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chicago plumbing inspections: What You Should Know

With a good plumbing inspector, you can expect a thorough examination of your pipes, fixtures, pumps, toilets, and any other spots where water runs.  These inspections won’t just check to make sure everything’s working, they’ll also: 

  •  Look for leaks.
  • Check to make sure the fixtures were properly installed. 
  • Measure water pressure.
  • Test the hot water heater. 
  • And so on.
Something that’s very important to know: when buying a home, you should have the sewer system inspected by a camera to see the internal condition.  This functions somewhat like a colonoscopy, as it will show any things that might need attention and can’t be seen from the surface.  This goes for both your storm and sanitary sewers, which should both be cameras.  All home purchasers should do this.
 
We run into many situations when, just after a home has been purchased, the sewer backs up, and then it’s suddenly found out that a major job has to be done —sometimes in the realm of $10,000 to $15,000.
 

It’s also important to have an inspector who’s personable, trustworthy, and most importantly, honest.  Plenty of inspections can run up bills that good plumbers would shake their heads at—so if you’re scheduling an inspection, make sure, absolutely sure, you can take the professional on their word.

What Should I Look for in a plumbing inspector?

There are some pretty clear indicators of a good plumbing inspector versus a bad one.   

Obviously, you want someone who is:  

  • Licensed.  
  • Preferably with an established company.
  • Evaluates the condition of the overall system, and we know where to look.

These are the baseline expectations.   But after working for forty years in the plumbing industry, the baseline isn’t good enough, and average plumbers don’t quite cut it.   Below is a list of personal and professional qualities that you should look for when vetting your next plumbing inspector. 

They might not be rules found in the black-and-white of a codebook, but we know our customers don’t deserve copy-and-paste service, and inspections are the tip of the spear, one of the most important parts when it comes to any plumbing operation. 

They Check anywhere the water runs

A good inspector is a thorough one.  They’ll check:

  • Faucets.
  • Toilets.
  • Pipes.
  • Pumps.
  • Drains.
  • Heaters.
  • Backflow valves.

The level of examination depends on what kind of inspection is taking place.  Maybe you just need a general inspection of your house, which can take a bit longer than a more specialized inspection for a specific fixture or part. 

In any case, some fixtures usually require special attention, like toilets and heaters, so don’t worry too much if the plumber seems to be spending more time on them than others.

Honest Cost-assessment

Usually, inspections shouldn’t run you too much—national studies have found the average cost of a plumbing inspection to be around $200—but it all depends on what turns up.  Depending on what’s found during an inspection and reported to any private or public offices, you could be looking at virtually nothing, or a decent chunk of change. 

Keep in mind—there are some companies that will recommend certain services and additional costs, not because you need them, but because it helps pad their bottom line.  To save yourself from any potential gouging, make sure you hire a plumbing inspector you can trust.

Friendly Inspectors

You don’t want to get a haircut from a surly barber, or surgery from a careless doctor, so don’t get a plumbing inspection from a guy who doesn’t know a sewer cleanout from a hole in the ground.

Just like any other job or service, it always helps in plumbing to have someone you can trust on the other end, and at Parks’ Plumbing & Sewer, we don’t just work as plumbers, we are plumbers.  We even built our own backwater flood control systemthe Parks’ ‘DOUBLE GUARD’™ VALVE—that’s tested at over a  99% success rate for over forty years of installations.  Our valves are all metal, with a cast iron housing and stainless steel parts.  Other companies use a galvanized metal box with plastic parts and Styrofoam pieces.  You definitely don’t want any plastic parts in a valve with that kind of pressure, especially not one that’s supposed to keep your house safe from City Sewer backup.

So get an inspection from the professional plumbers who live and breathe their trade, and call Parks’ Plumbing & Sewer today.

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