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Clean Water : New Home Buying Checklist

We all know that it’s important to do your research when searching for a new home. The problem is, we can’t all be experts on everything! Here we’ll lay out for you a home buying checklist of things to consider, water-wise, when planning the purchase of a new home.

First, and most importantly, what is the quality of the water at your prospective new home?

We are happy to test your water at no charge. If your new home uses a private well, you should also ask for copies of all past water tests. If your new home uses city water, you can find out the water’s quality by contacting the city and requesting a copy of the latest Consumer Confidence Report.

What is the home’s water treatment history?

Your prospective new home’s history of water treatment can have profound effects on the plumbing. A home with very hard water that has never had any type of water treatment will likely have quite a bit of scale build-up in the plumbing lines, and they might even require replacement. A home with acidic water that doesn’t have a pH neutralizer like Acid Shieldinstalled will likely have unseen damage to copper pipes and fittings.

Are the instruction manuals available for all water treatment products?

Over the years we have spoken with many customers who have water treatment equipment in their new home, but they don’t know what it is or what to do with it. Before purchasing a new home, request that the current owners provide the instruction manuals for all pieces of water treatment equipment. The bonus is that if they still have the owner’s manuals, it’s likely that the rest of the house has been maintained well.

What type of water heater is installed?

Does your prospective new home have a traditional gas water heater, traditional electric water heater, gas tankless water heater, or electric tankless water heater? You should know ahead of time the limitations of each, and the maintenance that will be required for each type of water heater (see “How to Clean Your Water Heater” or “Caring for Your Tankless Water Heater” for more information). How old is it? Is it still under warranty? And will the water treatment method (or lack thereof) used by the current owner void any existing warranties? It might also be helpful to contact the manufacturer and ask if the warranty will transfer when you purchase the home.

What type of pipes does the home have?

If your prospective new home is older than 50 years, you will want to verify that the plumbing system is not made of galvanized steel,which is extremely prone to build-up and corrosion and may have to be replaced. An easy way to check is to bring along a refrigerator magnet. If it sticks to the plumbing, you are most likely looking at galvanized steel.

Where is the main incoming line located?

You should know how to access your incoming water line and shut-off valve, in case you decide to add your own water treatment equipment in the future. For backwashing-type systems such as Toxin Shield+ or Iron Shield+, you’ll need to make sure that you have access to an electrical outlet and a drain in the same general area as the main incoming water line. Is the incoming water main only accessible outside? Is it in a basement, laundry room, garage or attic? If the main line isn’t immediately accessible, can you access it by cutting through the drywall? All of these factors will determine the placement of future water treatment equipment.

Has the current owner consistently used one plumber?

Plumbing can get tricky, and if you have questions it’s best to be able to ask them of the person who’s been there from the beginning. If the homeowners have not consistently used one plumber, be sure to find out the name and contact information for the plumber or contractor responsible for any plumbing additions or modifications, such as a bathroom addition, a new water heater, or hot water recirculating line.

Special considerations for building a new home.

When building a new home, you might have input to your new home’s plumbing specifications. If you plan to install a tank-style water treatment system like Iron Shield+ with Toxin Guard or Toxin Shield+, you will need access to an electrical outlet, a drain, the main incoming water line, and floor space. Do you plan to install an RO drinking water treatment system such as RevitaLife? Make sure that the builder drills a hole in the countertop to accommodate the drinking water faucet, and consider running the RO lines to your refrigerator for treated cold water and ice.

This home buying checklist should give you confidence to make the right choices, and help you plan for future needs in your new home. Have more questions? Leave them in our “comments” section! Or, if you’re ready to learn more about your new home’s water, give us a call at 919-868-6312 to schedule a free water test.