What I'm Seeing Now

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Testing The Plumbing In New Construction - Here The Master Bath Shower

This can happen when testing the plumbing in new construction - here the master bath shower.

Builders never like to see this happen.  I have even been blamed in the past for making it happen!  But this is why we do the inspection!

You would think that this shower had been tested, and examined, more than once by now by the installing plumber and the supervisor building this house.

In new construction I like to turn the shower on when there is a glass surround to see if the surround will leak.

I just spray around the edges for a while and look on the other side.

So often it leaks!

In this case when the shower was turned on there was very little water coming out of the shower head.

That usually means a problem inside the wall.

Sometimes it makes a sound when there is a blockage like that.  But in this case we heard nothing.

There is an installation problem, and it's been there from the beginning!

Letting it run for only a couple of gallons.  Turning it off we went immediately downstairs.

What I thought might happen was happening!

Water was dripping from the light fixture right below the shower.

And water was also making its way inside the wall, to exit from the kitchen receptacle and draining onto the counter top.

Even though the water was not on for long, this is the result.  And the only thing we can do is call the supervisor.

By the time he arrived the water had made its way to the floor.

Fortunately I had a towel and we could dry it right away.  But still.

Asking the supervisor why this had not been tested before and this caught he did not have an answer.

My question, "Don't your plumbers test installations before now?"

"Well, they are supposed to.  Maybe this one got skipped."

Telling him I did not feel comfortable testing the other showers and possibly causing more damage he agreed.  That is not why we are there.  If the problem is here in the master bathroom, it might also be elsewhere.  The same plumbing shower assemblies are installed in every bathroom, and if this plumber does not know how to install them the same mistake found in the master will be made elsewhere.

My recommendation:  the assumption that things will be entirely ready for a final walk through on new construction is just that - an assumption.  Home inspections test things, and if they are not ready to be tested the results often manifest themselves.  NEVER SKIP THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A HOME INSPECTION ON NEW CONSTRUCTION!  If there is a problem, and there very often is, you want to find it BEFORE  you move in!

 

 

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 19 commentsJay Markanich • May 23 2014 01:57AM

Comments

High and dry. Nice situation inside, outside a house. Otherwise it is time to jingle a plumber to sneak a peek for the costly leak.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 3 years ago

Well, hopefully the same guy who installed the fixture is not called back to repair it Andrew!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Sad, sad, sad.  All due to poor construction supervision. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 3 years ago

And the stellar plumbing installation Lenn.  Both things are quite common, unfortunately.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Not good not good at all.  I'm sure a minor inconvenience to the builder but whoever he hired to do that will get an ear full

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) over 3 years ago

Wow...that is a huge mistake. And dangerous too. 

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) over 3 years ago

Oh my! Even a short test would have revealed this problem Jay.

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 3 years ago

Each trade has to account not only one another, but to the one who hired them

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 3 years ago

Jay- I just read this to my husband who is shaking his head.  He is a retired builder and that was a bugaboo for him when his superintendents didn't check the work of everyone. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 3 years ago

Good evening Jay. Looks like someone for got to connect something. So much for QC.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 3 years ago

Jay, Just did a new home inspection this week and my client was surprised at the laundry list I presented. The best time for inspection is a new home. That is the time to have the builder correct all the missed items and mistakes.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Turned out they had to tear some wall off to get to it James.  And that the other shower installations were the same!

The same mistake made more than once Suzanne!  The "pro" installer did not know what he was doing, obviously.

The supervisor could have asked the "pro" sub if it tested right and was told yes Tom.  He thinks that is supervision I guess.

Richie - I bet this "pro" sub wasn't asked back to fix it.  All three showers were the same.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Kathy - the same mistake was made everywhere and the supervisor did not visor any of them.

Or glue something Michael, in each shower.

Don - new construction is fun.  It's a little like finding Waldo.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Big bummer....and what else got skipped has got to be the natural channel one would take their mind to if I were the buyer !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce - Short Sale (Keller Williams 414-525-0563) over 3 years ago

So often there are long lists on new construction inspections S&D - and it's unfortunate.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Like you say, you never know what will turn up. Better to find it before the family moves in. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 3 years ago

And Jim, this is the builder who said to my clients many times that they didn't need an inspection - for all the usual reasons (maybe thousands of "professional" inspections by the county and supervisor).

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

Hello Jay,

Why no one should ever buy a home without a full inspection...you saved the day again!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek & Associates LLC Team) over 3 years ago

I ran very little water Lisa, for fear of doing damage.  Imagine what would have happened after the first long, glorious shower in that bath?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 3 years ago

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