How to Look

at a House

A blog with answers
to your questions about

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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. 4)Abandoned well - If the pipe is a larger diameter of two to six inches with a threaded end and goes way down into the ground, it may be an abandoned well. Do you see the reflection of water at the bottom when you shine a flashlight down it? If so, it should be capped to avoid contamination of the aquifer below.

  2. 5)Location of former LP-gas tank - A curved copper pipe with a threaded female fitting at the end may be for a former above-ground LP-gas tank at that location.

  3. 6)Underground water shut-off valve - When there’s a water pipe underground with an in-line shut-off valve, a large diameter plastic, often light green, will be installed over it so you can reach down in the ground to use the valve. However, over time, leaves and dirt tend to fall into the pipe and you may have to dig down a little ways to see if there is a valve down there.

  4. 7)Clean-out for the main drain line to septic tank or sewer - This pipe will be larger-diameter plastic and should have a removable cap on it. But if the top is missing or you remove it, you will be looking down a few feet to a horizontal pipe that will have a small stream of fluid flowing at the bottom when any plumbing fixtures in the home are in use.

  5. 8)Just a piece of pipe - If you give the pipe a tug, you may be surprised to find that it’s just a short piece of pipe that someone stuck in ground.

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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