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  • Writer's pictureRob Byrne


On today’s post, Higher Elevation Home Inspections LLC, I got the chance to inspect a home and provide a check list to prevent homebuyers from being blindsided by some easy-to-spot home inspection defects. Most of the time homebuyers do not know what to look for or can not see what is hiding behind the walls or in this case on top of the home. Today we tackle PLUMBING!

Whether you’re buying or selling a home, a home inspection is always to be expected. What is NOT expected are the plumbing problems that we may find hidden behind the walls. A home inspection from us will reveal all the plumbing problems that are lurking behind or exposed in unfinished area’s of a home.

The are common plumbing problems that we come across so, are you ready? well we are so here we go!


Polyethylene pipes are illegal for most usages. They are only allowed for home use with regards to water pressure tanks and main water turn off valves. These pipes were used back in the day roughly during the 70s all the way through the 90s due to the fact that it’s an inexpensive alternative to copper. Polybutylene is a type of plastic resin. It’s now believe that oxidants like chlorine in public water supplies cause this material to become brittle, resulting in micro-fractures that may cause system failure and damage to building structure.

Galvanized pipes were uses prior to the 1960’s in many homes. The galvanized pipes used were lead pipes covered with a layer of zinc. The problem is, over time, the zinc erodes and there’s a risk of lead leeching into the water supply.

How about broken pipes? Yeah they can occur in any home, new or old. In fact, pipes can become broken by accidentally crushing a drain line with your car or can happen as a result of a plumbing DIY project.

Rusty pipes however, can occur when there is rust build up in or around pipes, which can cause blockage or reduced water pressure and flow.


When a sewer line is clogged you will usually be warned with gurgling sounds, slow draining issues and backups. These are often the most common indicators of a clogged sewer line. The most common cause of these clogs is tree root growth. A clog in your main sewer line makes it hard for waste to exit your home and can result in water back up through the piping, resulting in leaks. If this problem is ignored, it will only get worse with time. SO BE ON TOP OF IT!!!


Plumbing pipes are hidden behind the walls, a small leak over time can destroy drywall, flooring and cause the growth of mold and mildew. That’s why it’s so important to have a professional like us inspect a home properly.


Common water heater issues found during the home inspections include: having the wrong size unit, high water pressure, improperly functioning thermostats, sediment build-up and internal rust.

These common plumbing problems found during home inspections can result in moisture and drainage issues, which lead to dry rot structural damage and mold. This is why it’s so important to have a qualified plumbing professional fix the issues. Some of these plumbing issues are obvious, some are not, but they are all common. Keep this information handy for the next time you buy or sell a home and do NOT hesitate to call us as we will make sure we show you those pesky pipes!!

Lets leave this here for now and if you have any questions or concerns always feel free to contact us at the number listed on our website.

This is Rob signing off on today’s hot topic.

Rob Byrne

Higher Elevation Home Inspections LLC


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