DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

Should I buy an old house with copper plumbing in the slab?

4206 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  DangerMouse
Alright, I'm looking at a house with a ton of simple problems and a couple big ones but this might be the deal breaker.

This house is 55 years old.

There is uninsulated copper run under (or inside of?) the slab.

I plan on having a plumber out to take a look but is there really anything he can do to determine the condition of the pipes?

Replacing all of the plumbing is beyond our budget.

Would you buy a house of this age with this situation?

1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Is the copper in the slab for heating, potable water delivery, or waste disposal?
It's for potable water (from the well to the sinks, shower etc).

The waste drainage pipes are under the slab too and they're galvanized (I think).

Also I didn't make it very clear that there is currently no obvious problem, my concern is that there is a good chance of an expensive problem in the near future.

Thanks again.
out here on Long Island all the Levittown houses were all slabbed with domestic and heating pipes burried in the concrete.they were built in 45' after the WAR and always a first to do with people buying homes of that will have a problem in the future especially if the heating goes into the slab raising everything is a must.the other work you do to renovate will be for nill if you bust a pipe in the slab.
That's what I'm thinking, thanks for the advise.
The heat is in the attic, cold air return is in/under the slab.

We're in Michigan so no repiping thru the attic.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
"We're in Michigan so no repiping thru the attic." For my education-is this a cold weather problem or plumbing code problem? I have seen homes in this area, deep south, built in the early '70's with copper piping run in the slabs without insulation/protection develop leaks. For a few years plumbers ran new galvanized pipe service into these homes right up the outside of the front of the house, insulated it with black foam crap that lasted about two years or so, the plumbed the rest of the home from the new service line. Then came PEX. Plumbers started bringing the PEX up about a foot and then through the wall of the home, who knows which room was on the other side, and continued from there throughout the attic and into where it was needed. Whether we like PEX or not, this was a better, "cost efficient" solution. I believe I understand your concerns about future potential problems. But would PEX, or some type of flexible tubing/piping be a "cost effective" solution? Good Luck, David
See less See more
put it the attic

i live in indiana. i put mine in the attic. what type insulation do you have? we had fiberglass bats. i pulled them out of the way, then installed cpvc (pick your poison). put bats back.blew a couple feet of celulose insulation on it. good to go. water 80+deg in winter on cold side until fresh gets there. breid
bried: do you have basement/crawl space? well or city?

1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.