Home Inspector Report – Blog 1 – How to Read Them

No one can be an expert in every aspect of life. When it comes to plumbing and heating, you’ll often want to go with a professional to make sure the job is done right the first time. Inspectors will often do the same thing. Whether you’re planning on buying or selling, if you have a home inspection you may receive a home inspector report that you don’t fully understand. In this blog series, I will be going through some of the more common comments found in an inspection report. This will help you understand what inspectors look for and what they leave to other professionals. We have taken a few sample reports from local home inspectors to see what a typical report says.

Here are some direct excerpts from one such home inspection report:

“Noted functionality of water service to plumbing fixtures in home and drains from them…Located main water shut-off for house, and noted if the PRV [pressure reducing valve] was present – was not tested.”

Inspectors will often advise the homeowner to “consult a qualified licensed plumber” to test these parts and inspect more complicated plumbing systems. While knowing where water shut-offs and PRVs are is good, it is equally important to test them.

“Determining the condition of underground main water service piping, drains and sewer piping is not part of this inspection process. For a detailed analysis consult a qualified licensed plumber.

Testing of sump pumps, be they interior, exterior, perimeter drainage and/or sewage is not part of this inspection process. For a detailed analysis consult a qualified licensed plumber.”

In most cases, there will be aspects of your home that aren’t within the scope of an inspection. However, don’t look at this as an inspector avoiding work. The fact is, it’s likely that your average home inspector will not have the detailed knowledge or equipment to properly inspect these systems.

Knowing general information can serve you well as a homeowner, however this can be tricky. When it comes to plumbing and heating, deferring to a specific professional, one who will know about potential problems, is often a good idea. Potential problem areas can even be something that seems simple. A good example is Poly-B piping. It is known to have defects with greater potential for leaks than other types of pipe. This is a great thing to know, but no homeowner can be expected to understand the ins and outs of every system in their home.


Thankfully, R&B is fully up to the task. We have years of experience and knowledge of building code to back up an informed inspection. For more information on what will be featured on your home inspection report, keep an eye out for next week’s blog!