More blog posts about bathrooms and plumbing:

  1. Do you check the plumbing under the floor slab?

  2. What is that big thing in the toilet tank?

  3. What is the purpose of a thermostatic mixing valve above a water heater?

  4. What is a “cross connection” in a home’s plumbing system?

  5. This home has galvanized water pipe. Is that a problem?

  6. Should I call a plumber or septic tank contractor when my septic tank backs up into the house?

  7. What causes low water pressure in a house?

  8. How much does it cost to replace the plumbing pipe in a house?

  9. What’s the flip-up handle on the water heater for?

  10. My well water test came back positive for bacteria. What should I do?

  11. Do you test the well water?

  12. What is the difference between water service pipe and water supply pipe?

  13. How much does it cost to replace the water heater?

  14. How can I tell what type of plumbing pipe I have?

  15. What is a saddle valve?

  16. How do you test a shower pan for leaks?

  17. What is a grinder pump?

  18. What can I do to make my water heater last longer?

  19. What is that little tank on top of the water heater for?

  20. What is the average lifespan of a water heater?

  21. What are the most common plumbing problems with older houses?

  22. Why are rubber washing machine hoses a safety risk?

  23. What is a dielectric union?

  24. What is the average life expectancy of copper pipe?

  25. Why can’t PVC pipe be used for water pipe inside a house?

  26. What is the average life expectancy of PVC pipe?

  27. What is an escutcheon plate?

  28. Why is sunlight exposure bad for PVC pipe?

  29. What is the loose wire sticking out of the ground under the gas meter for?

  30. How can I locate my septic tank?

  31. What do the ABS, PVC, CPVC, PB, and PEX plumbing pipe names mean?

  32. What are the right words for talking about a house plumbing system?

  33. Should I seal the washing machine drain hose to the standpipe?

  34. How can I tell if a house is connected to a septic tank or sewer?

  35. How do you find a broken water pipe leak under the floor slab?

  36. What is a sediment trap or dirt leg?

  37. Is a hot water faucet required at a washing machine?

  38. My spa tub stopped working. What’s wrong?

  39. Which plumbing fixtures require water shut off valves in a home?

  40. What is the minimum and maximum slope of the trap arm of a plumbing drain?

How to Look

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Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

  1. Bullet When flushed, the bowl should drain promptly and completely, and the tank should refill in a reasonable amount of time. We note if the toilet fill valve opens intermittently due to a small leak or runs continuously. If uncertain about a leak, we put a small dye tablet in the tank and wait a couple of minutes. Any dye color that shows up in the bowl indicates a problem. An infrared camera or moisture meter may also be used if we suspect moisture around the base of the toilet.

    The standard residential toilet is a called a gravity type. More sophisticated designs include the vacuum-assist and pressure-assist toilets, both of which have an enhanced--but noisier--flush.

   A federal mandate in 1994 requires new toilets to have a maximum 1.6 gallon flush volume, but one variation on the standard toilet is a dual-flush, with a choice of two buttons for either a low-volume (1.0 gallons, for liquid only) or regular (1.6 gallons, for solid waste) flush.

  Everyone in the building trades has a favorite toilet story. Ours is about an old-time builder we know who would push the merits of buying one of his brand-new homes versus an older one by saying: “You know, you shouldn’t have to sit on another man’s toilet!”


While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
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