there is an external overflow. Check for water sitting on the surface of the lawn or any unpleasant smells.

It is even more important to check for blocked drains when sewer pipes are located under the street or located in an area that is hard to access. This will add extra plumbing costs to have them cleared and fixed.

Download our new home plumbing checklist as a guide when completing a pre-purchase plumbing inspection.

We don’t want you to get any nasty surprises after you move into your new home. Mr Drains has over 28 years’ experience checking and clearing plumbing in Sydney homes. We can do plumbing inspections that include a CCTV inspection of the inside of your pipes. This can locate blockages, faults and uncovers any unseen problems that may cost you thousands of dollars to fix and damage to your new house. It is well worth the investment.

CALL NOW on 9986 1234 – Mr Drains is offering a pre-purchase CCTV inspections for only $99 – just mention this blog when booking!

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