Does a home inspector check and test shut-off valves?

Saturday, July 6, 2019

A home inspection is primarily a visual review of a home and the inspector is required to examine the visible, or readily accessible, shut-off valves. What the inspector is not required to do is test the valves, and with good reason. Old or defective valves often leak when opened or closed, sometimes the leaking cannot be stopped by resetting the valve, and older valves are sometimes frozen in position due to corrosion. So the inspector cannot tell you if the valves actually function, but older valves with corrosion should be noted for further evaluation by a plumber—like in the photo above.. 

   The State of Florida’s standards, along with those of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), specifically state that the inspector is not required to test valves. The American Socity of Home Inspectors (ASHI) standards do not directly address the issue, but it is not in the list of required inspection points.

   Inspectors ARE required to describe the location of the main water shut-off and main fuel shut-off valves. This is important to know for emergency use. We make a point of showing the homebuyers where they are if they attend the inspection.

    Also, see our blog posts Which plumbing fixtures require water shut off valves in a home? and How do I find the main water shut off valve for my house?

    Click on any of the links below to read other articles about what is required to be included, or not, in a home inspection:

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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about SHUT-OFF VALVES: 

How do I find the main water shut off valve for my house?

How do I shut off the main water service in a mobile/manufactured home?

• Where do I find the main water shut-off valve for my condominium?

 Which plumbing fixtures require water shut off valves in a home? 

 Is a hot water faucet required at a washing machine?

 Does a refrigerator water supply line require a shutoff valve behind it?

 Is it alright to have a shut-off valve on both the hot and cold water pipes at a water heater?

 Is a shut off valve in-line on a supply line to a plumbing fixture acceptable? 

Is a shut-off valve required at the cold water inlet to a mobile home water heater?

• What is the average life expectancy of plumbing fixture water shut-off valves? 

 Is it alright to have a shut-off valve on both the hot and cold water pipes at a water heater? 

 Is a sink or toilet shut-off valve behind an access panel approved by code?

Visit our PLUMBING page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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