How long do you spend in the shower? Do you get in there, do your business, and hop out? Or, are you the type to get in their, let the warm water relax you, and just generally hang out in there? We are all different, so our habits are bound to be different as well.
I was recently asked during a home inspection why I had the shower running in the bathroom while I was inspecting the kitchen. This is a practice I have gotten into while performing every home inspection. Not so when I first started out. But you tend to learn things as you progress, and this is one item I have learned from my fellow home inspectors.
Think about it, most home inspectors will run the shower or tub while they are in the bathroom only. Or worse, only while they are looking at the tub or shower stall. So they run the water for maybe two minutes at the most in that scenario. I think most of us can agree that out typical shower lasts longer than two minutes, right?
Now, if we run the shower for a longer period of time, we gives those possible leaks some time to show themselves. Some leaks will not be there after two minutes, but rather will reveal themselves after 5 or 10 minutes. Now, the home inspector that shut the water off after a minute or two will not find that leak and could find himself in trouble. Some clients won't care that you only ran the water for two minutes, but why didn't you see that leaking? See where I am going with this?
By taking a bit more time and using a little more water, we increase our chance of finding those possible leaks that could prove to be a problem for someone else down the road. Trust me, my clients and the current homeowners appreciate this method. This method has actually gained me home inspections from sellers that would be buying a new home.
If the water is run for a longer period, you will have a better chance of discovering leaks once you enter the area underneath the shower, basement or crawlspace. The leaks will be much easier to spot, because there should be more water volume, and will stick out a little more than just a small trickle, or worse, nothing at all.
This is a practice that I firmly believe in as a home inspector. So homeowners, please don't get down on that home inspector that the buyer hired because you think he is using too much water. We are just trying to provide the best service we can to our client. Instead, ask him for a card, and book him for your next home inspection.