Overflow testing?

Inspected a 7-year-old house last month. Today I got a call from the buyer wanting his money back! The reason: After taking a bath, he noticed a leak. The home warranty company came in, took the dry wall out of the wall and the ceiling below, and could not find the leak. The buyer hired his plumber friend and found a nail pushed into the overflow PVC pipe by the construction crew. The repair cost $500.00 the home warranty company is charging him $700.00 for false claim? Any and all suggestions are welcome…

This is not giving you a complete answer but…

The only way a bath overflow would show a leak would be by him mis-using the tub in the first place. He would have had to over fill the tub. The tub is not designed to be over filled with normal use.

Now for the nail in the overflow pipe, that is in an enclosed, sealed area. We do not open wall cavities during an inspection. How are you expected to find a leak in a pipe when a crew that removed all the wall coverings could not even find the leak!

I would inform him that he needs to have his plumber who found the problem to write a letter to be sent to his home warranty company informing them of what was found. Also informing them why their crew did not find the problem. I think that the plumber should request payment from the warranty company in this letter (my opinion).

This customer is complaining to the wrong person… Now is the time to follow Russel Ray’s advice! Inform this person that he is having a bad experience with his Home Warranty Company. Inform him that you will Help him with getting things corrected with his Home Warranty Company. If need be, help write the letter for the plumber. It would help if the client had taken some photo’s.

I hope what I have said here will Help you.


I agree with what Jason said.
In addition consider this for the future. Most of us don’t test overflows, and for good reason. Nevertheless, most Standards of Practice don’t specifically exclude them from the inspection. The answer - exclude them in your contract wording.

“Bath tub and basin overflow connections are not included in the scope of the inspection and are not tested”

Even if we were testing the overflows, how long would you have to wait before the leak would show up? How much water would have to go down the overflow before the leak would show up?

Just something else to think about… Laundry sinks and Kitchen sinks do not have overflows. More -n- more I am finding bathroom sinks without overflows.

This may be something that should be added to the NACHI SOP’s!
2.6. Plumbing
II. The inspector is not required to:
I. Test shower pans**, overflow drains**, tub and shower surrounds or enclosures for leakage.


Well, I was about ready to make my post when I accidentally hit the Page Down key and saw Jason’s post.

Now I don’t have to make a post.

Wait. I just did, didn’t I?

Oh, this is so confusing.

Follow Jason’s advice in his posts #2 and #4.

This is a great situation for you to

help, help, help.