19 Plumbing Checks before you Sell Your Home

This week we have the second part of our guest blog from the wonderful Plumbers. Make sure to bookmark it so you can always refer back to it! 

A fabulous bathroom?

Much is made of putting in a fabulous bathroom to create ‘Wow factor’, but on more than one occasion we’ve been asked to put new bathrooms into houses being prepared for sale only to be asked back by the new owner to change that very same brand new bathroom!!

1. Remember, what constitutes a fabulous bathroom is a matter of taste and you may be spending money unnecessarily. Usually a plain, smart, clean bathroom will suffice. If the suite is a difficult to match colour or you have patterned tiling which may not be to everyone’s taste you may need to change them to plain white or be prepared to drop your price so the vendor can change it to suit themselves without going over budget.

Boilers and Heating

2. How old is your boiler? If the boiler is new do you have the paperwork from Gas Safe to show it has been officially Notified as having been fitted by a properly qualified and competent person? This is now a legal requirement so is essential. If it’s likely your purchaser will need to replace a boiler in the near future this is likely cost them in the region of £1500-2000. This in itself is not a deal breaker.

3. Have you had the boiler regularly serviced and do you have paperwork from a qualified Gas Safe Engineer to demonstrate this? Yearly servicing is recommended for gas appliances, so ensure it’s done before you put your house up for sale. Have the certificate available to show potential buyers.

4. Make sure your boiler looks clean and cared for so that vendors can tell you have maintained your whole property with care.

5. If you have a cylinder for hot water, is it properly lagged or insulated? If not, lag it.

6. Are all the connections on the boiler and cylinder and any cold water tanks sound and free from rust? If there are signs of rust there may be leaks, if having the boiler serviced you can have this dealt with.

7. Is the heating working efficiently? The potential vendor will probably ask for it to be turned on, will it be warm by the time you’ve showed them around the house?

Radiators and Leaks

8. Are the radiators warm from bottom to top?

9. Are radiators downstairs warm (heat rises)?

10. Are there cold patches in the house?

11. All of these three issues could be a sign that the system needs bleeding and the boiler pressure needs adjusting. You always need to adjust the pressure on the boiler after you have bled the radiators. If you don’t know how to do this, your Special Plumber will be happy to show you how. – If this doesn’t solve the problem the system may need flushing (we don’t usually recommend Power Flushing, which can create problems in older pipework).

12. If this still hasn’t solved the problem, your plumber will probably know by this point what it is, and they will have been around the house and checked everything. In most houses in UK the Central Heating was installed after the house was built and often added to over the years, this means that one part of the system may not work perfectly with another. Your plumber’s diagnosis will help you decide what to do about any problems with the heating before putting your house up for sale.

13. If they’ve carried out these checks any leaks will have come to light already, if they haven’t, take a good look for rust patches, green patina and leaks on all radiators and pipework. DO NOT remove rust! It may be what is holding the water in. If you find leaks, rust, green patina or mould, ask your plumber to check out what is going on, how serious it is so that you can use this information to change, repair or just adjust the selling price.

14. Check the stopcock is easy to use.



15. Are all drains working efficiently?

16. Empty traps under all sinks to ensure there are no blockages or smells.

17. Is the cistern flushing the toilet effectively and is the action of the handles or buttons smooth? This is not expensive to fix.

18. Check drains outside for smells which could be a sign of a blockage or leak. Do not attempt to cover up bad smells with air freshener.

19. Apart from a whole new Central Heating System, most of these issues will not stop a potential purchaser from buying your house, all of them in combination may concern them as together they could be evidence of inadequate maintenance.

A company thorough Plumbing and Heating Health Check from your local company Plumber is well worth considering. You can then use the paperwork for this to present to your potential purchasers to show everything has been well cared for.