A plumbing inspection is a vital aspect of maintaining the overall health of any residential or commercial property’s plumbing system. It involves a comprehensive evaluation of the building’s pipes, fixtures, and appliances to ensure they are functioning efficiently, safely, and in compliance with Australian standards.
This in-depth guide by Fremantle Plumbing will provide a detailed explanation of the steps involved in a plumbing inspection and offer insights into what both homeowners and business owners can expect during the process.
Comprehensive visual inspection
The plumber will start with a thorough visual inspection of your property’s plumbing system. This involves checking all visible pipes, fixtures, and appliances for signs of wear, damage, or potential problems. Some areas the plumber will examine include:
a. Exposed pipes (both internal and external): The plumber will inspect for signs of corrosion, leaks, or damage that may require repair or replacement.
b. Water heaters and boilers: They will check for proper functioning, assess the pressure relief valve, and inspect the anode rod to ensure the unit is operating efficiently.
c. Taps and fixtures: The plumber will test all taps and fixtures for leaks, assess water pressure, and ensure proper operation.
d. Drains and traps: They will inspect for clogs, leaks, and proper venting to avoid sewer gas infiltration.
e. Toilets and urinals: The plumber will check for leaks, proper flushing, and secure mounting to the floor.
f. Water pressure: They will measure your property’s water pressure to ensure it is within the recommended range.
g. Gas appliances and connections (if applicable): The plumber will assess your gas lines, connections, and appliances for leaks or potential hazards.
Leaks can be a significant source of water waste and property damage in homes and businesses. The plumber will use specialised equipment to detect and pinpoint leaks in your plumbing system. Some common techniques include:
a. Thermal imaging: Infrared cameras can identify temperature differences in walls, floors, and ceilings, indicating the presence of hidden leaks.
b. Acoustic leak detection: This method involves listening for the sound of escaping water using sensitive microphones and amplifiers.
c. Moisture meters: These devices measure moisture levels in building materials and can help locate leaks behind walls or under floors.
Drain inspection and cleaning
Drainage issues are a common problem in homes and businesses, and a plumbing inspection will include a thorough assessment of your drains. The plumber may use a CCTV camera to inspect your pipes for blockages, damage, or other issues. This technology allows them to identify problems without invasive methods. If necessary, the plumber may also perform drain cleaning using methods such as:
a. Hydro jetting: This involves using high-pressure water to blast through blockages and remove debris from the pipes.
b. Plumbing snakes: A flexible cable with an auger attachment can be fed into the pipe to break up and dislodge clogs.
c. Chemical treatments: In some cases, chemical drain cleaners may be used to dissolve blockages or buildup, but this should only be done by a professional, as improper use can damage your pipes.
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Backflow prevention is essential for maintaining the safety and hygiene of your property’s water supply. Australian regulations require backflow prevention devices to be installed and tested regularly. During the inspection, the plumber will assess your backflow prevention devices to ensure they are functioning correctly and meet the required standards. They will also check for proper installation, maintenance, and documentation.
Water efficiency and conservation
Australia is no stranger to water scarcity, and plumbing inspections can help identify opportunities to improve water efficiency and reduce waste in both residential and commercial properties. The plumber may suggest upgrades such as:
a. Low-flow fixtures: Taps, showerheads, toilets, and urinals with lower flow rates can significantly reduce water consumption without sacrificing performance.
b. Rainwater harvesting systems: These systems collect rainwater for non-potable uses, such as irrigation and toilet flushing, reducing your reliance on municipal water.
c. Greywater recycling: Reusing water from sinks, showers, and washing machines for irrigation or toilet flushing can further decrease your water usage.
Compliance checks are an essential part of a plumbing inspection, and it’s crucial to work with a licensed plumber, like Fremantle Plumbing, familiar with the local rules and regulations in Western Australia, such as:
- Proper installation of plumbing fixtures: Plumbers will check if all plumbing fixtures, such as taps, toilets, showers, and sinks, are correctly installed according to the Western Australian Plumbing and Drainage Regulations. This includes ensuring that fixtures are securely fastened, properly sealed, and connected to the appropriate water supply and drainage systems.
