A plumbing inspector is a licensed professional who examines all of the plumbing systems in a home or business to ensure they are legally installed and properly working. During an inspection, the inspector ensures all pipes in a structure are free of leaks and other problems and also checks the licenses and other credentials of any workers on the site.
There are several common areas where plumbing inspection is particularly important. One is the hot water heater, as this device is a common site of failure. The hot water heater is a large steel tank containing 50 or more gallons of hot water at high pressure, so safety demands that it be examined for rust, corrosion and other weaknesses.
Another area of concern is the presence of polybutylene pipe, a kind of plastic pipe that was once common in homes but has been revealed to break down when exposed to the chlorine found in most municipal water. An inspector may look for remaining polybutylene pipes and recommend replacements.
Finally, the inspector may look for blockages and other problems with the building's drainage system. Buildings connected to the municipal sewer system rarely have problems, but septic tanks are more complex and can present numerous problems with potentially unsanitary consequences.