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Old 04-27-2009, 04:01 PM   #1
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Galvanized steel water pipe-when to replace


A friend wishes to sell his family's 85 year old home. However, he was told there are galvanized steel water pipes in the home. Does he need to replace all of the water pipes prior to selling the home or should he disclose that there are galvanized pipes in the home? Also, if the pipes are not leaking and are working properly, would they need replaced prior to selling? I can see if they are malfunctioning and leaking; then repair and replace with pipes of today's code. Does the old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" apply in this instance. Thanks, Audrey 214
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:15 PM   #2
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Galvanized steel water pipe-when to replace


Galvanized steel water pipes are still relatively common in the U.S. I am not aware of any code that requires that they be replaced, perhaps someone else knows of such a requirement. As to disclosure, I assume the buyer will have an inspection done, and that inspection will reveal that there are galvanized steel pipes in the house.

I don't believe there is an affirmative responsibility on the part of the seller to declare the presence of galvanized steel. There may be a responsibility on the part of the realtor listing the house to make known the presence of steel pipe, perhaps someone familiar with real estate law knows if that is the case.
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:18 PM   #3
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Galvanized steel water pipe-when to replace


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Originally Posted by Audrey214 View Post
Does the old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" apply in this instance. Thanks, Audrey 214
The pipes should probably be disclosed, but there is nothing wrong with galvanized pipes if they aren't leaking.
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:45 PM   #4
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Galvanized steel water pipe-when to replace


Thanks for your comments. I will check the PA Real Estate code to see what is said about this. As far as my friend told me, everything is working fine. Just wanted to see if anyone knew if they had to be replaced even if they were in working condition. will check it out and let you know what I learn. Audrey214
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Old 04-27-2009, 05:43 PM   #5
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Galvanized steel water pipe-when to replace


Most realestate codes require disclosure of known problems that affect the operation or structural integrity. If the plumbing is working it is not a known problem.
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:15 AM   #6
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Galvanized steel water pipe-when to replace


my opinion shhhhhhhhhh.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:38 PM   #7
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Galvanized steel water pipe-when to replace


It depends on your individual state residential real estate regulations.
North Carolina, where I've been a real estate broker for more than 22 years, is a "full disclosure" state. The seller and their agent MUST disclose all known defects, malfunctions, and anything else that will affect the value of the property.
Here in NC, there is a residential property disclosure statement (signed prior to a contract by both sellers and buyers) that specifically includes the seller disclosing the type of plumbing pipes.
However, there is no law anywhere that I've ever heard of requiring a seller to replace anything. They just have to disclose what is there and whether it is functioning as intended or not. A residence only has to meet the building code of the year in which it was built...in your friend's case, 85 years ago.
While obsolete galvanized pipes are notorious for scaling up on the inside until eventually becoming completely plugged, and the usual life span of them is supposedly about 40 years, there obviously are such pipes that have lasted twice that long and more.
As long as they aren't leaking and he disclosed them, he should have no problems. If he replaces them, he likely won't get his money back in the sale price, especially in this market.
Mike
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