If you are currently in the process of searching for your next home to live in, you are likely already aware of how buying a house can be a thrilling task. While it is true that it can be exciting, it can also be daunting. There are various factors to mull over and things to consider before deciding on purchasing a home. However, amidst the busyness of everything, we want to remind you not to forget about one crucial element – the home’s plumbing system. While you tour prospective houses and evaluate each space to see if it fits your family’s needs, remember to pay some attention to the plumbing system. Your team at New Albany Plumbing & Drain wants to help ease the load, so we’ve compiled a list of 5 red flags to help you spot potential plumbing problems while you continue your search for your dream home. 

Number 1: The Age and Condition of the Water Heater    

If a house listing doesn’t mention the water heater, inspecting the unit yourself can help you estimate its age and condition. Keep in mind it will be a very rough estimate, but at least provide some insight into the upkeep the unit has received over the years. For instance, excessive dust buildup, corrosion, or water puddles around the base of the unit could be a sign of poor maintenance or underlying problems. Bear in mind that most water heaters have a lifespan of 8-12 years. Therefore, if you decide to buy a house with an older water heater, you should mentally prepare that it may need to be replaced in the near future. While this shouldn’t be the ultimate deal-breaker, it’s essential to be aware so you’re not caught off-guard later. 

Number 2: The Water Pressure  

When you do a walk-through of a house, don’t forget to check the water pressure in the faucets and showers. You want to test each area to ensure the water pressure in the home is not low. This is an important step that should not be overlooked as poor water pressure can be fixed and costly. Checking the water pressure ahead of time can save you from unexpected surprises down the road. 

Number 3: The Drains & Water Lines 

While checking the water pressure of the sinks and showers, focus your attention on the drains and visible water lines too. Quickly examine the drains for any rust buildup. Even though this is a rare problem, it can still occur and may result in costly repairs. You also want to ensure that all visible water lines under the sinks are intact and don’t show any signs of dripping water while the faucet is on. 

Number 4: Water Damage   

Water damage is a real issue that should not be ignored, making it essential to know what to look for throughout your tour. Here are some useful tips on how to identify areas with water damage. 

  • Check the bases of all the toilets in the house for any signs of pooling or puddles. These signs could indicate leakage in the toilet, which could cause water damage in the nearby area. 
  • Be sure to check the ceilings throughout the house for brown spots or water stains. 
  • If you can also inspect the basement or crawlspaces, look for signs of water damage in the spaces, as they are easily overlooked but not invincible to water damage.  

Number 5: The Home’s Plumbing Records  

Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the plumbing system in a home you’re thinking of pursuing. Understanding its condition is crucial, so never feel like asking inquisitive questions is a nuisance. Furthermore, it is advisable to inquire about the maintenance and repair history of the house’s plumbing. Keeping records of such may come in handy in the future. Moreover, no maintenance records or history over a long time may be a cause for concern as annual plumbing maintenance is highly recommended to keep a plumbing system in tip-top shape. Another thing to be watchful for is an unusually high number of repairs in a specific area, which can also be a red flag. 


Purchasing a house is a big commitment. So, peace of mind is everything. To help provide you with the extra assurance you need so that you know exactly what you are getting into, we offer a plumbing inspection service. This means our licensed plumbers thoroughly evaluate and inspect all the plumbing equipment, pipes, and drainage systems. The home’s plumbing will be thoroughly inspected to ensure it meets the required standards and is functioning properly. This detailed inspection can help you decide if the home is suitable for your family, or it may even provide you with the closure you need to walk away. Please, note that the homeowner typically arranges this inspection. 

We hope these points have offered helpful insights as you look for your ideal home. Call New Albany Plumbing & Drain for all your plumbing needs today at (614) 245-3319, or schedule an appointment online by clicking here!