Have you been searching for a house to call your own? If you are, congratulations! Whether you are a first-time or experienced buyer, this is always an exciting milestone. However, we know there are many crucial factors and specific steps to take during the search process. But while you house hunt, we want to remind you that it is important to pay close attention to the plumbing system of each potential home as well. Knowing what plumbing problems to look for could make all the difference in finding the best home suited for your family. Fortunately, your team here at Narrow Path Plumbing has put together a list of five red flags that every homebuyer should be aware of whilst touring potential homes. 

Red Flag Number One: Do You Know How Old the Water Heater Is?   

Generally, house listings will contain information about the water heater, but in case the listing doesn’t have this information included, you can quickly assess the age and condition of the water heater during your walk-through. Although it will only give you a very rough idea, spotting signs of excessive dust buildup, corrosion, or puddles around the unit’s base can be a good indication of the water heater’s age or the maintenance it has received.  Water heaters typically last 8-12 years with proper care, so depending on the age of the water heater, if you decide to pursue a home with an older water heater, you may need to plan for a replacement. 

Red Flag Number Two: How Does the Water Pressure Feel?   

Low water pressure is another important thing to check for, as poor water pressure can cause a lot of inconvenience and be costly to resolve. So, it’s a good idea to check the faucets and showers by turning on the water and letting it run for a few minutes before moving on to the next room.  

Red Flag Number Three: Do the Drains & Water Lines Show Damage?  

Next, try to focus on the drains and visible water lines while you’re checking the water pressure.  When you’re checking the water pressure of a sink or shower, just take a quick look at each drain to see if there’s any rust building up. It’s a red flag that can be rare, but it could also lead to headaches and digging into your wallet. Additionally, it’s important to examine all visible water lines, such as those located under the kitchen or bathroom sinks. Be on the lookout for leaks or signs of discoloration, and while the faucet is running, check for dripping water. 

Red Flag Number Four: Do You See Signs of Water Damage?   

Water damage is a real issue that you should be aware of beforehand. There are various types of water damage that you should be able to identify.  

  • Inspect the bases of all toilets in the house for any signs of pooling or puddles, which may indicate a leak. If you find any, look around the area for signs of water damage. 
  • Be sure to look up and inspect the ceilings throughout the house for brown spots or water stains, as they may be a result of past leaks from a pipe or the roof. 
  • As you continue your tour, don’t forget to check the basement and crawlspaces if you c and for water stains or any indications of a leak. They are often forgotten due to their location but are still just as important. Water damage can sneak up on you and turn into a much larger problem. 

Red Flag Number Five: Are There Plumbing Maintenance Records?   

Last of all, feel free to ask any questions you may have about the plumbing system of a home you may be interested in. Moreover, if you are actively pursuing the home and have made an offer on it, asking for the home’s plumbing history, including maintenance and repair records, is not a bad idea. A lack of maintenance records could indicate potential issues, as annual maintenance is highly recommended. On top of that, an excessive amount of repairs to a particular area could also be a red flag that should raise concern. 


Peace of mind is so important when making a big commitment, like buying a house. Therefore, we provide a plumbing inspection service that you can request as a part of the terms if you decide to move forward with the purchase. Our licensed local plumbers will thoroughly evaluate and inspect the plumbing equipment, pipes, and drainage systems. They will also thoroughly examine various important plumbing areas and equipment to ensure their proper functioning. This thorough inspection can help you gain the additional confidence necessary to determine if the house is suitable for your family or if it’s something you need to walk away from. At the very least, it can at least give you some bargaining power to your advantage. (Bear in mind that this appointment typically needs to be arranged by the homeowner.) 

It’s important to keep in mind that these points are not necessarily deal breakers but rather potential warning signs to be aware of and avoid any surprises after moving in. If you have a plumbing need or question that we can assist you with, we’re here to serve you! Call Narrow Path Plumbing today at (937) 623-2619, or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here! 

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(937) 623-2619

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