Lots of inspectors check outside faucets to see if they work. You know what I mean—they turn the water on and see if any water comes out of the faucet. They will also check to see if it is loose, not attached to the home properly—and many other issues depending on how old it is.
For example they will report on whether it is a frost-free type faucet or not. They will report if it has an anti-siphon device or not.
They might even recommend upgrading older types of faucets that do not have these features.
However, perhaps the most important thing the inspector will do is to test the outside faucets on the home under back-pressure. This can be done by attaching a pressure gauge like the one in the picture to the left. This is not just to check the water pressure–although that is good information to obtain as well.
By putting the gauge on the valve and then turning the water on, the inspector can learn whether there are leaks around the valve stem and other components of the valve.
More importantly however, if it is a frost-free type faucet like the one in the picture above, this test gives the inspector the opportunity to see if there are leaks inside the home as well. Frost-free type faucets are especially prone to leaking under back pressure because people leave hoses on in the winter nullifying the frost-free aspect of the valve. Water stays in the valve and results in the valve freezing and bursting. With the water running without a pressure gauge there might not be enough pressure for a small leak to reveal itself and the noise of the running water would drown out any possible “hissing” that might give a leak away.
If you look carefully at the picture above you should be able to see a little drip mark on the wall below where the pipe goes into the wall. In this next picture, the drip is apparent.
Of course the valve itself should be properly attached to the home but that is just one of the many defects that might get reported on by the inspector.
Some inspectors only check one faucet under back pressure to determine the water pressure and then don’t test the others around the outside of the home. All outside faucets should be checked under back-pressure to obtain the best information about the valve’s condition.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
If you enjoyed this post, and would like to get notices of new posts to my blog, please subscribe via email in the little box to the right. I promise NO spamming of your email! 🙂