Plumbing/piping! - Posted by Kristy-AZ

Posted by Anne_ND on August 09, 2003 at 15:07:27:


Yes, Poly and PEX look different. I’ve got Poly in several mobile homes. A disaster waiting to happen, I know, but in MHs you can replace all the plumbing in one day for less than $1000 if someone else does it for you.


Plumbing/piping dilema…help! - Posted by Kristy-AZ

Posted by Kristy-AZ on August 08, 2003 at 20:12:49:

Hi all,

Here’s the deal. I have a house listed well BELOW market. (I am a Realtor/Investor) My clients are in pre-foreclosure. We have had the house sold twice, but have had the contracts cancel after inspections reveal there is Polybutalane plumbing.(forgive my spelling)

I know these people well, as they are clients of mine from 5 years ago. This is their daughters house. (I did not sell it to them) I offered to have my husbands company purchase the house from them and close in 2 weeks, but they wanted to try and get more money. It’s a great area and with the amount of offers we have had on the property, we are still interested in purchasing it for ourselves.

The pipes are the problem!! I called my insurance company and they WILL NOT insure the house if it has Polybutelane plumbing. (We were considering keeping it as a rental)

Any suggestions? I know the sellers are going to get tired of the up and down roller coaster with accepting offers only to have them cancel again after the inspection. It is noted in the “Sellers Disclosure” about the piping and also, there is a wall in the garage which is open from a previous pipe repair, that ANYBODY can see what type of plumbing is in the house! This is another problem I am foreseeing, as the daughter had the repair done through her insurance Co. She filed a claim. (CLUE report dilema too?)

So…what can I do about the plumbing/insurance problem? And any ideas on how much it would cost to have the house replumbed in copper? House is 1300sqft, single level.

I am waiting for the sellers to call me back, so that I can tell them their most recent contract came apart and that they have 3 choices, replace the plumbing, sell it to an investor for less money or let it go to auction.

JT, RonStarr, JoeK?? any suggestions??


Re: Plumbing/piping dilema…help! - Posted by arthur

Posted by arthur on August 09, 2003 at 11:51:38:

I am a licensed master plumber in business in va
i have done many repipe here with copper and pex and
flowgard cpvc pipe if you use the cpvc flowgard it will be cheaper and if you use there glue and fitting
they will give you a50 yr warranty if the weather nice
will repipe all we get is rain

Re: Plumbing/piping dilema…help! - Posted by Wayne-NC

Posted by Wayne-NC on August 09, 2003 at 10:07:09:

Try calling the Consumer Plumbing Recovery Center at 800-876-4698 and get their info. There was a lawsuit that was won concerning this plumbing.

Re: Plumbing/piping dilema…help! - Posted by jim

Posted by jim on August 08, 2003 at 21:33:43:

If the house has a basement and there is easy access to the pipes, the job will a lot cheaper to have done by a plumber. Now if the house is sitting on a slab, good luck. I am a general contractor/investor in the Cincinnati area. If there is a basement and easy access to the pipes, I pay a licensed plumber anywhere from $600-$800 to take care of the pipes that are showing in the basement. Slight demolition may be needed to take care of the pipes leading to bathrooms and the kitchen. You should replace the pipes with copper. Assuming that there is a basement, you are probably looking at about $1200 to install all new copper. But, you then have to figure what it will cost to repair any drywall damage from the demo. Good luck.


Re: Plumbing/piping dilema…help! - Posted by Kristy-AZ

Posted by Kristy-AZ on August 09, 2003 at 24:35:24:

Hi Jim,

no the house does not have a basement. very few homes have basements here in AZ. However, the plumbing is run through the attic. That’s why most houses that get water damage here from those pipes, always comes from the ceilings. I’ve seen the damage run through the walls and in the ceilings. The last 2 houses I’ve seen have been around 15 years old and the pipes have just started leaking. Seems to be the normal time frame I guess.

I will check with our plumber to see what his cost is. I was hoping it will be less than $2000. Not a problem as far as drywall repair, that’s what I do best!

Thanks for the input.


Re: Plumbing/piping dilema…help! - Posted by Tim

Posted by Tim on August 09, 2003 at 07:06:45:

I am a licensed Master Plumber in Alabama, with 17 years of experience. As a general rule I will only install copper pipe in a house, but in the situation you are describing I would seriously consider PEX piping. It is similar to polybutyl pipe, but is much more durable & actually has a connector system that is safe & reliable. The advantage over copper is that it is flexible enough to fish down through the walls without removing all the sheetrock. You would really need to get someone who is experienced with PEX, because it looks simple but requires special tools.

A frequent mistake I see people make is to run the pipe in the attic on top of the joists & then insulate the pipe itself. This essentially keeps the pipe away from any excess heat from the dwelling. It is best to lift up the house insulation & put your pipe between it & the sheetrock, at least as much as possible. This lets the rising heat from the building warm the pipe, reducing freezing risk.

Re: Plumbing/piping dilema…help! - Posted by Kristy-AZ

Posted by Kristy-AZ on August 09, 2003 at 13:54:30:


Thanks for your response. I think my next question would be. What color is this PEX piping? AND would an ordinary Home Inspector be able to tell the difference between the PEX and the Poly?

From what I can see of the plumbing pipes, it is grey and the fittings are very large! (the connections) I was just wondering if possibly this house could already have the PEX plumbing you describe. And the inspector is just calling it Poly?

Thanks again.

Re: Plumbing/piping dilema…help! - Posted by Wayne-NC

Posted by Wayne-NC on August 09, 2003 at 10:02:17:

I just had a house replumbed through the recovery center and they recommened using PVC because the copper is not as good as it used to be. What do you think? I may be having another one done soon as well. I agree on the PEX plumbing. I have had repairs done with it.

Re: Plumbing/piping dilema…help! - Posted by Tim

Posted by Tim on August 09, 2003 at 07:09:02:

I know this is obvious, but it is cheaper to hire a laborer to do any demolition required, & have it done & clean before the plumber shows up.

Re: Plumbing/piping dilema…help! - Posted by Tim

Posted by Tim on August 09, 2003 at 15:25:11:

The poly is grey, I have seen PEX in white, red & blue, but never grey. PEX is relatively new, I first started hearing about it 6 or 7 years ago, but I’m in the south & we hear about new products last. The biggest problem with the poly was the fittings, they never could seem to get it right, so everywhere there was a fitting there was a leak potential.

Copper comes in a few different grades(K,L,&M), type “M” has the thinnest walls, “K” the thickest. There is nothing wrong with the copper produced today, the problem is with the water. Some water has trace elements in it that can cause corrosion. I prefer to run copper because there is an element of craftsmanship to it & I still take pride in the few plumbing jobs I still do. It is, however, more expensive & labor intensive, & is more prone to burst when frozen.

CPVC is also a good product, & with a good grade glue will last a long time. PVC is good for cold water lines, but is not rated for hot water. Most of the plumbers here that run plastic pipe run hot & cold in CPVC, so they don’t have to carry duplicate fittings/pipe in PVC.