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Inspecting the Plumbing on a Home Inspection

The plumbing includes the sink, faucet, disposal, and trap assembly. The first thing I do is check to see if there is a drain/trap assembly present.  You would be surprised how many times there is no disposal or trap assembly present, instead you see a bucket.  Be sure the drain piping is not “double trapped” as this will cause slow drainage and possible clogs.  Install the stopper(s) into the sink(s) and fill with about 3-4 inches of water.  Start with the hot water as it may take some time to make it from the water heater to the kitchen.  Once hot water arrives (left side faucet position) turn the water to cold to finish filling the sink(s).  Be sure to observe any water coming from the faucet handle itself, which should be noted.

While the sink is filling, check to see if the dishwasher discharge hose is properly routed to the disposal or trap assembly.  The discharge hose should be arched/looped from the dishwasher right up to the underside of the countertop, then to the trap assembly or disposal.  The alternative is to have an “air-gap” installed through the sink.  It is the 2-inch tall shiny chrome thing with the slot in it beside the faucet.  The purpose of both the “loop” and the “air-gap” is to prevent the contents of the sink/disposal from draining into the dishwasher, possibly creating a cross-connection.

Once the sink is adequately filled, pull the stopper(s), leave the water running on the side with the disposal, turn the disposal on and look for leaks beneath the sink, at the disposal, and trap assembly.

Be sure to comment appropriately.  A leak is liquid water going somewhere it will damage something, like the cabinets or drywall.  Dripping is water falling into the sink itself, not damaging anything, just wasting water.  The reason for the distinction is that one is a maintenance issue the other is a necessary repair to prevent further damage.  Additionally, a “dry stain” is old and a “wet stain” is current.  Use your moisture meter to determine what type of stain you are observing.


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