No Plumbing Inspection Comment

Does anyone have a “standard comment” to use when the water is not turned on for the inspection?

It’s happened to me a couple times, and I usually just “wing it”, saying a plumbing inspection cannot be performed because water was turned off.

I’d like to use something a little more professional looking, not forgetting to use disclaimers about leaks, back ups, etc.

Also, this house has been vacant for over 3 years.

Water was off at the time of the inspection. We could not test for leaks, pressure, functional flow or potential drainage issues which are integral components of the home inspection. Therefore, the plumbing system inspection is limited to visual inspection of pipes and fixtures.


The property has been vacant for an extended period of time. Roots from common vegetation can compromise the main drain-line as they seek sources of moisture. During our evaluation, we do not flush solids such as paper through the drain lines and water will generally flow freely even when the pipes have substantial root intrusion. Paper products and other solids will accumulate on roots and create severe blockages, which will not become evident until after you have occupied the property. Therefore, you should have the main drain-line video scanned during your inspection contingency period to determine the actual condition of the main drain-line, and to ensure it will continue to function adequately.

“The water service was not turned on during the inspection, and may or may not be professionally Winterized. As a result, plumbing supply, drain and waste lines, fixtures, and some appliances such as water heaters weren’t fully evaluated. Recommend that a full evaluation of the plumbing system be made after the water supply is turned back on.”

The plumbing could not be checked for function as the water was turned off. The standards of practice used by Global Property Inspections does not allow water to be turned on as there could be hidden leaks that were undetectable until the water was turned on.
The plumbing was checked where visible for possible defects but the inspection is limited to a visual inspection of the supply and drains.
Once water is restored to the property it is best practice to have a qualified plumber inspect the supply lines and drains for possible leaks. The rubber O-rings and fitting can deteriorate over time and may produce a leak.

On the Inspection we were not able to turn on the water at the main. This may be a result of a leak or problem already existing in the building. For this reason no portion of the plumbing inspection will be added in the Inspection report. I recommend a rescheduling be done of the plumbing components and supplies at an extra cost.

The plumbing was not inspected nor anything else because I don’t do inspections without water peroid;-)

Try this:

The plumbing was not fully inspected. The water utility was turned off. The exposed plumbing was visually inspected, but with no water present, it is possible that there are latent defects in supply lines, drain lines, and fixtures. Water and steam heating systems could not be evaluated either. I recommend a re-inspection (once all utilities are operational) of these systems. You should request the seller turn on all utilities for the most thorough inspection. Budget for repairs to the plumbing system, especially due to the extended vacancy of the home.

Note, leaking water can cause substantial damage if not addressed immediately. This can include damage to structural components, and finished areas, as well as mold growth. Be prepared to inspect for evidence of failed plumbing as soon as the water utility is in service.

Thanks for the response. All are great, now I just have to choose.

I can’t use Kevin’s, because I would never turn the water on at the main. It may be turned off for a reason. I did that once, and the water supply was loose between floors, causing water to poor out all the light fixtures and drip on the first floor before I could run back down to the main and shut the water off. Luckily, it was a vacant foreclosure so there was already plenty of damage.

Charley’s is okay, but I will do an inspection without water on if need be. I can’t afford to turn inspections away.

glad to help, that MB works fast, I was the first responder, started typing, took a call, hit submit and you already had several other answers that were good.

Good on you iNACHI brothers!

I really like this comment Jeff. Consider it stolen. LOL

Michael neither do I. I tend to keep things simple because I am that type of guy.
I do not use canned comments ever as they don’t all apply to each house. Although Jeffrey’s is good there is way way too much detail for a simple comment.

I disagree Kevin for the simple fact that the client needs to know what may happen when the water is turned back on.
You complete the inspection and put in your report that the water was not on and therefore the plumbing was not checked for function. They still decide to buy the home. They move in and the first night the water starts to leak from a couple of pipes under the floor and the sewer backs up. How are you looking in their eyes? I would be ticked at you because I was not told about the issues they could face. Now your client has a rather large bill from the plumber to fix all the issues in the home and are looking for someone to pay for it. The lawyer is pretty savvy and know you have insurance. Who do you think they are going to point the finger at?

Not ever going to happen with my Clients Greg.
I make sure my Clients know not to buy the Home until after the full report is done, they have reviewed it and that would include the water turned on and all plumbing checked.
I do not do Inspection reports on site and all my Clients now this before even hiring me.
If it is inspected and they are not there they are to wait to see the report in the in box.

I do the same thing Kevin. We are talking about the simple comment that you would put in compared to something Jeff or myself would put in.
In this case the water has been off for three years and is is likely turned off at the street, bank owned and they are not willing to turn the water back on.

Understood, Kevin. I read “unable to turn water on at main” to mean "I tried but it was locked, or was physically not able to turn on the valve, didn’t have the right tool, etc.

I think “unable to turn water on at main” really means, “I can’t without possibly being responsible for damages…”

Thanks. Everyone’s input is much appreciated…

Then my Client would not be buying that Home.

Since when is it the job of a home inspector to tell a client to buy or not to buy its against the law in Okla to do that.

Do you have any clients have you ever performed a inspection curious minds want to know???

When ever I can’t inspect something, at the end of whatever narrative I use, I add “It is possible that defects exist that could not be observed”

Just my .02

That would be against Nachi rules Charley. I was not sure how to respond to what Kevin said but you sorta nailed it.:mrgreen::mrgreen:

I have done many Homes that have the water shut off for winter. All the plumbing is not included in my report. I have even had Real Estate Agents turn on the water while I am Inspecting and that is when I stop the Inspection. Here is SSM during the winter time many places are empty for very long periods in the cold weather.
Same goes for Power or Gas.
If there is no Power than no Inspection period.