What I'm Seeing Now (4)

Sometimes home inspectors say things that might sound trivial, but they aren't.  This blog entry is one of those things.  It is the third in this list of What I'm Seeing Now:

Bath tub overflow drains.  This is something that might seem insignificant,

until someone takes a bath!

Then, suddently, when things start dripping below, where is that water leaking from?

On a pre-drywall inspection I always check the overflow drain to make sure the overflow joint been glued together.  Often, and I mean OFTEN, they have been dry fitted and never glued by the plumber.  How can you see if the fitting is glued?  Take the cover off the overflow drain (some pull off and some screw off) and look inside.  If you see purple primer then in all likelihood it has been glued.  Plumbers put the purple primer on immediately before the glue.  If there is no purple primer you would have to look very carefully for glue.  But even if the glue is there, it can still be an improper fitting. 

The purple primer removes grease, dirt and finger grime from a PVC fitting so that the glue adheres properly.  The glue literally melts the two pieces of plastic together and makes them one.  Without purple primer does the glue adhere?  It may or may not.  But with it there is a "properly" fitted joint. 

So, look inside!  Or suggest that to your clients.

On final walk throughs where I have not done the previous pre-drywall inspection I will check for purple primer.  If there is none, I fill the tubs and make the overflows don't leak.  Yes, there have been more than one incident of leaks!  It makes a mess that no one, particularly the builder, appreciates.  But, hey!  That's why we're there!  Better for the clients to find out then...

My recommendation:   be a snoop.  Suggest to your clients that they snoop.  Some things, like this one, may sound trivial or insignificant, but really aren't.  Your best bet - hire a competent home inspector for a careful pre-drywall review.  For that, my clients INSIST on Jay Markanich.

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Jay performs inspections Monday through Saturday, throughout Northern Virginia, from his office in Bristow to Leesburg and Centreville, to Great Falls and Vienna and everywhere in between!