Common Plumbing Defects

Common Plumbing Defects found during Home Inspection

Many homes have Common Plumbing Defects that are continually found during home inspections in the Alliston & New Tecumseth area.  This defects exist because the home owner never got a Building Permit or has added connections to existing plumbing.

Plumbing Traps

The purpose of a plumbing trap is to use the level of water contained in the trap to prevent sewer gas from your septic tank or municipal sewer line from entering your home.

Washing Machine – An air gap is required where your washing machine drain line connects to the standpipe.  This is required to to prevent siphoning water out of the washer.

Dishwasher –  According to installation instructions the drain line connection is required to have a high loop to prevent water being drained from dishwasher or from sink trap.

Floor Drains – Modern homes all have a floor drain primer line which is typically connected to laundry tub tap which feeds a small amount of water into floor drain trap to prevent water evaporating and allowing sewer gas to enter your home.

Vent Connections – A connection between a vent pipe and a vent stack or stack vent shall be made at least 6 inches (152 mm) above the flood level rim of the highest fixture served by the vent.

Air Admittance Valves – A.K.A. Cheater Vents.   These are allowed to be used under the following conditions:Common Plumbing Defects

1) Individual vents may terminate with a connection to an air admittance valve as provided in Articles and Air Admittance Valves   (note:  these are a mechanical device and you should buy a CSA approved product to ensure the quality of product.)
1) Air admittance valves shall only be used to vent
a) fixtures located in island counters,
b) fixtures that may be affected by frost closure of the vent due to local climatic conditions,
c) fixtures in one- and two-family dwellings undergoing renovation, or
d) installations where connection to a vent may not be practical.

The picture on the right shows a Air Admittance Valve which is not CSA approved and is installed in unheated space.

Air admittance valves shall be located
a)not less than 100 mm above the horizontal branch drain or fixture drain being vented,
b)within the maximum developed length permitted for the vent, and
c)not less than 150 mm above insulation materials.

Common Plumbing Defects Found In Alliston

Stack Vent –  Your stack vent is required to be 3 inches in size when penetrating the roof and a minimum of 6 inches above roof line.  (plus local snow load calculations)Common Plumbing Defect - attic has unvented stack

Many older homes have had multiple renovations and plumbing added to the house.   Improper venting can cause odor issues and moisture problems if not correctly vented to exterior of structure.  The picture to right shows mould starting to grow on sheathing which will most likely require replacement.

Galvanized Plumbing – Many older homes still have galvanized plumbing installed.  Most insurance companies will not insure a home with galvanized plumbing because it has already long exceeded it service life expectancy.  Century homes will some times have all the accessible galvanized plumbing replaced but all the piping in upper floors and walls has been left in place.  I just finished a Century Home Inspection where galvanized and lead plumbing was found under a loose floor board.

Pex Plumbing –  Many insurance companies will not insure your home if certain brands of Pex Plumbing has been used for water supply lines.  Here are some of the brands that have Class Action Lawsuits ongoing:  Zurn, Kitec, Pex-al-pex, Ipex Aqua or Ipex Homerite.  From all the information available most of these brands are no longer available for purchase.

Sump Pumps –  Although most sump pumps in Ontario drain to exterior some home owners have illegally connected their sump pumps discharge to the Municipal Drain System.  This is illegal unless permission is granted by Municipality.   This can happen if the sump pump discharge would create a safety hazard on a public sidewalk etc.   You could be charged and fined if the Municipality discovered your illegal connection.

Hot Water Heaters –  Every hot water heater has a Pressure Relief Valve which will open if the water in the heater reaches a temperature of 210 degrees F.  Every PRV is required to have a drain line which extends down to within 6 inches of the floor.  In Canada a plastic drain pipe is allowed for this purpose.

Dis-Similar Metals –  Allowing two different types of metals to be in contact can cause a chemical reaction and corrosion of metal.  Copper water lines are required to be supported by copper hangers etc.   Copper plumbing lines can also be protected by wrapping pipe or inserting a spacer to prevent contact.

Why Do You Need a Home Inspection?  Read our article on Why You Should not Have a Home Inspection
Cost of Home Inspection – Details list of prices for every inspection and special inspections.
Home Inspection Basics –  Understanding what goes into a Home Inspection can make you an Educated Consumer.
Types of Inspections –  Available Inspections Packages

Having your home inspected by the Alliston Home Inspector can give you Peace of Mind that you will not have unwelcome surprises when you move into your Dream Home.

Call Roger at 705-795-8255 or Toll Free at  888-818-8608 or Use our Contact page