When I am on new construction inspections I always check the overflow valve on bathtubs. Especially when I am in a flipper's property I always check the overflow valve, if the tub is new.
You've seen them. The are found high on the wall under the hardware and covered, typically with a metal disk.
If the tub is forgotten while the water is running, or if slightly too full when someone dips themselves into the water, the only place for water to escape, except into the house, is the overflow valve. So, the overflow valve MUST be checked!
What I often do is take the cover off to check the valve! If the inside has purple primer, it is a good bet that the overflow valve has been connected and is functioning!
I will run water into it also to see if the water leaks below. IT'S A BUMMER WHEN IT DOES! But that is why we do inspections.
In this very popular flipper's house there was a large whirlpool tub in the remodeled master bathroom.
Before filling, I thought I'd check the overflow valve.
Well, mercy me, it is still capped with the manufacturer's covering!
I should look in the cavity underneath the tub to see if it's connected.
Well, mercy me, there is no access panel!
For sure we can at least check the whirlpool mechanism for function.
Well, mercy me, it doesn't work!
The GFI breaker must be tripped. Often it is on the wall. (It looks like a receptacle, with the GFI buttons only.)
Well, mercy me, there is no GFI on the wall!
There was no breaker in the panel box that said "Jacuzzi," so it isn't there. Well, I'll just check and see if it's underneath the tub...
Well, mercy me, I can't! There's still no access panel!
My recommendation: anytime you see a whirlpool tub, it is important that you check the following:
1. An overflow valve is crucially important to relieve excess water when it's too high.
2. That the drain tubing is connected is crucially important so, well, SO IT DRAINS THE WATER OUT!
3. An access panel is crucially important to get to the guts of the motor and mechanisms if a repair is needed.
4. A GFI breaker is crucially important to protect bathers from a short in the electrical service to the tub.
5. It is crucially important that the whirlpool motor works! At least if you want to take a whirlpool bath...
Surprise, surprise, surprise Sergeant Carter!
REMEMBER, THIS IS A FLIP! DO YOU THINK ANY OF THE ABOVE SURPRISED ME??
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560