How Often You Should Have A Plumbing Inspection

Taking care of a plumbing system must be a top priority for a homeowner. Many homeowners do know that delays on repairs wouldn’t be helpful, so they move to address leaks, clogs, and other issues right away. They might not move as quickly to replace and to upgrade aging plumbing, though. One reason is that nothing seems to be wrong with it. Another could be the homeowner can’t recognize the signs of aging drains and pipes. If the homeowner makes an error in judgment here, he or she could face a plumbing disaster.

Sometimes, a problem might be a hidden one. A leak occurring far out of sight can persist until its damaging results become apparent. And here, too, the homeowner could face significant plumbing repair bills. Catching the issue might have led to a less-costly outcome. If the homeowner doesn’t know what to look for, how can he or she discover a problem? The answer is to turn the job over to a professional. A plumbing company would happily provide a thorough inspection when asked. If you’re wondering how often should you request a plumbing inspection, here are a few tips for scheduling this necessary service.

Common Recommendations for Inspections

Requesting an inspection once every two years would allow many residential and commercial property owners in Glendale to uncover any problems present with the system. Allowing three or four years to pass would be a bit too long. A lot can happen in 36 to 48 months. Waiting so long could leave a problem in place for too long. Calling in an inspection every two years would be reasonable when the plumbing system is already in decent shape. If the first inspection reveals nothing is wrong or leads to immediate repairs, the plumber could recommend a standard two-year review.

Not all plumbing systems are in perfect shape, though. Maybe keeping a more consistent eye on the plumbing system would be a good plan. If asked, a plumbing company would surely accommodate a once-a-year inspection plan. When the home is an older property, a yearly inspection could be preferable to one performed every two years. Older homes suffer from age-related problems, and those issues could get worse without necessary upkeep. More frequent inspections could help the cause.

Requesting an Inspection When Concerned

Sometimes, the things that go bump in the night might come from your plumbing system. Avoid the trap of explaining away the problem. People tend to do this to put off spending money on repairs due to the cost or the inconvenience. They comfort themselves with the assumption that there isn’t really anything wrong. Ultimately, reality reveals itself. The light tapping sound of a leak above the ceiling is only going to cause more damage to the wood and drywall. A different result could be the case when catching the problem earlier.

When something appears out of the ordinary, consider it a good idea to ask a plumber to perform a thorough examination, and take the opportunity to explore the plumbing system for any not-so-obvious problems. Just because one or two things are wrong with the plumbing does not mean the entire plumbing system is in bad shape. Then again, severe problems could be present throughout the home. You won’t know for sure until a skilled pro takes a look. Still, locating and correcting defects right away saves time, money, and aggravation. In Glendale, AZ, Christian Brothers has long established itself as a top plumbing company. Clogs, leaks, drain cleaning, and even pipe relining are among the jobs handled by the team.

Consider Seasonal Inspections

The seasons of the year could contribute to the timing of your annual inspections. Right before winter seems like a plan for many because they worry about serious problems such as potential pipe freezes during the cold weather months. Nothing is more worrisome to many homeowners than the damage that frozen pipes may cause, so the concern is well-founded.

In truth, there is no improper time of the year to schedule a plumbing inspection. That said, those with concerns about winter weather could also find requesting a check once the temperature heats up to be reassuring. Even if nothing appears wrong, concerns might exist about the plumbing’s fitness for the winter. Perhaps it would be a good idea to winterize the system to reduce the chances of problems in the future.

Examinations Involve a Vast Plumbing System

Even in a small house, a plumbing system covers a lot of territory. In a midsize or large home, the drains and pipes sprawl throughout the interior and may be hidden in many places. With so much plumbing to worry about, it becomes almost impossible to stay on top of everything. You have plumbing running throughout the bathroom, kitchen, washing machines, and more. Maybe you have a bathroom or sink inside an attic or basement that you don’t pay much attention to. Those plumbing systems may house pressurized water in their pipes. Things could go wrong and create many unwanted headaches or hassles.

Probably the most concerning plumbing components would be the ones inside the walls. Plumbing that runs underneath the house in a crawlspace, while out of sight, can’t be ignored. If something goes wrong with plumbing that you can’t see, you won’t know how serious the issue is. Once again, you might not know about a leak until the damage becomes both evident and extensive.

A modern plumbing company can deal with out-of-sight problems. Leak detection systems that employ infrared cameras and other devices could find a leak hidden from view. Remember, even though you can’t see the leak, the leak may be causing harm. A skilled plumber usually knows how to perform the right fix in the least invasive way possible.

Warnings About Potential Hazards

There might not be a problem present right now, but things could degrade. A plumber could look at the pipes and notice they might need an upgrade in a year or so. The plumber might see other impending problems and provide recommendations for improvements. At least with a heads up, the homeowner can make suitable arrangements. If you live in an older home with the original plumbing lines, an upgrade may be unavoidable. Knowing how much time you have before performing required upgrades allows for better planning and budgeting. You certainly don’t want to wait until leaks, corrosion, and other problems arise. Performing an early fix through preventive maintenance might be preferable.

Avoid Delays on Repair Work

Once any mysterious trouble becomes uncovered, the plumber can take steps to fix things. Of course, the professional needs a go-ahead from the homeowner. Avoid putting off any necessary repairs. Doing so increases the risks that things could turn out worse, and that situation wouldn’t be beneficial.

Do you want a plumbing inspection performed right away? Call Christian Brothers plumbing to request assistance with your plumbing woes. The team also handles air conditioning, electrical, and heating work. In business since 1976, the Christian Brothers team brings licensed home service to your door.

Air conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical repair since 1976 in Phoenix, AZ.


