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Kevin Szabo Jr Plumbing Blog

Kevin Szabo Jr Plumbing is Tinley Park, Orland Park, Oak Forest, Midlothian, Orland Hill, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankfort, Crestwood, Palos Heights, Oak Lawn, local plumber. Read our blog for advice, tips, a good laugh, and basic home improvement.

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Plumbing Problems That Most House Owners Ignore

Rona Regan

Plumbing Problems that most house owners ignore

In a survey it was concluded that 30% of new house owners actually see their dream turning into nightmare just because they didn't give any value to the plumbing problems before they made the purchase.

Do you know if you have a leaky faucet that drips twice per minute, you’ll waste over a gallon of water in a week?

You must have heard of the story of a new house owner who found out that his gas supply was coming from the garden? Or of a professional handyman who fixed the leaking roof problem of the previous owners by hiding it behind a fresh coat of paint? How about $5 million house with a beautiful bathroom & kitchen renovations all put on an old clay sewer that collapsed shortly after the settlement? The previous one cost the new owner $30,000 to rectify.

The scariest thing about these real life stories is that the house owners had the properties checked prior to the purchase, still then none of the issues were highlighted. Most buyers don’t even bother to check the plumbing before they buy the house because it isn’t their area of expertise, but some experts do not have those expertise either. So make sure you read this blog till the end & get the necessary awareness.


A little check before the purchase may prevent you from spending $15,000 - $30,000.

1. How old is the roof? 

You should actually go to the roof and check the roof if it is rusty. If it is, then you need to raise a red flag. Some roofs even have seedlings growing from them.

2. Is it renovated or newly painted?

Is this a cover up or a spruce up?

3. Hidden access points

Normally if people have something to hide they do it on the roof or the subfloor area, they do it with the help of access points. Be very cautious if you find an access point and inquire further if you find one.


Most of the faults related to water are hidden from the new owner, which can add significantly to the final budget.

4. Tiling job done bad

If your tiles are in a slapdash manner, imagine what the underneath waterproofing is like. A shoddy waterproofing can result in a huge drain on the funds as you’ll need to pay for the leak detection, then small repairs & eventually a full bathroom renovation.

5. Kitchen & Bathroom renovations

When you were purchasing the home who did the renovation: either the building company or the own builder. In any of the case potential buyers should be aware of the quantity of the renovation & inspect it with a fine-toothed comb.

6. Where is the drainage diagram?

Now days most of the contractors have the sewer service diagram attached. If there is no diagram you should ask for it. Principle advantage of the diagram is that it consists of all the drainage repairs occurred. If the homeowner fail to present the diagram this should raise a red flag for you.


A major storm water issue might cost you $15,000+, so make sure to keep an eye on the open ended problems right before you final the deal.

7. How old is the hot water unit?

This information is usually available on the badge of the hot water unit. Normally they have a life of 8-10 years if poorly maintained or 18-22 years old, factor in the cost of a replacement in the near future ( starts around $800 but averages $1500 - $2500)

8. Are there any Galvanized pipes?

You need to make sure that pipes are not exposed in any way. If there are copper pipes, run your hand along the surface: rough, pitted or thick ones could be galvanized & will need instant replacement, so keep that in mind.

9. Sewer pipes

Normally the sewer system will break, so consider replacing your drainage system. If it is a shared common sewer watch it is not shared with the neighbor. Moreover, inspect that if the down pipe or garden pipe which is a avoidance of clay pipes.

10. Is it concrete? 

Check for the piece of concrete with a square cut out if it is, it means there were drainage issues. If there was a problem in the past, make sure it has been fixed properly, not just forgotten.

Ensure that your building instructor knows what the current drainage issues are. And if you face any drainage issues make sure to correct them prior to the purchase.

In this era of technological advancement there are couple of companies that are selling great quality online plumbing parts, you can try them and do most of the plumbing work yourself.

**In Illinois all plumbing work must be performed by a Licensed Plumbing Contractor

Guest Contributor, Ailsa Ewert