- Adequate venting and drainage systems: Western Australian plumbing codes require that all properties have adequate venting and drainage systems in place to prevent sewer gases from entering the building and to ensure the efficient flow of wastewater. Plumbers will inspect vent pipes, traps, and waste pipes for correct installation, size, and functionality.
- Correct sizing and installation of water and gas pipes: The plumber will verify that the water and gas pipes in your property meet the required standards set by the Western Australian Gas and Water Supply Regulations. This includes checking that the pipes are of the correct size, material, and pressure rating, and that they are properly installed and connected to the appropriate fixtures and appliances.
- Compliance with water efficiency standards: Western Australia has specific water efficiency standards in place due to its dry climate and limited water resources. During the inspection, the plumber will ensure your plumbing system complies with these standards by checking for:
- Water-efficient fixtures and appliances: The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme is a national initiative that requires certain fixtures and appliances to meet minimum water efficiency standards. In Western Australia, the installation of water-efficient fixtures, such as taps, showerheads, toilets, and urinals, is mandatory in new buildings and renovations.
- Flow restrictors: Flow restrictors help reduce water consumption by limiting the flow rate of water through fixtures. Plumbers will check for the presence of flow restrictors and ensure they are functioning correctly.
- Backflow prevention devices: Western Australian regulations require the installation of backflow prevention devices to protect the water supply from contamination. The plumber will inspect these devices for proper installation, maintenance, and compliance with local standards.
- Rainwater tanks and greywater systems: If your property uses a rainwater tank or greywater system, the plumber will check that it meets the guidelines for installation, use, and maintenance.
Inspection report and recommendations
Following the inspection, the plumber will provide you with a detailed report outlining their findings. This report will include any necessary repairs, recommended maintenance, and potential upgrades to improve the efficiency and safety of your plumbing system. The report may also include an estimated timeline and cost for addressing any issues identified during the inspection.
How do CCTV plumbing camera inspections work?
CCTV plumbing camera inspections are a modern and non-invasive method used by professional plumbers, such as our team at Fremantle Plumbing, to inspect the interior of pipes, drains, and sewer systems. This technology allows plumbers to identify blockages, damage, or other issues within the plumbing system without the need for excavation or destructive measures. Here’s a breakdown of how CCTV plumbing camera inspections work:
- Preparation: The plumber starts by locating the appropriate access point for the inspection, such as a cleanout or a drain opening. They may need to clear any initial blockages or debris to ensure the camera can navigate the pipes smoothly.
- Camera insertion: A high-resolution waterproof camera, mounted on a flexible cable or push rod, is inserted into the pipe. The camera typically has LED lights to illuminate the pipe interior, allowing for clear visuals even in dark or murky conditions.
- Navigation and inspection: As the camera is fed into the pipe, it sends real-time video footage to a monitor above the ground. This allows the plumber to navigate the pipe system and visually inspect the interior for any issues, such as cracks, corrosion, tree root intrusion, misaligned joints, or blockages.
- Recording and documentation: The footage captured during the inspection is often recorded for further analysis and documentation. This enables the plumber to review the footage in detail and provide the property owner with a comprehensive report of the pipe conditions and any necessary recommendations.
- Issue identification and diagnosis: Based on the CCTV inspection, the plumber can pinpoint the location and nature of any problems within the plumbing system. This helps them develop a targeted and efficient plan for addressing the issue, whether it’s clearing a blockage, repairing a damaged section, or replacing a faulty pipe.
- Post-inspection actions: Once the inspection is complete and the issue has been identified, the plumber can proceed with the appropriate course of action to resolve the problem. This may involve using hydro jetting to clear blockages, trenchless pipe repair methods to fix damaged sections, or recommending preventative maintenance measures to avoid future issues.
Regular plumbing inspections are essential for maintaining the health and efficiency of your property’s plumbing system. By identifying and addressing potential issues early, you can save time, and resources, and avoid costly repairs.
Trust Fremantle Plumbing, your local Perth experts, to deliver reliable and professional plumbing inspections for your residential and commercial properties. Don’t wait for problems to escalate—get a free quote here or simply book your required service online here and experience the incredible customer service and expertise that Fremantle Plumbing has to offer.