How to Look

at a House

A blog with answers
to your questions about

More Blog Posts about Plumbing:

  1. Should I upgrade to a tankless water heater?

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

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

  4. How old is that water heater?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  17. Do you test the well water?

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

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

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

  21. Why is my water heater making strange (rumbling, gurgling, knocking or banging) noises?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  31. What is an FVIR water heater?

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

  33. What is an escutcheon plate?

  34. Why is sunlight exposure bad for PVC pipe?

  35. Is the hot water faucet handle required to be on the left?

  36. How can I locate my septic tank?

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

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

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

  40. What is a sediment trap or dirt leg?

Diagram - U.S Department of Energy

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.

    Installation labor by a plumber is the same as a standard water heater, so the cost difference is completely in the price of the unit. As the DOE ratchets up energy efficiency requirements for water heaters every few years—the last up-tick was this April—there will likely be more hybrids manufactured, on the floor in stores, and at even better prices. At least we hope so.

    Heat pump water heaters need to be installed in a location with a temperature range between 40-90ºF year-round. To read more about this new application for heat pump technology, visit the Department of Energy’s website at:

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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