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New Construction Plumbing Systems:

What Inspectors Look For


 3 common pipe issues

If you’re thinking of buying a newly-built home, it is highly recommended that you get a professional inspection of the plumbing system before closing. This can help you identify any issues present before you make your final decision to buy.

Many home buyers have had the unfortunate experience of discovering significant plumbing problems only after they’ve already purchased their house and moved in. The lucky ones are able to have repairs done easily and with little expense. But all too often, the issue is only fixable by tearing out walls, flooring, and sometimes even the foundation. This can incur serious expenses and can majorly disrupt your ability to comfortably live in your home.

Before you enlist the help of a plumbing inspector, it’s good to have an idea of what exactly they’ll be looking for. We go over the ins and outs of plumbing inspections for new construction below.

Plumbing Inspection Requirements in Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Department of Business and Neighborhood Services has specific requirements for what new construction plumbing inspections must cover. These include:

  • Under slab: All or any under slab work is completed but prior to covering

  • Rough: All above slab runs are in place but prior to covering

A minimum of 48 hours must be allotted for the inspection period. Inspections will examine the construction for compliance with the Indiana State Building Code (ISBC). Homes in flood-risk areas will be subjected to the inspection standards outlined section R322.1.6 of the ISBC.

As the DBNS stipulates, plumbing infrastructure that will be encased in concrete must be inspected before pouring. That which will be encased in drywall or other structures must be inspected before these materials are installed. This allows for mistakes to be remedied without demolition and rework.

common pipe issues

Outflow Lines

Drain, waste, and vent lines will be checked for secure connection and function. Slope and watertightness of drainage needs verification. Sump pumps and their discharge lines will also be assessed.

All waste receptors will be verified for ready accessibility. The inspector will confirm that the appropriate drainage is installed for every shower, tub, sink, and other receptacle or machine.

Inspection of these elements will usually take place during the pre-pour phase of construction. Some inspectors will use video cameras to look inside the home’s drains and sewer pipes to check for cracks and faulty alignments.

Inflow Lines and Connections

Water supply lines and the internal plumbing that transports water throughout the building must be examined for security and unobstructed flow. Shut off valves need confirmation of proper closure and reopening.

All machines requiring water supplies should be checked for connectivity. Appliance connections will be checked for proper installation and function.

Fixture mounting must follow the specific stipulations outlined in the ISBC and be watertight wherever it comes into contact with surfaces. Floor-outlet or floor-mounted fixtures have to be secured to the drainage connection and to the floor with approved hardware and sealants. Wall-hung fixtures need sufficient support to prevent strain from being put on the plumbing infrastructure. In the case of toilets, flush valves and water supply will be inspected to ensure proper performance.

All of the plumbing infrastructure will be checked for obstructions to the opening/use of doors and windows.

common pipe problems

Boilers & Water Heaters

The inspecting plumber will review whether or not the installation of boilers and water heaters is done according to manufacturer instructions. Control diagrams and operating instructions must be provided, and safety controls must be listed and labeled.

Inspectors will verify the functionality of any shutoff valves and pressure relief valves, as well as gauges for temperature and pressure. They will also check that low-water cutoff and flow-sensing controls are working correctly.

Water heaters will be held to the standards set in ISBC Chapter 28. Heated water connections are required for all plumbing and fixtures associated with bathing, washing, and food preparation.

common pipe issues

Make Sure Your New Home’s Plumbing is Ready

Given how thorough new construction plumbing inspections are, it’s easy for many issues to be found. If you want to make sure that you have a full and accurate picture of any plumbing problems in your home, you’ll want to recruit the inspecting services of a highly experienced and knowledgeable plumber. And if you’re still looking for the right plumber to perform the initial installations, you can guarantee inspection-passing work by choosing a team with a proven track record.

Here at Hamm and Sons, we’ve helped countless Indianapolis homeowners ensure that their plumbing passes inspections with a breeze. Our installations are always thorough, thanks to careful work and a perfectionist approach. If you’d like us to check over the work done by another plumber, we’re also happy to offer our expert insights. Contact us at 317-202-9853 to discuss your needs and make an appointment.

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