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

  3. How old is that water heater?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  16. Do you test the well water?

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

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

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

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

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

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

  23. What is a heat pump water heater?

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

  25. What is a dielectric union?

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

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

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

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

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

  31. What is an FVIR water heater?

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

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

  34. What is an escutcheon plate?

  35. Why is sunlight exposure bad for PVC pipe?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  44. What is a sediment trap or dirt leg?

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

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

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

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

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.

    But PVC can be used inside the home as drain pipe (also called DWV for drain-waste-vent, which is only under atmospheric pressure), draining the condensate water created by an air conditioning air handler, dryer exhaust venting, and as a flue vent for high-efficiency gas furnaces.

    PVC is not allowed to be used for the discharge piping from the TPR valve of a water heater, which opens to release super-hot water from a water heater when the thermostat fails and overheats the tank. The pipe begins to sag and collapse when extremely hot water flows through it.
    A plastic pipe with a slightly different chemical formulation and similar name, CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride), should not be confused with PVC when talking about water pipe. CPVC is rated for distribution pipe and hot water. It is a cream-color plastic, whereas PVC is white.

    To read more about the different types of plumbing pipe and how to identify them, we suggest reading our blog post “How can I tell what type of plumbing pipe I have?”

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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