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How to Spot Dodgy Waterworks

  • 5 years ago

When you’re looking for a new home, you tend to focus on the more exciting elements, like having more space, having a bigger garden and a park nearby or moving to a more up-market area. One thing you might overlook is the plumbing in the property you’re interested in, but you shouldn’t.

Plumbing is important

Plumbing isn’t just a bunch of pipes and taps, it’s an essential element of living as it controls and facilitates washing, waste disposal, heating and drinking water. You need functional, safe plumbing to live healthily and so you need to either know the property you’re looking at has it or what you need to do to fix sub-par waterworks.

When you view a property, here’s what to look out for.

Patches of corrosion, dampness or leaks

A property’s pipework runs all the way around it, therefore, inspect the pipes wherever you see them. Watch out for signs of rusting or dampness around them or on the walls, especially, around the joints. Don’t just look at the exposed pipes, though; you should follow them into attics, behind furniture and into cupboards to make sure they’re secure all along their lengths. Look out for loose pipes, too.

Watch out for dodgy boilers

Most boilers last around ten years. There are some still going strong after 12 or so years, but they’ll need more checks and maintenance as they get older. Older boilers are less efficient and so while it can be expensive to replace the boiler in your new home, it’ll be cheaper in the long-run.

Check the age of the boiler when you view a property. If the information isn’t readily available, then note down the serial number and call the manufacturer. A boiler that’s approaching the end of or already past its best years isn’t a great investment so you should ask for a reduction on the asking price.

Turn the taps, flush the toilets

You should also turn on the boiler and hot water, try out the tumble dryer and the dishwasher and even light the gas hob. Hopefully everything will be in good order, but any creaking, bubbling or other funny noise should be looked into further.

See how long it takes for water to run hot and how quickly radiators heat up. If you go for a second or third viewing then ask to see the dishwasher and washing machine in action to check out the plumbing. You should do this even if you’re bringing your own appliances with you, as they’ll be running off the same pipes, after all.

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