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-   -   Are these pipes OK? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f7/these-pipes-ok-34409/)

gbwillner 12-25-2008 11:06 PM

Are these pipes OK?
 
I'm in the process of buying an old house, and the owner has updated a lot of the plumbing. However, a lot of the work he has done is pretty shotty, IMHO. I have no experience with pluming, really, but I was wndering if these copper pipes were properly installed... if not I will raise concerns with the seller. I had a structural engineer look at the property, but I'm not even sure he looks at pipes.
Please let me know if you guys think these will be a major problem..... Thanks!

http://img75.imageshack.us/img75/8008/pipes3mj8.jpg

http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/1875/pipes2wz9.jpg

http://img72.imageshack.us/img72/868/pipes1uz8.jpg

Mike Swearingen 12-26-2008 12:43 AM

I've been a real estate broker for many years, and although I represent sellers, I always highly recommend that all buyers have everything professionally inspected before closing on a property. It is the buyers right and responsiblity. Never buy a nasty surprise if you can help it.
In all cases here, I recommend that buyers get (A) title insurance (the only thing required by lenders in most cases), (B) a licensed Pest Inspection report ($125 here by a reputable company), and (C) a licensed General Home Inspection report ($300-$450 here) of all structural and mechanical systems of the house. This would include your plumbing including the pipes (I see nothing wrong with them in the photos).
Inspections are the cheapest form of insurance. Unfortunately, there are some less than honest inspectors, particularly in the pest inspection field, so get references and check them out first.
Good Luck!
Mike

bradnailer 12-26-2008 06:16 AM

At a minimum, it is an extremely sloppy sweating job. You are correct to raise the question. The workmanship with the pipes could be an indication of sloppy work other places in the house.

Just Bill 12-26-2008 06:21 AM

What I see are cold solder joints, possibly with acid core solder(a no-no) and some have been leaking.

brokenknee 12-26-2008 07:12 AM

Yep, the sweat joints look really nasty, but it doesn't appear any are leaking, (even a small leak would give a green nasty white build up around joints.) Maybe a real plumber can weigh in hear, I also thought the copper pipe is suppose to be supported every four feet. (I could be wrong on this)

A bigger concern of mine is the way the electrical wires are just hanging around the p trap. They should be securely fastened to the floor joist. Also at issue is the wire just bundled up by notched out floor joist in second picture. Is that electrical wire? If so, it is a fire waiting to happen.

Then there is the issue of the floor joist being notched out on the bottom. Once the ends are notched they compromise the structural integrity of the joist. This can be repaired by laminating another board to it.

I was never a broker, but I was a real estate agent and appraiser. You must be VERY careful when choosing a home inspector. While most do a fair job, they tend to be careful not to "KILL"the deal. They are worried about repeat work, especially if they were referred by an agent. I personally would never recommended a specific inspector. I would give the buyer a list of reputable home inspectors in the area, but advised them to get referrals from family or friends if possible. I also highly encouraged people to get a home inspection.

A home inspector points out possible defects in the property, they do not give any recommendations of the value of the property. That is your agents job. You should have your agent do a comparative market analysis of the property. If they will not, get a new agent.

When purchasing a home I would never agree to "dual agency". It really doesn't exist since they are legally bound to represent the seller. You can't act in the best interest of both parties.

You should also know that in most states there is no real requirements to become a home inspector. A person can go to school for six weeks and claim to be a home inspector.

You should also know that structural engineers are just that, They are looking at the structure "foundation, walls roof, ect." stuff that makes the building stand. They are not plumbing or electrical engineers.

brokenknee 12-26-2008 07:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Just Bill (Post 202546)
What I see are cold solder joints, possibly with acid core solder(a no-no) and some have been leaking.

Acid core? Do you mean lead based? I would tend to think not, just because of the cold solder joints, most people that solder with 50/50 tend to over heat the joint and have the solder run down the pipe. However it is one more thing the potential buyer should check, especially if they have kids in the home.

Went back and looked at photos after reading your post. You may be correct some joints may have been leaking, or it is possible they did not clean the flux off the pipes.

joed 12-26-2008 08:54 AM

The joint look like poor workmanship but would not concern me. What concerns me is the two corrosion spots in the second picture on the left pipe that are not near a joint. Those look like pinhole leaks. Could be an indication of the pipes corroding from the inside.

