A plumbing inspection performed in your home can help determine if there are problems that need to be fixed immediately. When left ignored, things like leaks and obstacles in water flow can graduate to larger problems that require replacement of equipment, and ultimately money drained from your bank account. Taking the time to have a professional plumbing mechanic examine your pipes and fixtures is a great way to know how your home works and to be prepared in the event of emergency.

That said, here is a brief checklist to have handy when you schedule your home plumbing inspection. Know what to expect and how to solve problems as they arise.

Toilets: Your plumber should check every commode in your home to see that they are in good working order. He or she will typically inspect the supply line and shut off valve, the flapper and flush valve, and the ballcock. A flush test will determine if there are leaks and if anything in the tank needs to be repaired or replaced.

Sinks: Your plumber will check the kitchen, bathroom, and garage sinks where applicable. As with the toilets, checks will be made on the supply lines and shut off valves. Also inspected are the waste lines and faucets for leaks, the drains for clogs, and any disposal mechanisms (usually in the kitchen).

Bathtub and Shower: One might not think to find as many problems here as opposed to toilets and sinks, but tubs and showers are capable of leaking as well. Your plumber will look for problems with the faucets and drains, and the showerhead.

Water Heater: This is perhaps one of the more important inspections to make, as the strength of your water heater can determine the cost of your utilities. Shut off and pressure relief valves are checked, as are the electrical and/or gas valve connections. The heater is also inspected for corrosion and temperature, tank capacity and the strength of the flue pipe and burner.

Lastly, if you have a washer and dryer set up, your plumber may check those hookups. If you have a water and sump pump, make sure those go through the inspection, in addition to other outdoor water hookups you have – faucets and sprinkler systems.

The purpose of the plumbing inspection is to give you peace of mind that your water supply and water heating functionality is not compromised. A thorough inspection at least once a year can see to your home's integrity.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Chesapeake plumbing services.

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