Plumbing System Inspection

What does a Myrtle Beach Home Inspector look for?

Drain, Waste, & Venting

The drainage system in a home is pretty straight forward, waste goes down hill get paid on Friday. The most important thing is proper connections, flow path of least resistance, and proper venting and trapping to ensure sewer gases do not back up into the house. Proper venting allows gravity to force waste out of the home through a series of drainage piping installed by licensed professionals. A few things that your Myrtle Beach Home Inspector will look for regarding drainage and venting are the following.

Water Supply

Water pressure in the home should be between 45 and 60 psi and if pressure exceeds 70 psi it could damage pipe connections and plumbing fixtures. The pressure system of the home is very important. Too many fixtures with insufficient water pressure can result in fixtures providing very little or no pressure. That being said plumbing fixtures, and valve connections are commonly compromised due to excessive pressure, use or corrosion. Here are a few things to look for:

This is your water meter.

Plumbing Fixtures

All plumbing fixtures operate with the same basic principles but vary greatly in function and appearance. The basic principles are as follows:
1/ They must be trapped to avoid sewer gas from entering the home.
2/ They must have a water supply valve that can be turned off at the fixture.
3/ They must not leak.
The Myrtle Beach home inspector will check all of these basic functions at every plumbing fixture to ensure they operate correctly by testing them in a variety of ways.


All plumbing fixtures have what’s called a P-trap below it, which prevents sewer gas from backflowing into the home – they are always full of water, however a toilet has its P-trap in the rear of the toilet itself. The main concerns the inspector will be looking for is that the toilet is mounted correctly by simply giving it a little nudge. They’ll also check to ensure the fill valve does not over run (water supply), the flush valve is not leaking and are both working correctly. The inspector must make sure the tank is mounted correctly and all water supply connections including the cold water shut off valve are supply connections are fastened correctly, not corroded or ceased, and are not leaking.



Below are pretty straight forward examples of what your inspector will look for when inspecting basins in the home. Again all plumbing fixtures have the same basic principles so – check to make sure there is a P-trap, hot and cold water shut off valves open and close, faucet and counter top are mounted correctly and nothing is leaking.

Bath Tub & Shower

Bath tubs are straight forward and only take a minute to inspect. The obvious is the shower head, faucet, or diverter leaking. More important is to ensure that the tub has been sealed correctly with the right product.
FUN FACT: Ever wonder why your bathtub on an exterior wall of your home is so cold in the winter time?
Its because the tub was installed before the insulation was added to the exterior walls and that space behind the tub is likely not insulated properly.

Standing Shower

Depending on the type and quality of the shower enclosure being inspected (they vary quite extensively) will determine the overall scope of the shower enclosure inspection. In every case the inspector will try to move the enclosure laterally to ensure the mounting hardware is in tact, any wheels run smoothly on tracks and the enclosure has been sealed correctly with the right product.


Jacuzzi tubs are mini swimming pools and function essentially the exact same way. The problem is that just like swimming pools, the more the pump motor turns on and off, the more likely it is to fail. Pump motors should never be run without water circulating through them, because the water is cooling and acting as a lubricant regardless of temperature. So, in order to test the jacuzzi tub, the inspector will have to fill the tub to a minimum just above all of the return inlets (otherwise known as “jets”) before running the pump motor.
To avoid any wasted time standing around watching the tub fill the inspector will perform a calculation to determine how long this will take;
Water volume/ minute at tub faucet= 5.5 Gallons/ minute
Determine volume of tub= approx. 24″ wide x 54″ length x 12″ deep= 9 cubic feet
Gallons/ Cubic feet= 7.5 Gallons
Total gallons needed to fill tub= 9 x 7.5= 67.5 Gallons
Total minutes to fill tub= 67.5 / 5.5= 12.5 minutes
After determining how long it will take to fill the tub the inspector should set a timer for the appropriate length of time and continue on with the inspection.


The appliance that is of the biggest concern in the home in the Water Heater, without hot water it is difficult to disinfect the body as needed for a healthy lifestyle. Here’s a look at all the main plumbing appliances and common things to look out for:

Water Heater

Water heaters can explode if they are not installed correctly or if temperature and pressure inside the tank get too high and are not released. Because of this, water heaters have a Temperature/Pressure Release Valve (TPR valve) which will automatically open and release pressure at 210F. The main concern your inspector is going to look for is any corrosion on the tank, no breaches at the heating elements, and whether or not the TPR valve has a drain line and that drain line is preferably going to the exterior, if not at least to a drain pan below the tank.



Your Myrtle Beach Home Inspector is going to run the dishwasher at the beginning of the inspection because the cycle is normally 2 hours and they have to determine if there are any issues with the drainage pump and drainage lines, also to determine whether or not the seals have any breaches. They will also look to make sure the dishwasher was installed correctly and has what is called a high-loop detailed in the diagram below. A high loop prevents waste water back flowing from your sink to your dishwasher. If the drain hose is not elevated, there is a potential for water to run the wrong way through your drain hose and can cause standing water at the bottom of your dishwasher.

Garbage Disposal

It is very common to find a garbage disposal that is not working or excessively noisy. If a garbage disposal is louder than it should be, the inspector will likely run some ice cubes through it to see if the noise was just a blockage. If that doesn’t work, it will be noted as excessively noisy and near or at the end of its useful life.


Water Filters

Most water filtration systems are unnecessary in Myrtle Beach because we have some of the best treatment facilities in the country that ensure some of the lowest traces of coliform bacteria in the public water supply. If your home is not on public service and is from a ground well or cistern it is always recommended that you have a water filtration system in your home and that you test your water on a semi annual to annual basis. Untreated ground water in Horry County has high levels of coliform bacteria, metals and chlorides (chemicals) because the water table or aquifer is so close to the surface.


It is absolutely necessary to call the manufacturer of any water filter purchased with a new or resale home and get the manufacturers disinfecting guidelines for the appliance. It should always be assumed that the appliance is contaminated and needs disinfecting unless the appliance is brand new. Regardless, always call the manufacturer for guidelines.

All of the above pictured items are just a few of the things your Myrtle Beach Home Inspector will be looking for during the home inspection. All of these are patent defects and can easily be spotted by the Home Buyer, Home Seller and/or Real Estate agent and provide the advanced know how that these items will be noted on the home inspection report.


Me and my team at LAB Home Inspections hope you really enjoyed this article!


If you have specific questions about your home, or would like to schedule a home inspection, please contact Darren directly:

Darren Dawson, Certified Master Inspector (CMI)®

Myrtle Beach, SC

(352) 665- 9900

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *