Permits and the End Result
The first thing most inspectors check for is a permit for any construction or work, if any, that must be done. The most important thing, and it may sound silly, is to have all of the fixtures installed. Every room with plumbing must be functional and have all the required fixtures. It is not enough to simply put the fixture on; you also need to have all of the caulking done beforehand. If something is missing, the water to that location must be turned off completely before the inspector gets there. Also, make sure that any fixture that needs hot water, has hot water. The inspector will be testing the full spectrum of temperatures, and things like sinks and showers will need to have both hot and cold water. They will also run the water in all rooms to check for leaks.
The Big Three
The main point of an inspection is to make sure everything is in working order and in good condition. Water heaters, fuel systems and septic tanks are usually the three big items that they are concerned with. They are looking to make sure the water heater is sealed tight, has the proper drainage and is elevated off of the ground. If you have a septic tank, an inspector will pay particular attention to that. Inspectors will evaluate its condition and its capacity.
Pressure Testing and Other Tidbits
Before the inspector comes, you must have the pipes' pressure tested. Whoever does the testing for you will leave a slip with the results near where they tested. That is what the inspector will look at. Sometimes, inspectors will pay close attention to water heaters. One of the most difficult parts of getting ready for an inspection is uncovering all of the main lines. If you have a septic tank, these need to be uncovered too. Pipe entry into the house and all pipes in bathrooms and kitchens must be visible in some way. Leave all insulation on the pipes -- that it an important point of the inspection. Any indoor or outdoor pipes that don't have access to heating units must be insulated to prevent freezing.