How to Look

at a House


A blog with answers
to your questions about
HOME INSPECTION
and HOME MAINTENANCE


More Blog Posts about Plumbing:

  1. Should I upgrade to a tankless water heater?

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

  3. Why is there water in my water heater drain pan?

  4. Why does my well pump turn on and off every time I use water?

  5. How old is that water heater?

  6. My air conditioner won’t turn on. What’s wrong?

  7. Should I wrap the water heater with an insulation blanket?

  8. How do I get insurance if my home can’t pass a 4-point inspection?

  9. What’s the powdery crust on the pipe connections at the water heater?

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

  11. Do I have polybutylene pipe? Why is it a problem?

  12. What is causing a foggy haze on my windows?

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

  14. How do I remove cigarette odor in a house?

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

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

  17. How come the water has a rotten-egg smell in some empty houses?

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

  19. Do you test the well water?

  20. What is the difference between a regular water heater and a power vent water heater?

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

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

  23. What are the most common installation problems with water heater replacement?

  24. What is that pipe sticking out of the ground in the yard?

  25. What are the minimum clearances around a toilet?

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

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

  28. What is a heat pump water heater?

  29. What are the common problems to look for when the plumbing has been replaced in a house?

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

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

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

  33. What is an auto vent, air admittance valve, or check vent?

  34. Why is a European-style bottle trap not approved by the plumbing codes in the U.S.?

  35. What is difference between a single element and dual element electric water heater?

  36. What are the requirements for installing a gas appliance connector?

  37. What is an escutcheon plate?

  38. How can I locate my septic tank?

  39. Why is a backflow preventer required on lawn sprinkler systems?

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

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

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

  43. What is a sediment trap or dirt leg?

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. 3)Close the valve on the cold water supply pipe of the water heater, to shut off the water flow to the tank.

  2. 4)Open a hot water faucet at a nearby sink. This will allow air flow backwards into the tank so that it will drain easier.

  3. 5)Open the hose faucet valve and let the tank drain completely.

  4. 6)Close the hose faucet and let the tank refill, leaving the sink faucet open for a while. You will get a sputtering mixture of water and the air that is being pushed back out of the tank for a while. When the water runs continuously at the sink, without any sputtering, shut off the sink faucet and close the hose faucet.

  5. 7)Turn up the thermostat on the gas water heater, or switch on the breaker at an electric water heater, put the hose away, and you are done.

  6. 8)If the hose faucet drips and does not close completely, there is likely some sediment residue stuck in the valve. You may have to repeat the flushing operation one more time.

   It’s a sensible maintenance idea to drain your water heater every two years, which will both prevent the annoying sounds and extend the life of the tank. If the flushing operation is more than you want to tackle, a professional plumber can do the job for you, along with a doing a general maintenance check to make sure there are no other problems.


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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.
©2015 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection.

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