I suggest on on site by a plumber.

gbwillner 12-26-2008 08:57 AM

[quote=brokenknee;202555] A bigger concern of mine is the way the electrical wires are just hanging around the p trap. They should be securely fastened to the floor joist. Also at issue is the wire just bundled up by notched out floor joist in second picture. Is that electrical wire? If so, it is a fire waiting to happen.

Yep, the joists have to be repaired- the engineer did point that out. I did not get a plumer to see the property- in part because as I was bidding on the property the seller did not have the water turned on, and when he finally did I sent my fiance out to the property to make sure there was adequate pressure and no leaks, as this was during the "inspection time" and just didn't want to sink more money into inspection knowing there were lots of structural issues. She did nt see any leaks. I am negotiating with the seller now... the costs of the structural repairs will already be enough that I doubt the seller will go beyond what I'm asking regardless.Another question.... can these be readily repaired? Some of these pipes will come down regarless since I am taking out a shower and will move a few of these shoddy pipes... What do you think the estimated cost of replacing these pipes will be?Thanks again!

brokenknee 12-26-2008 09:40 AM

Every thing can be repaired. It is just how much work/cost you want to put in it. As far as the plumbing goes. I would replace it with pex. Very user freindly and the cost of the few specialty tools you need will definitely be cheaper than a plumber.

As far as the cost goes, I can not tell you. Prices very from location to location.

Wethead 12-26-2008 06:58 PM

Just clean the "green" spots with steel wool to stop the corrosion.

Other then that your golden :)

duckdown 12-30-2008 10:19 AM

The electrical was ran incorrectly. You are not supposed to make holes that close together as it has the potential to weaken the joists. The pipes were joined very poorly...

majakdragon 12-30-2008 11:52 AM

Just guessing but, it looks like a lazy Plumber did the work. The joints were not wiped after soldering and the flux causes the coloring you see. Where there is solder, and no joint, I'll bet he temporarily soldered a piece of copper there to hold the lines before sweating most of the joints in the area. Common practice, but he was so cheap that he removed the pipe when he finished. I would hate to think that he used pipe with pinholes and soldered them shut and I doubt he did. Structural engineers don't even look at the plumbing. A Home Inspector would/should. Never take a sellers Realtor recommendation for Inspectors. This takes the chance of "friendship/money" out of the picture. Just make sure you read the contract before hiring and know what his responsibility is if he misses something major. Many only return up to the cost of the inspection. Glad you have copper piping though. With the current price, thats odd.

4just1don 12-30-2008 10:23 PM

I used to be a realtor,broker , appraisor too YEARS and years ago. IF this is coming out,,,dont over think it and make a fuss. Or you will NEVER get a house bought. That pipe LOOKS like it has been froze and split everywhere and soldered shut. It will be worth the same at the scrap yard either way after you take it out!! All I can say is he got over sized holes for the wire to run thru,yikes.(looks as if he was drill happy) he could have used some existing holes!!! And that shot of the underside of a shower????how much floor thickness is supporting that?? oak,pine,plywood or what??

gbwillner 01-02-2009 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 4just1don (Post 204658)
I used to be a realtor,broker , appraisor too YEARS and years ago. IF this is coming out,,,dont over think it and make a fuss. Or you will NEVER get a house bought. That pipe LOOKS like it has been froze and split everywhere and soldered shut. It will be worth the same at the scrap yard either way after you take it out!! All I can say is he got over sized holes for the wire to run thru,yikes.(looks as if he was drill happy) he could have used some existing holes!!! And that shot of the underside of a shower????how much floor thickness is supporting that?? oak,pine,plywood or what??


Ha, yeah, that's just the flooring between the shower and my head! It looks like 1/4"???? It is oak.

I'm not sure what you are saying here- should I replace all these pipes? I am planning on finishing this basement and will drywall shut the ceiling- it would be important to know if the pipes are bad! I will only be removing a few of these pipes since I am removing the shower and putting a toilet where it is.

I showed the engineer's report to the seller (not including any of the pluming, of course), and he will return $8-10 K to me to fix up the house. I have to replace many of the joists, and I've been quoted $1500 for that.

Thanks!

metx 01-03-2009 09:16 AM

looks to me to much flux and not cleaned off after soldered .flux is acid base and should be cleaned off , due to the fact it could pit the joints (pin holes)


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