Home Magazine

Inspecting Bath Tubs

By Homesmsp @HomesMSP

Many years ago, I learned about a bath tub leak that I never caught during my home inspection.  The seller didn't have any children and didn't take baths, so they never knew about the problem with the bath tub drain.  I did my standard inspection of the bath tub, which included filling the tub up with about four inches of water and then letting it drain.  I didn't find any leaks and never reported a problem.  

After the new owners moved in, the first time their children used the bath tub water began leaking through the kitchen ceiling.  

Why didn't I catch that leak?  

Bath tub overflow
Because I didn't test the overflow.  The first time the kids took a bath, they filled the water up as high as it would go.  When the water hit the overflow, it leaked right through the overflow in to the wall cavity because the overflow wasn't connected properly.  If the overflow drain at the bath tub isn't connected properly or has a worn out seal, it's going to leak, and sometimes profusely.

That was a real 'duh' moment for me.  I had never heard of other home inspectors testing the overflow, so I just assumed that doing this was beyond our standards of practice.  After hearing about the leak, I realized that this was something that I could have been testing all along, as long as I can view the bath tub drain via an access panel in the wall or floor.  I checked my Standards of Practice, and according to 6.1, A, 1, I'm supposed to inspect the plumbing fixtures.  What that means and how I do it is pretty much up to me.

From that point on, I started testing bath tub overflow drains, and I've since found dozens and dozens of bath tub drains that leak at the overflow.  I've also found that this test forces me to run a lot of water down the drains, and if the main building drain has a clog, there's a good chance that I'll find out about it after running all this water.

The video below shows the worst overflow leak I've ever found; this was at a house that was being 'flipped'.  Luckily it was an unfinished basement, so the leaking water didn't do any damage.

If you want to test your own bath tub overflow, it's very easy to do.  Just fill up your bath tub with water and watch the back side of the overflow when the water starts draining in to it.  If it's not working right, you'll know.

Reuben Saltzman, Structure Tech Home Inspections - Email- Home Inspector Minneapolis


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Shilo Sanders- Son Of Deion Sanders Thanks Courts For Allowing Him To Live With...

    Shilo Sanders- Deion Sanders Thanks Courts Allowing Live With Pilar

    ChristianNews Shilo Sanders, the son of NFL Hall of Famer,  Deion Sanders took to twitter to “thank” the courts for allowing him to live with his mother, Pilar... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Firstladyb
    SPIRITUALITY
  • “I Feel Great”

    Feel Great”

    Jakub went to his doctor's office believing that he had a back injury, but returned with a chocking diagnosis instead. He had type 2 diabetes - in spite of... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT
  • July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    July Allotment Recap (2/2)

    Sunday afternoon saw us return bravely to 24a even though there were more thundery showers foretold by the weatherman. I will admit that I guffawed at the... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Chrryblossomtat2
    GARDENING, HOME
  • Culinary Delicacies in Croatia- What to Eat and Drink in Croatia

    Culinary Delicacies Croatia- What Drink Croatia

    In my earlier post, we spoke about how Croatia is a stunning European destination, let us now see what are the culinary delicacies in Croatia or what you can... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Kash Pals
    FOOD & DRINK, A-CLASSER
  • #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: The Delta Putt

    #Golf Training Aids Spotlight: Delta Putt

    Do you consider yourself to be a strong putter or do you feel you could improve your make percentage on the green? Most amateurs could use help with the flat... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Golfforbeginners
    GOLF, SPORTS
  • Three Incredible Hikes in Southern Iceland3 Min Read

    Three Incredible Hikes Southern Iceland3 Read

    Nature takes center stage in Iceland, where there's a stunning view around every bend: massive glaciers, expansive lava fields, powerful waterfalls, black sand... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Healthytravelblog
    TRAVEL
  • What I Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    What Wore: Daytime Pajamas

    Pajama top: ELOQUII (14) | Pajama pants: ELOQUII (14) | Shoes: ASOS (similar) | Earrings: J. Crew ( same in different colors, similar concept in same color) |... Read more

    The 04 August 2017 by   Wardrobeoxygen
    FASHION, SELF EXPRESSION, SHOPPING