It’s time to don your plumbing inspector’s hat! Trust me when I say that you will not want to miss this journey as we delve into the world of plumbing inspection. Picture this: You’re strolling into a property, and the homeowners proudly tell you they’ve taken a crack at DIY plumbing repairs or remodeling. Now, we all know DIY can be fantastic, but when it comes to plumbing, it can sometimes be a recipe for surprises.
So, let’s start at the beginning, where all great stories begin—building codes. They’re the rules that keep our homes safe and snug. Even the tiniest code mishap can lead to plumbing problems down the line, and that’s where we come in.
Now, let’s throw a curveball: older properties. They’ve seen their fair share of plumbing trends, and sometimes, they just don’t match up with today’s plumbing codes. But, here’s the twist – when homeowners decide it’s time for that swanky bathroom or kitchen upgrade, they’ve got to bring those pipes up to code.
But here’s the kicker – plumbing code violations aren’t always the result of rule-breaking rebels. Nope, sometimes it’s just the aging process of the house. The National Uniform Plumbing Code is our trusted guide, setting the standards coast to coast, while each state adds its own unique flavor with updates.
Now, the pièce de résistance: teamwork! We, the field inspectors, team up with licensed plumbing pros to make sure plumbing systems follow the local rulebook. These experts have the inside scoop on navigating the labyrinth of plumbing codes, ensuring everything is up to snuff and passes inspections with flying colors.
But before we hit the streets (or, should I say, the pipes), let’s not forget our primary duty – educating homeowners about local plumbing codes. Especially when they’ve got grand plans for plumbing repairs or renovations, helping them snag the right permits is key. Skipping this step isn’t just a hiccup; it can turn into a headache with fines and all.
And here’s a hot tip for those working with the handyman down the street: make sure they’re in the permit game too. While licensed plumbers usually have this on lock, remind everyone involved that it’s all about playing by the rules.
So, let’s begin
Here are those nine common plumbing problems that can result in a failed inspection and must be rectified before proceeding with a home remodel or sale:
1. Incorrect Sink Trap Installation
In modern homes, it’s crucial to have a P-trap beneath sinks, bathtubs, and appliances to efficiently drain wastewater. The P-trap prevents debris buildup and blocks sewer gas entry. Outdated S-traps without proper venting violate plumbing codes.
2. Inadequate Drain Pipe Sizing
Drain pipes must meet specific size requirements for effective drainage. Many violations occur due to the use of undersized pipes. When repiping, ensure the replacement pipes comply with current plumbing codes.
3. Improper Hot Water Heater Installation
Modern water heaters come with safety features, including pressure relief valves. An improperly installed relief valve can lead to pressure buildup, potentially causing property damage and injuries.
4. Insufficient Toilet Space
Toilets should have at least 15 inches of clearance from the center point to a finished side wall and 18 inches of space in front of them. These measurements must be considered during installation, especially if they’re done before drywall installation.
5. Lack of or Inaccessible Drain Cleanouts
Plumbing codes mandate drain cleanouts at various points for easy clog removal. The number of cleanouts required depends on the plumbing system’s size.
6. Nonfunctional Water Shutoffs
Besides the main shut-off valve, plumbing codes require individual shutoff valves for faucets and toilets. These valves should be metal ball valves with braided stainless steel flex lines and metal connectors for hoses.
7. Improper Venting
Exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens should be properly connected to vents leading to the roof or side of the building. Incorrect installations can lead to heat and humidity buildup, causing mold, mildew, and moisture damage.
8. Incorrect Drain Pipe Slope
Drain pipes rely on gravity for effective wastewater drainage. Proper drainage requires a ⅛ inch per foot pitch for 3-inch or larger pipes. Incorrect slope can lead to leaks, slow drainage, and potential backups into living spaces.
9. Faulty GFCI Protection
While an electrical issue, GFCIs are essential in kitchens, bathrooms, and areas with water exposure. They automatically cut power when excessive moisture or electrical current changes occur. To check compliance, use an inexpensive GFCI tester tool.
Addressing these plumbing issues is essential to passing inspection and ensuring the safety and functionality of your plumbing system during home remodeling or sale.
Using Inspection apps can be extremely helpful in streamlining such processes
Transform Your Paper forms into digital Checklists
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Tailor Checklists to Suit Your Business Requirements
Dive into a world of customization tailored to your unique business needs. Advanced features like SKIP Logic and conditional rules empower you to adapt the app for various tasks.
- Conduct Comprehensive Plumbing Inspections
Thoroughly examine plumbing systems, capture photo evidence, annotate defects, and attach detailed notes to clarify plumbing system issues.
- Plan Preventive Maintenance
Effortlessly assign corrective actions to prevent potential risks stemming from identified issues. Specify crucial details such as timing, dates, and priority levels to trigger preventive tasks.
- Inspect Sewer and Drainage Lines
Evaluate all aspects of sewer lines, drainage systems, and septic tanks to conduct a meticulous inspection for pipe corrosion, damage, or major clogs.
Assess fixtures, and identify signs of water damage in both internal and external property components. Examine gutters, flexible hoses, and drains for potential blockages.
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As we wrap up our exploration into the world of plumbing inspections and the role of field inspection apps, remember that these digital tools are your trusted companions in ensuring plumbing systems are up to code and safe. So, whether you’re a homeowner planning a renovation or an inspector donning your hat, don’t forget the power of technology to streamline and enhance the inspection process. Keep those plumbing systems in tip-top shape!