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lonewolf454 02-01-2011 04:56 AM

Considering buying a slab home, but all pipes run up outside. Thoughts?
I am considering buying a 2300SqFT one story brick home, built on slab. We noticed though it appears all plumbing hot/cold lines run up outside of exterior brick walls and then horizontally through the walls to the fixtures inside. All fixtures are located on outside walls inside. They built wooden boxes and insulated the pipes inside these homemade boxes. This home was built in 1994 and located in south Georgia. I have never noticed this before anywhere, but I am not familiar with slab homes either.

Is this common or should I avoid buying this home? I hate to buy it then have plumbing problems the rest of my life. Any thoughts appreciated...

Just Bill 02-01-2011 07:13 AM

If it has not been a problem in 15 yrs, no reason it should be in the future. You have had some unusually cold weather this winter, but how have the pipes been thru this???

lonewolf454 02-01-2011 08:01 AM

Actually looks like pipes have been cut off in these boxes, obviously valved off elsewhere. It has been quite cold here this year. This house has been vacant for two years, but widower still owns it, moved to sunny Florida.

I was wondering if this is normal for my area. and have also asked the realtor waiting on a response from her.

i_need_help 02-01-2011 10:43 AM

My dad had to have his supply lines run like that, the slab had shifted and broke all the pipes that were originally run under the slab. You may want to have the slab inspected.

Plumber26 02-01-2011 08:00 PM

I have never heard of such a thing. When I re-pipe a slab house, I bring the water lines into the attic and then into the walls. I would never even think about running pipes on an exterior wall. Look around the house and you should see some signs that the house has been re-plumbed. Random holes under sinks and such. Good luck.

lonewolf454 02-02-2011 06:16 AM

The lady that owns the house told the realtor they did it his way on purpose, their previous slab home had plumbing issues in/under slab and they ended up having to bust concrete up to repair, so when they built his one in 94 they decided to do it this way, and the wooden boxes keep the pipes warm, she says-

I would opt to replace the boxes with brick boxes that maytch exterior and maybe put an access of some kind on each to check insulation, etc.

In disclosure she doesnt state any previous plumbing repairs. I wish it wasnt a slab house it is really a cute house though. I went ahead and made an offer.

lonewolf454 02-09-2011 07:11 AM

any more ideas? has anyone else seen this before??

troubleseeker 02-09-2011 01:48 PM

My first thought was that it was an older house, originally piped in iron pipe, and had been repiped taking the lazy/cheap way out, but then I saw the 1994 date. Now I don't have a clue; I have never seen modern slab construction done like that. I would look for signs of original piping....perhaps the old leak prone poly tubeing?

clashley 02-09-2011 01:58 PM

Um, that's just weird. My wife and I own a slab house in southern GA that has been replumbed due to a shifted slab (this happened about 20 years ago, long before we bought the house). The water line enters the house at grade, and then runs into the attic. There's only about four inches of pipe exposed on the outside of the house, and all of the attic piping is well-insulated and protected from the elements.

Your description makes it sounds like the original homeowner actually specified their design, which seems really weird to me. Even if they had an aversion to putting plumbing in the slab, they could have easily run the water lines in the conditioned space of the house without having exposed piping all over the place.

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