Does a home inspector check water pressure?
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
When a home buyer is concerned about water pressure, the problem is usually actually water flow. Water pressure in a municpal system is sufficiently high and private well systems also have a pressure adjustment that is set at an adequate level for normal use. When there is a water flow problem, it is typically caused by a restriction in the piping or undersize pipes for the number of fixtures served.
We check adequate water flow with the simple test of turning on the bathroom sink faucets, flushing the toilet, and then immediately opening the valves for the shower. If there is a lazy stream of water or it dribbles out of the shower head, then you have a flow problem. Also, we carry a water pressure gauge to attach to a hose faucet to check the pressure, but only if there appears to be a problem.
However the Standards of Practice for home inspectors for the State of Florida and the two national home inspector associations specifcally limit the requirement for this type of testing. State of Florida stipulates that an inspector is “not required to measure water supply flow and pressure, and well water quantity.”
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (interNACHI) requires an inspector to look for “deficiencies in the water supply by viewing the functional flow in two fixtures operated simultaneously,” which is similar to what we do. But InterNACHI does require an inspector to “determine the exact flow rate, volume, pressure, temperature or adequacy of the water supply.” The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has an even lower standard: an inspector is not required to “measure water supply flow and pressure, and well water quantity."
So, if you are concerned about the water pressure/flow in a house, be sure to clarify with your home inspector if, and how, it’s part of the inspection. And for more examples of what the Standards of Practice require home inspectors to do, go to our page ”Does A Home Inspector…?"
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