Woohoo! You’re under contract for that sweet corner house you’ve been dreaming of. Just a few hoops to jump through before sealing the deal. You can practically hear the shiny keys tinkle in your hand.
But, slow your roll before picking out paint and window treatments – because there are important things to inspect before buying a home. Whether this home is in San Antonio, Austin, Round Rock, or Bastrop, we recommend getting your homes plumbing inspected.
Don’t buy a lemon
No one wants a lemon after paying good money to a car dealer. Likewise, no homebuyer should get stuck with surprise repairs right off the bat – or worse, a money pit. Unfortunately, it does happen – even with professional inspections before closing.
Home-buyers usually get termite and general inspections before closing. One of the most important parts of the general inspection involves plumbing. Though general inspectors can give good overviews in their reports, you should go a step further.
What’s one of our top plumbing inspection tips for homebuyers? During your Option Period, get a sewer camera inspection. You won’t regret it. You can schedule a sewer camera inspection for your plumbing with one of our experienced plumbers for your home or business. Plus, we are offering sewer camera inspections for only $250! We can perform a sewer line camera inspection and find the issues with your plumbing quickly and efficiently. Save time and money by calling out Reliant Plumbing in Austin and San Antonio for same day services. subject to availability.
What’s a camera plumbing inspection?
You know how doctors sometimes put little cameras down people’s throats (or up the opposite end – ouch!) to get a better look at what’s going on inside of them? That’s basically what a plumbing camera inspection does for pipes. It’s an in-depth look at your system.
Trained technicians use special camera lines that go inside drains, to take video and pictures of your pipes. They use these images to assess the condition of your plumbing system. Through camera inspections, they can see wear and tear, snags, clogs, how much life is left in the pipes, etc.
Accessing the pipes
A plumbing pro can get camera access to your pipes in two ways:
- Through a sewer cleanout
- A sewer cleanout is a pipe that transports waste from the house to the sewer line.
- For drain line clogs, this is the best way to access them.
- They’re usually installed in easily-accessible areas – typically within a few feet of the edge of a home.
- In some cases, a cleanout may not exist – especially if the home is on the older side.
- Through a toilet
- If a cleanout can’t be used for the inspection, they can use a toilet for access.
- The technician temporarily removes the toilet and inserts the camera line into the pipe.
How long does it take?
It usually takes about an hour.
The most time and cost efficient method is to run the camera from the very back of the home to the point where the sewer line ties into the street.
What do you do with the results?
If the camera inspection comes out clean, congrats! Rest easy knowing that your plumbing is in good shape.
If the camera inspection doesn’t come out so clean, you have a few options:
- You can use the camera plumbing inspection to negotiate and knock some money off of the selling price. Or you might ask that they pay a greater share of the closing costs to reduce the amount of cash the buyer needs on hand at the time of the sale.
- You can ask the seller to remedy the issues shown during the inspection – on their dime – before closing the deal.
- You can walk away, if you think the house isn’t worth the plumbing hassles or risks.
Trenchless pipe repair is less invasive and can save you from deep trenches in your yard. You may be able to introduce this idea during the home buying process.
Some older homes may require cast iron to pvc replacement. Many older homes in Austin and San Antonio were built using cast iron sewer pipes. Over time, that cast iron deteriorates and disappears when buried in the clay soil of the area. Homes built in the 1960s or 70s may need to have the cast iron sewer pipes replaced with PVC – and for homes built on a concrete slab, these jobs typically require tunneling. Don’t get stuck with the bill for these repairs! Negotiate with the seller to make a fair deal.
Don’t let your Austin dream home become a nightmare. Always get a camera plumbing inspection during the Option Period. Better to spend a little now than a lot later.