Should this have been noted in inspection report?

I am a consumer, not an inspector. Is that okay for this forum?

I purchased a home this last year and I am finally getting settled in and figuring out the house. I am a first time homebuyer and hired a home inspector for a typical inspection just prior to closing.

I am pretty sure this outdoor plumbing/irrigation setup is not only not according to code, but may also be illegal(?).

See the pic below. The house is on city water, but you can see the pump in the middle so that you can use a well for irrigation/sprinklers (to the right of where the well connects in). Then, to the left, you see two gate valves. The one on the left lets you use the sprinklers with house/city water (the one next to it I have no idea still).

Can they both be connected on the same system like that?
If not, should it have been part of the inspection report? Or not because it is outside (although on the exterior wall)?


When you run the house water with the sprinklers (well) online and no check valve installed is where the problem exists. You need to install a check valve. I personally grew up with sulphur water in Florida and don’t mind it…

If allowed the system would typically be equipped with a backflow prevention valve set to isolate the well water from the potable city water supply. The person/office that you should be asking this question to is your local city/municipality/county water provider. They will tell you what is allowed and what must be done if this arrangement is allowed.

As to whether it should be part of an inspection report is partly determined by where you are located. Additional factors might also be what you contracted for and what Standards of Practice (SOP) the Home Inspector was following. Unfortunately some SOP’s might exclude reporting on something of this nature whether you or I disagree with that.

  • Where are you located?
  • Did you have a signed inspection contract for the service?
  • Did the contract specify what SOP was being used or did it contain a disclaimer against this type of system?

City & State of property please

Not sure if it’s a code issue. As a home inspector I’m not inspecting for code violations, but rather for the safety, condition and operation of the systems of the home.

Having said that, the best practice IMO for this senerio would be to have a back flow preventer installed between the 2 valves on the right and the well water entry point into the system. There may already be a back flow device installed near the city connection to the home, which would isolate the well from the public supply. But you would like to isolate the well from your home as well.

Please clarify what was meant by “when I run the sprinklers with well water my house smells like well water”? Does the city water supply smell like sulphur at that point? If so I think there might possible be more to the story… If the 2 valves on the left are closed while your running well water through the irragation system why would you be smelling “well water” through out your home?

To determine whether or not it should have been inspected and called out, you would have to refer to the standards that the home was inspected to. There might be a state required standard where you are, the pre inspection agreement should spell this information out for you. I’m in New York and inspecting irrigation systems is above the scope of a standard inspection.

Best of luck!