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Old 03-25-2010, 07:34 PM   #1
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Advice/thoughts on plumbing issue


Newbie here, some experience in plumbing, but I'm stuck and need help.

I went to the inspection today for a home we are looking at purchasing, here in Texas. The house was winterized in late January.

We turned on the main at the street, and waited. We noticed the connections on the hot water heater were leaking, compression fittings on copper piping, probably just over tightened, not too serious a leak.

The upstairs bathroom has good pressure, would like to see better. The guest bath down stairs had good pressure, would like to have seen better. Now comes the fun part.

The kitchen sink was running, sucking air, spitting, then stopped, 100% no water, neither hot nor cold. The dishware, own valve but same supply line works just fine. I am thinking the faucet is clogged. The flex hose under the sink seems rigid as if its pressurized, just nothing out of the faucet.

The master bath shower, tub, and toilet all work, could use a little more pressure, but they work. However, the dual vanity sinks have issues. Both sinks have serious flow issues, both on hot and cold.

The house was built in 2002, and the HUD inspector in January only noted the leaks at the hot water heater. My thoughts are the screens on the bathroom faucets are probably clogged, as well as the kitchen sink. But I have never seen a faucet fully quit, not even a drip, that is what is strange to me.

This is the only problem the inspector found with the house. We found no foundation issues visible, so we doubt its a busted pipe. He said he observed the meter running while all the faucets were off, problem was while he was outside we were inside messing around, never knew he was looking at the meter, so I could have had a faucet on while he was watching. I observed the meter to be idle as we were leaving, so again I do not think its a busted pipe. I do not know how they winterize homes here, or anything like that, I know the tub water was gray for a bit, then cleared up, so its possible since the sinks are the only think with the little meshes that the gray junk has clogged them up.

Any thoughts?

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Old 03-25-2010, 08:28 PM   #2
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Advice/thoughts on plumbing issue


Welcome to the forum. You are off to a good start by describing the issues and including some detail.

It will only take 30 seconds for you to remove the aerator from the faucet, so do that first.

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Old 03-25-2010, 09:54 PM   #3
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Turns out I cant, I have to have a pro do it because its a HUD REO property, oh well, there goes more money out of my thin pockets.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:05 PM   #4
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You are paying to have work done before you buy it ??
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:05 PM   #5
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Sounds like the HW tank was pushing the air to the kitchen as it was filling up.... Did you wait 15 minutes and then check the meter? A 5o-60 gallon tank?

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Old 03-25-2010, 11:20 PM   #6
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OT but bears repeating.

Do not turn the water heater "heat" on until water is flowing steadily from hot water faucets thus proving that the tank is full.

Most likely sediment stirred up when the water was turned on for the first time in weeks, has migrated through the pipes and blocked the flow to selected plumbing fixtures.

Are you being watched? I would unscrew the faucet aerators and do minor stuff myself anyway.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:21 AM   #7
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Unless you're going with an FHA loan and they're forcing you to fix it before you purchase the house (or some similar case) then I wouldn't bother messing with it until you buy it. You sound very competent so for this to be the only noticable issue with the house, I'd say you're in pretty good shape.
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:07 AM   #8
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It is FHA, and no one was watching me, just me and my Realtor. We just didn't have any tools or enough hand strength to break the things lose. We let the water run for a good while, and did let the water heater fill up.

We already have the contract on the house, the only hurdle left was the inspection, and we were pretty sure of what was wrong with the place from the original HUD inspection done in January, that's another reason I think this is just crud in the lines, otherwise they would have noted no water to the sinks and stuff like that. I am not paying for it to be fixed, rather paying to verify that it is something this simple, and not going to cost me a ton of money once I buy the house. It has stained concrete floors and I would hate to have to break them up to get to a broken pipe.

Thanks for the advice I am glad to see my thoughts were in the right direction. I really figured it had to be the faucets themselves since both hot & cold were failing, if it had been one or the other I would have been much more inclined for it to be a pipe issue.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:35 AM   #9
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id also check for a clogged faucet too the thing is, who ever de winterised the home should have removed all the airators and shower heads first..then turned the water on. I have a simmilar problem, i installed a new faucet in my bathroom and the hot side has maybe less than half the pressure it did, i was thinking a piece of something got lodged in it or a manufacturing defect is slowing flow... over the course of a month or so, it seems to have opend up and is fine now.. must have disolved the blockage on its own.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:42 AM   #10
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No one de-winterized it. We just turned it on and let everything pressurize then opened the faucets and let them bleed off. I didn't initially think about gunk in the line, should have, but didn't.

I have a contact number for a plumber of a friend, I'm hoping he can give me an evaluation without charging me an arm and a leg, and simply tell me as a professional if he thinks its something small, like I think, or if its something hidden that is going to bite me in a few months/years.
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:43 AM   #11
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yeah, im thinking its some gunk blockage..lol you could unthread the lines under the sink (run em into a bucket) and see what happens.. at least youd know if it were in the faucet or not.. of course, youd most likly have to "break and enter" to do that... lol

And I know the horror of buying an REO property.. im going through the absolute worst time of it right now! good luck

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