Common Plumbing Code Violations To Be Aware Of

Various plumbing codes, including the IPC (International Plumbing Code), have developed over decades in Arizona and throughout the U.S. Most are mandatory requirements that will keep you from running into costly and possibly dangerous problems with your pipes and fixtures. However, just because these codes exist doesn’t guarantee that they will be heeded. In fact, plumbing code infractions are some of the most common violations you can find in homes today, principally because there are a lot of DIY plumbers out there who don’t have a lot of experience with the provisions. Becoming familiar with some of the most common plumbing code violations can be valuable for homeowners, home shoppers, and real estate professionals.

Drain Pipe With Wrong Slope

The most optimal slope for drain pipes is 1/4 inch per foot. In some jurisdictions, the slope may be as little as 1/16 inch per foot. Regardless, under-and over-sloped pipes are common problems that often result in severe blockages. If the slope of the drain pipe is inadequate, then the wastewater won’t have enough gravitational force to cause it to drain properly. If there is too much slope, then the wastewater will flow too quickly and likely leave solids behind.

Improper Spacing Around Bathroom Fixtures

To be properly up to code, each fixture in your bathroom must have a certain amount of space around it. This space requirement is essential for the safe and proper use of the fixtures. Keep in mind that when reviewing the space requirements, measurements start from the drain or the center of the fixture and not the fixture’s edge.

Most codes dictate there be at least 21 inches of space in front of your sink and toilet. As far as side to side is concerned, there must be at least 15 inches of space between the center of the toilet or sink and the wall and 30 inches between them and the drains of other fixtures.

Improperly Installed TPRV Pipe

The temperature pressure relief valve is an important safety device that prevents your water heater from turning into a bomb. Its job is to make sure the water heater tank doesn’t take on more pressure than it’s designed to handle. Without this valve, the tank’s pressure will continue to increase, and the water inside will become superheated past its normal boiling point until the tank explodes.

A discharge pipe should be connected to the TPRV. This pipe’s job is to take on the water released from the TPRV and route it to a proper discharge location. Most plumbing codes give specific instructions regarding the discharge pipe.

Most codes require that the pipe:

  • Be constructed of approved metals and plastics, such as CPVC, copper and polyethylene
  • Not be the same size or larger than the valve to which it’s connected
  • Not be longer than necessary
  • Be as straight as possible
  • Be installed in such a way that gravity causes it to drain
  • Not contain a trap
  • Flows into a floor drain or outdoors
  • Not connect directly to the drainage system
  • Discharge through a visible air gap in the same room as the water-heating appliance
  • Discharge to a termination point that is readily observable by occupants
  • Not contain valves or tee fittings
  • Not have a threaded connection at the end so as to avoid capping

There are even more requirements, which is why TPRV discharge pipes commonly have code issues.

Insufficient or Missing Air Gaps for Fixtures and Appliances

To prevent wastewater from making its way into the freshwater lines, there needs to be a minimum air gap between the tap or water outlet and the flood line of a sink or fixture. With this gap, there is no danger of the wastewater making its way into the tap or water outlet in case the sink overflows.

With dishwashers, air gaps operate a little differently. A dishwasher air gap is a small cylinder-shaped piece of equipment that is installed next to your kitchen faucet. They have been in existence for a long time but were not required in many states until recently.

Insufficient Number of or Missing Cleanouts

A cleanout is a location in your piping system that gives you access to your sewer pipe. Cleanouts are important because they make diagnosing and fixing pipe and sewer problems relatively easy and convenient. They are usually located outside somewhere, often in the lawn, and have a screw top opening.

According to code, cleanouts are necessary for horizontal pipe runs of 100 feet. They are also required within 10 feet of where the drain connects to the sewer. Additionally, cleanouts are required when there’s a change of direction with your pipes that is more than 45 degrees.

Inaccessible Cleanouts

In order for a cleanout to be useful, it must be placed in an accessible location. However, this does not always happen. There should be 18 inches of clearance in front of each cleanout or 12 inches for pipes that are 2 inches or smaller. Cleanouts that are located in concealed piping with less than 24 inches of vertical clearance must be positioned above the flooring or placed outside of the structure.

Unvented Traps

Traps maintain a barrier between your fixture and the sewer system of your home. Generally, you’ll see two types of traps when dealing with bathroom and kitchen sinks — P-traps and S-traps. S-traps are essentially two P-traps that are connected and form the shape of an “S.” The problem with S-traps is they don’t allow for venting.

Venting allows for the entry of air into your plumbing system. This air will help the wastewater flow correctly while allowing for odors and gasses to escape. Vents normally run up through the roof. Without venting, you risk sewage backing up into your fixtures.

Call the Pros for Dependable Plumbing Work

There are a lot of DIY plumbers who do their own pipework for bathroom and kitchen remodel projects. In some cases, these DIYers are skilled and knowledgeable. They may even be plumbing professionals. However, in most cases, the work they do is not up to code and will need to be corrected. If you want your plumbing updates to be done properly, your best bet is to call in the pros.

At Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical, we’ve got years of plumbing experience and hundreds of satisfied customers. If you’re in need of plumbing done right, then contact us. Our crew has corrected plenty of problems caused by DIY projects. No matter what may be wrong with your pipes, we’ll find a solution.

We also offer an array of heating and cooling services, including AC repair and maintenance, ductless mini-split repair and maintenance, and heating repair and maintenance. Additionally, we have licensed electricians who can provide you with a whole host of electrical services, from electrical repairs and installations to electrical inspections. Call Christian Brothers in Glendale, AZ, for more information today.

Air conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical repair since 1976 in Phoenix, AZ.