Plumbing fixtures example (C) Daniel FriedmanPlumbing Fixtures Defects List & Home Inspection Education

  • DEFECTS LIST - PLUMBING FIXTURES - CONTENTS: Inspection recommendations for plumbing fixtures & faucets. Plumbing fixtures & faucets, typical defects lists. Lists of important defects for residential buildings. What does a home inspector need to know? Home inspection training and education curriculum recommendations
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This article lists significant plumbing fixture & faucet defects, definitions, and home inspection education topics.

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Home Inspection Education Curriculum - Plumbing Fixtures, Faucets

This article series, beginning at BUILDING DEFECTS LISTS, provides lists of common building defects and basic defect knowledge that also outline recommended curriculum content for home inspector education. The building defects and inspection points listed in these articles also guide homeowners and home buyers to building areas that merit careful attention and often point areas of safety concern or important maintenance and repair tasks.

6.4   Fixtures and Faucets, Inspection Recommendations & Typical Defects List & checklists

6.4.1 Knowledge Base for Inspecting Plumbing Fixtures & Faucets

1.    Describe the functions of typical house fixtures and faucets.

2.    Describe the common fixtures and faucets including basins, sinks, laundry tubs, toilets, bidets, bathtubs, tub and shower stall enclosures, shower stalls, whirlpool baths, compression faucets, cartridge faucets, ball-type faucets, washerless faucets, frost-proof faucets.

3.    List the material and components of each plumbing fixture and faucets type.

4.    Describe the features of  adequate installation and repair technique on plumbing fixtures and faucets.

5.    Define the following terms with respect to plumbing fixtures and faucets:

Lavatory, water closet, hose bibb, hydromassage bathtub, cross connection, overflow, faucet aerator, water hammer, vegetable sprayer, wetted area on toilets, self-trapping fixture, mixing valve, vacuum breaker, escutcheon plate, toe tester for shower stall, spa, hot tub, soaker tub, ground fault circuit interrupter, air induction system for whirlpool bath, suction inlet for whirlpool bath, pneumatic control for whirlpool bath.

6.    Identify the codes and standards which apply to plumbing fixtures and faucets in your area.

6.4.2 Inspection Skills for Inspecting Plumbing Fixtures & Faucets

1.    Describe the inspection procedure for each of the plumbing fixtures listed above.

2.    Identify the common defects listed on the next page.

3     Describe the implication of each defect .

4.    Identify the safety issues for the inspector and occupant of the home (electric shock, contaminated water causing illness, physical injury due to moving parts).

5.    Communicate findings to client verbally and in writing, recommending corrective action where needed.



• Cross connections

• Leak

• Loose

• Not level

• Overflows missing, leak, rust or inappropriate

• Rust

• Slow drains

• Surface defects

SHOWER STALLS, Typical Defects

• Door unsafe: not safety glass, damaged, loose

• Entrance problems

• Fiberglass/plastic floor not supported, cracks, leaks

• Leak

• Pooling water on the floor

• Rust

• Sill and threshold problems

• Slow drains

• Too small

FAUCETS, Typical Defects

• Cross connections

• Drip, leak

• Hot and cold reversed

• Loose

• Noisy

• Obstructed aerator

• Shower diverter inoperative or defective

• Stiff or inoperative                         

BATHTUBS, Typical Defects

• Antique, spout below flood rim of the fixture (cross connection)

• Cross connections

• Drain stopper does not seal

• Fiberglass/plastic floor not supported, cracks, leaks

• Leak

• Loose or unstable

• Overflow leaking, disconnected or rust

• Rust

• Slow or clogged drains

• Surface defects

BIDETS, Typical Defects

• Cracked, broken bowl

• Cross connections

• Floor damage suspected, leaks at base, base not secure

• Loose

• Slow drains

• Spray or rim wash diverter inoperative

• Surface defects


• Fiberglass/plastic floor not supported, cracks, leaks

• Leak

• Loose, broken or missing tile

• Electrical problems at the enclosure

• Not smooth, impervious or water resistant

• Door enclosures which open inward.  JDG

HOSE BIBBS, Typical Defects

• Damage

• Leaks or drips

• Loose

• No backflow preventer 

• Pipe frozen or split

• Poor slope on frost-free bibb

• Stiff or inoperative

TOILETS, Typical Defects

• Broken or cracked tank lids, bowls or seats

• Connected to the hot water system

• Cross connection

• Crowded                                

• Floor damage suspected, leaks at base, base not secure

• Flush mechanism inoperative

• Lazy flush

• Leaks

• Loose

• Obstructed

• Odor around toilet

• Running continuously

• Shut off valve missing or inoperative

• Surface defects


• Bacterial hazards?

• Cross connections

• Dirty water from the jets

• Dirty air or water jet piping?

• Diverter inoperative

• Electrical switch or receptacles too close to tub

• Excess pump noise or vibration

• Fiberglass/plastic floor not supported, cracks, leaks

• Leak

• No pump access


• Not level

• Odor

• Pump doesn’t run

• Suction cover missing, loose, suspect

• Surface defects

Readers should see PLUMBING FIXTURES, KITCHEN, BATH for our complete list of articles on this topic. Also see HOME & BUILDING INSPECTORS & INSPECTION METHODS. Use the Search Box at the top or bottom of these pages to find in-depth information about building, energy savings, and indoor environment inspection, diagnosis and repair at this website. Watch out: these inspection lists do not list all possible defects for the systems discussed, and not all home or building inspectors will examine all of the items listed here. CONTACT us to suggest corrections or additions to articles at this website.

Plumbing Fixture Articles

These curriculae and building defect lists are based on smilar curriculum documents first prepared by Joe Scaduto, an ASHI member who prepared course material for Northeastern University's Building Inspection Certificate program in 1988, subsequently by DF, InspectApedia's editor, for New York University ca 1988 and later, with others, recommended to ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. ASHI did not adopt this material though currently that association as well as others offer extensive HOME INSPECTOR EDUCATION material. The curriculum and lists of defects are informed by additional analysis of the process of home inspection that was developed beginning Calgary, AB for Canadian and U.S. home inspector education and certification examinations in 1997. Other early contributors to home inspection education in the U.S. and Canada include Dr. Jess Aronstein, Alan Carson, Mike Casey, Mark Cramer, John Cox, Dwight Barnett, Douglas Hansen, Rick Heyl, Larry Hoytt, Bill Merrill, Kevin O'Malley, Dennis Robitalille, Keith Peddie, Pat Porzio, Roger Robinson.


Continue reading at ARTICLE INDEX to PLUMBING SYSTEMS or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.



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