Water off at inspection

I recently inspected a property and the water was off at the interior main. I carry an air compressor with me which I use to do plumbing pressure tests at foreclosed / winterized properties (I do lots of these) and the system wasn’t holding pressure because of a leaking tub faucet / valve. Obviously I didn’t turn on the water because of the liability of other leaks. I should also note that about 50% of the plumbing was polybutylene adding to my skepticism of additional leaks. Now for my question. Should I charge more to return to inspect the plumbing system once the water is restored? In this instance I told them I would return but for future reference what should I charge?


What you charge is your call.
Should you charge? Of course, it’s work.

I agree for sure

Take pictures showing the water is off. I had a Realtor telling me the water was on and it should have been tested. I showed them the picture I took of the missing water meter. Told them what I would charge to reinspect ( it was 40 Miles away) and said they should call a plumber have them hook it up and inspect. Just an FYI Thanks John

If the client wants you to return for ANY reason, I charge 1/2 the original inspection fee. I used to charge $125 or $150 plus mileage but I don’t want to figure out the time and mileage. Just easier for 1/2 the original fee.

Thanks everyone! Too late for this one but I will be ready for next time.

I agree you should charge. Also, make sure they understand water on means at the fixtures like the sink, toilet and tub. It does not mean that there is water service to the home as the main valve could be very well shut off. I’ve had the happen “Is the Water on” reply “Yes they installed the meter today” arrive and its on but the valve at the meter is off.

Do you like working for FREE?

If so, don’t charge for it.

I might assume that you should be charging for an air pressure test as well…

Why are you afraid of turning on the water when your not afraid to hook up an air compressor to the house? If your to go beyond the Insp Std, why are you hiding behind it?

I would hope that the OP would have a separate agreement signed for testing/dewinterizing etc. outside of the home inspection agreement.

I would have turned the water on.

Then, sorry to say, you are a fool. :roll: Try making a claim on your insurance when that small, hidden leak ruins something.

I had an agent go out the night before an early morning inspection and turn the main on. She opened it a little to far and it had a constant drip at the valve handle. It flooded the kitchen, hallway, dining room and living room. All the hardwood cherry floors were warped and had to be replaced. I bet it cost her $15k at least.

I handle this in multiple ways.

My inspection agreement states that there is a $150 reinspect fee.
Clients and agents are emailed prior to the inspection with instructions to make sure all utilities are on at the time of inspection to avoid a reinspect fee.

in my report I note what utilities are off and what systems were unable to be fully inspected due to utility not being available.

I verbally communicate with my client the lack of utility, and how that may affect the inspection. I also tell them that the report will state these items could no be properly inspected and to verify proper operation prior to purchase.

I let the client know that once the utility is restored I can come back to perform the reinspection. I advise the client that they may want to negotiate with the seller and agents on who is going to pay for the reinspection.

Big error ,
Three times I have refused and in all cases agent turned it on and there was a leak .
This is a great board .listen close and follow the directions of the established home inspectors .

You will learn a lot .

I hark back to the real estate market of 2010-12. At that time I was not an inspector but an investor. Homes for sale at that time, generally bank owned and short sales, were a mess. Missing plumbing and electrical, crack houses, and all forms of disrespect for the most basic of human needs was rampant.

Winterized homes included, (if possible) I always tested the potable water as well as fuel delivery, waste, and every other accruement that makes for a liveable structure. As a buyer I wanted to know the condition of the property.

Now as an inspector, I feel I owe it to my clients to provide the knowledge I wanted without a sun in my eyes, shoes untied excuse for not performing an inspection. Adding an additional fee for a re-inspection because I am either timid or incompetent is ludicrous.

If this makes me a fool, or not an established inspector, so be it.