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Ways to Spot Hidden Plumbing Problems

Woman Looking At Plumber Fixing Steel TapAs the cliché goes, beauty is skin deep, and it applies to modern fixtures too. Bathroom and kitchen renovations are often done in the hopes of repairing something serious or covering up a major aesthetic problem at the very least. When we purchase properties, like a home or commercial space, the owner will probably do some renovations to make the space look brand new.

Sometimes, however, a renovation project may not go as planned and may cause another set of problems for the new homeowners. You cannot just assume that a newly renovated bathroom or kitchen has very sound plumbing. There’s always a possibility that there are hidden plumbing problems, and you need to know how to spot them.

Ways to spot hidden plumbing problems

One of the ways to spot hidden plumbing problems is to find renovation cover-ups.

  • To find renovation cover-ups, you need to find out who did the work. Who were the contractors? Did they find any issues when they completed the work? Were the contractors hired to do the job reputable or at the very least, licensed?
  • Check the fittings of your plumbing fixtures. The quality of the fittings can indicate how the project was approached – whether it was done by a licensed contractor or not. The best way to check for quality is to check for the brands used during the renovation. Branded fittings can be more expensive and these are often tell-tale signs that a licensed contractor did the work.
  • Check if the workmanship is good. Shoddy workmanship can be easy to spot even if you’re not a tradesperson. Poor finish, messy grouting, and crooked tiles in a renovation are clear signs of poor workmanship.
  • Paintwork can also be a cover up for poor renovation projects. It’s used to make a house look brand new without having any real work done. It’s no surprise that most contractors would often paint over water stains than to fix the leak behind it.

A drainage diagram can show you where the pipes are in the house and you should ask for this when you purchase a property, along with the other plans. Your solicitor should be able to track them down.

Now when you have the drainage diagram, it’s easy to spot if any bathroom or kitchen renovation was done.

  • A drainage diagram for a newly renovated bathroom or kitchen will help you see whether or not the new fixtures are in the same place as the old ones. In worst case scenarios, you could be looking at fixtures sitting on top of old pipes.
  • If the new fixtures do not match the drainage diagram, then the diagram was not updated at the time of the renovation. It’s unlikely that plumbing changes were approved by your state’s water utility, which is cause for alarm as major issues are seen lying ahead.
  • If the drainage diagram shows a perfect match of the new fixtures and the diagram was also updated at the time of the renovation, then everything is good.

What happens if you’re not happy with the renovation?

If you’ve checked the property and you find some cover-ups done, you still have the option to negotiate for a lower price for the property instead of walking away.

Another option is to hire a professional plumber to do the inspection for you. If the plumber finds faults during the inspection stage, ask for an estimate for the repair costs and then factor this into your negotiation.


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