What I'm Seeing Now

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After All The Inspections And County Approvals, The Shower Won't Drain

Can you guess from the title that after all the inspections and County approvals, the shower won't drain.

Something plumbing happens on new construction inspections more often than I can mention.

Certainly one of the things during a new construction inspection is to see if all the plumbing works properly.

This is the master bathroom shower stall.

I ran the shower for a while, along with the other components, all at the same time.

Doing that not only tests them for function, but also the water pressure.

In this case the shower did not drain.

So I left it for a long while.

Coming back to it well over an hour later the water level had not drained a bit.

So I turned the shower back on and snapped a photo.

No draino.  That's perfect Spanish.

The smiling, yes-man supervisor has been there every day; the County put its approval sticker on the panel box; the cleaning crew obviously turned on the shower water to clean the walls and floor.  And yet it does not drain.

So what to do?  Fix it!

My recommendation:  you must insist on new construction home inspections.  You will appreciate having a professional look at your house.  Really appreciate it.

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 23 commentsJay Markanich • February 23 2013 02:59AM

Comments

What would you bet that, when the tile floor is pulled up and the drain examined, they find clumps of grout that the tile man thought they could just wash away????

I've actually seen that.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Good Morning, Jay.

Most likely, as Lenn said, trash and debris are the probable cause...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 6 years ago

Him or the painters Lenn!  Either clog can be removed with a snake.  That the clog is there is too common...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Almost certainly Michael.  And I don't care!  There should be no clog because the supervisor has the property ready!  How long has that clog been there?

What do you want to bet that the cleaning crew saw that the drain was clogged and did nothing about it?  Or put a rag down there in spite?  I've seen that before too.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

well that's a problem.  Is the floor sloped?  Is the problem just in the drain or also in the lack of tile sloping?  I do hope they can fix it without a major rework...which could mean replacing all the tile, mud job and shower pan.  Oy vey.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 6 years ago

The floor is sloped Debbie.  See the circle of dry around the drain?  I hope a snake can fix it, but who knows?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 6 years ago

Get on them Jay.  Sounds like you know what to do.  This is a great post and I am sure something is learned from this to the readers of this post.

Posted by Rosemary Brooks, The Mother & Daughter Realty Team (BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706) about 6 years ago

Contstruction materials find their way into drains on new construction...I would have a plumber snake it.

Posted by Edward Gilmartin (CRE) about 6 years ago

Rosemary - thank you!  I have many new construction posts out there and it is amazing what pops up!

Edward - not my call, and I hope that's all it takes!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Morning Jay maybe they wanted you to wade around like a kiddie pool?  I bet they have a secret plug or switch to either pull or flip to let it drain?  :~)

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 6 years ago

Jay, my first thought was someone stuffed something down the drain. An easy fix with a snake.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 6 years ago

I've personally built two houses and have had then professionally inspected at each critical juncture of the process. I recommend this to all of my new construction clients. Too often they want to save the money and rely on county inspectors, who I always tell them don't represent them and won't be as thorough as a "real" inspector. I've found you win some, you lose some. But at least I've made my feeling clear to my clients.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage ) about 6 years ago

Ummm, I'm not sure that "No draino" is perfect Spanish... however, with my lightning fast translation abilities I was able to figure out what you was saying.

I had one once that the toilet wouldn't flush. A Plumber came out and wasn't able to get a snake through it so they pulled the toilet and found a cap from a spray paint can in the pipe! The county inspectors just look that the drains are constructed correctly or that they exist, they never actually try them!!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 6 years ago

The county inspectors have so much on their plate that it's simply a numbers game.  I worked for a builder for 15 years and I ALWAYS encourage an outside inspector when buying a new home.  A $400 cost vs. a lifetime of regret.

Posted by Diane Donnelly, Anne Arundel County, MD Real Estate (Keller Williams Flagship) about 6 years ago

Just how disappointing would it be to be the buyer, have your spouse shower on your first day in the home, now it's your turn and you're standing in a grimy puddle. Not fun!

Posted by Scott Nowling, Prudential Starck (Prudential Starck) about 6 years ago

I agree with Lenn- probably construction debris in there.  I'd bet that the contractors were using the shower to clean out their brushes and buckets - I've seen that before.

Thank goodness they had you there to inspect!  I cannot tell you how often I've heard people say "I bought a new house, so I didn't need an outside inspection because I knew nothing would be wrong."  Nope!  An outside inspection is ALWAYS a great idea.

Posted by Jennifer Prestwich, Madison & Co Properties (Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster) about 6 years ago

Jay, I have seen similar installation where the tile guy washes his grout down the drain where it solidifies in the trap---in another instance a test balloon never got removed.  Bottom line, like you said, "fix it" :)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) about 6 years ago

Yup. tghat's my take on it . The cleaners flushed debris down that drain and clogged it. So it's gotta be fixed. The lesson in the story is get a home inspection, even in a new one. Shit happens. Ness paw (that's French).

 

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) about 6 years ago

James - I should have gotten out my baking-soda-propelled submarine and played for a while!

It is Mike, unless it's a snake!

Nina - that is true and it is ashame people don't believe that!

Fred - here they are supposed to fill the drains for 48 hours, show that there was no leaking, and then drain the lines.  then the county approves it.  So at one point this drained.  I suspect this happened later.

Y, cuando digo que algo "no draino," estoy bromillando.  Hablo la lengua perfectamente, chico payaso.

Diane - sometimes they look at a single house in a row for five minutes and assume the rest are the same, going no further!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

Scott - what, ladies first?

Likely Jennifer.  But who knows!

Charlie - I'm going with watermelon rinds.  Once on a new home inspection the clients and I walked into the kitchen to see about 30 "workers" in there all eating watermelon!  And the place was a mess!

Robert - you aren't going with watermelon rinds?  And yep, perfect French.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

It's only a shower, the water can just evaporate.  That's why bathrooms have fans ;)

Posted by Rafi Footerman, Home Inspector, Mold Inspector, Radon and More! (Mid Jersey Inspections) about 6 years ago

New home inspections are an absolute necessity for any smart buyer.  An eleventh month follow up is helpful too, just before the one year warranty ends.

Posted by Mike Carlier, More opinions than you want to hear about. about 6 years ago

Silly me Rafi!  I'll call the buyer!

That's true Mike.  I am doing a lot of 11 monthers!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 6 years ago

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