A Homeowner’s Checklist: Annual Plumbing Inspection

Spring and early summer is the perfect time to check your home for potential plumbing problems. After a long winter, replete with temperature fluctuations and more people indoors using the system, problems can begin to surface. Performing your own annual inspection ensures you catch potential issues so you can have them repaired before major damage occurs.

Indoor Faucets and Fixtures

Leaking faucets are more than annoying, they waste water and will eventually lead to bigger issues if you don't address the issue. Most faucets leak for one of two reasons, either the washer inside the faucet handle requires replacement, or the tap isn't seated and sealed against the sink properly so it leaks at the base. Check all the faucets, including those in showers as well as the shutoff valves behind toilets and under sinks.

Toilet leaks can also be easy to spot. Simply put some food coloring in the top tank and wait. If the colored water leaks into your toilet bowl, then you have a leak that needs fixed.

While checking the faucets and taps, look beneath the sink for signs of moisture damage as well. Water stains, dampness, and mold are all signs that your pipes are leaking and require repair.


Dishwasher leaks are relatively uncommon, but if they do occur, then you may notice standing water coming out from beneath the dishwasher. The culprit is usually a supply line that requires replacement. Fridges equipped with ice makers can suffer a similar leak, but the water will either collect under the fridge or inside the fridge or freezer compartment.

It's also important to inspect your water heater, water softener, and HVAC units for possible leaks. Standing water, either around or in the drip pans beneath the appliance, are signs of trouble. You may also find moisture dripping from valves or overflow lines, which can indicate a leak.

Outdoor Plumbing

Take a few minutes to walk around your yard. If you find soggy spots, particularly along an irrigation or water line, then there may be a broken pipe in the ground that requires replacement. Poor water pressure from outdoor taps or sprinkler emitters can also indicate a leak.

All the outdoor taps should also be checked, as should sprinkler valve control boxes. Listen for hissing noises, which can indicate a leak in the line feeding the tap. Further, make sure the taps aren't dripping when the handle is completely shut off.

Contact a plumbing service if you find any potential problems.