No Water, No Power! (posted by Samantha)

[ASKNACHI]This question was posted on by Samantha (from Everett, WA). [/ASKNACHI]How can a house’s pipes and electricity be inspected when the energy and water are turned off??? Is there something I can look out for?

They need to be turned on ,as a good Inspection can’t be performed that way.

Sounds like you’re dealing with a repo. Many banks in this area simply refuse to be bothered with turning on utilities for inspections.

I’ve had to advise several clients that hesitation on the part of a property owner to provide service to any of the utilities should send up a red flag. If the seller forces you to “assume”, you should “assume” the worst. Force them to eliminate your assumptions by providing you with the utilities you need to do so…or find a seller who will.

Especially with repos, one has to be realistic and understand that the owner who lacked the financial means to keep their house probably did not put a whole lot of money into its maintenance. A leaky pipe was more likely to find a temporary fix with a mouthful of chewing gum than an expensive call to the plumber. Accordingly, the water may be off for a plumbing reason…electricity may be off to keep the service panel from catching fire. You simply do not know.

They can’t be properly inspected unless they are in energized or in operation at the time of the inspection.

My advice…Do not purchase a home without having the piping and other utilities in operation.

I’ve inspected many homes that were winterized when I arrived to inspect the home. I can’t perform a thorough inspection if I’m unable to inspect the utilities.

I always tell my clients to have the utilities turned on before close of escrow and they do. Once the water did get turned “ON”, they found that water was pouring out from all the ceilings. Every pipe in the house was full of holes from frozen water.

Closing papers never got signed.