Is it worth it?


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Old 06-04-07, 11:23 PM
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Is it worth it?

Hello all, hope someone can give me some direction....
I have a 70+ home with the typical galvaninzed supply lines running throughout. What is not typical (nor code anymore) is the the main line being only !/2" pipe. Most of the pipe is easy to get to, as it is exposed in the basement. The main issue is the upstairs bathroom...I'd rather not replace the pipe leading up, as it will entail tearing out the wet plaster walls....or am I wrong on this?

Basically, I wondering if just replacing the easy to access horizontal pipe that run througout the basement is even worth doing? I know I'll need di-electric couplers if I decide to kill my equity and go with copper. I'm just not sure if skipping the replacement of the vertical pipe will have any effect other that on my washing machine.

Thanks,
L
 
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Old 06-04-07, 11:46 PM
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How long do you plan on staying in this house? If this is the one and you will be there the rest of your days, I'd recommend biting the bullet. I once bought a home built in the 40's and had multiple owners and lots of jake-leg nightmares. When started to redo anything, I'd discover the nightmares. The first plumbing episode was the night I moved in. Hubby out of town for weeks as management had to do strike relief because RR workers were out on strike. Didn't know it, but I was pregnant at the time. First night in the house alone with all the boxes and no hot water. Dead hot water heater.

Oh, so much smarter now. Remember the home inspection thing. I was sooo young, I didn't know squat. But I had a plumber friend who came and told me the water heater was dead. He replaced it at 3 a.m. Oooooooh, felt so bad about asking for help. He pointed out the dated plumbing in the house. The pipes he cut were galvanized or whatever they call them, and so corroded inside with iron deposits that there was a pencil lead size opening to allow supply.

A few weeks later and hubby still out of town and me nauseous, a closet had wet carpet. There was pvc in the closet in the family room addition. Too ashamed to call my plumber friend, so called another. The increased heat from new water heater expanded the PVC and let loose the joints and closet floor was soaked.

No problems after that, lasted four years, and sold at a profit. Glad to have been rid of the property but I was at my best during those years. Improvements were all cosmetic, and the place looked like something Scarlet O'Hara would have liked with all my gardens and beds. I had two outdoor weddings in my gardens.

I had a lot of sweat equity in that property. Those were my Mama Earth days. Cleared those four acres all by myself. My husband was too busy or out of town, of course. Made homemade bread, had a fabulous garden, and could have fought off the Amazons. Now, it's all just a memory and I live alone. Fortunately, the appraiser for the RR's transfer company loved gardening. He never looked at the house. He just walked up and down the rows of my garden and drooled over my flower and shrub beds. The landscape sold him and put lots of value in our move. He just strolled through my impeccable home.

I'm no plumber and have been living with a broken flush valve for months. As a DIYer I can tell you how to replace it and I know how to replace it, but I live in a rental and I do not care. Just remove the toilet lid to flush. Grew up with an outhouse. I still have modern conveniences, removing lid is better than marching through the snow.

Sorry, your question provided a therapeutic moment for me and hopefully a plumbing moment for you. The point is if you are moving on, don't spend a ton of money replumbing the house. Do what you have to keep it functioning. If you are playing the game of buy and sell and upping equity, then fix it up and make it look beautiful and just make everything work.
 
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Old 06-05-07, 12:03 AM
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Um, wow? I've been using these boards a long time now and that is the most interesting response I've ever received...I know that sounds like I might be a jerk, but I truly mean that as a compliment...I really do. I do agree with your point about 'curb appeal' (although I hate to describe the amount of effort you described putting into the surrounding landscape of your house that way), but I will probably be in this place for a few years and I'm shallow and I want a decent shower! I've done complete tear outs on houses (electrical and plumbing) so I am also a seasoned diy'er, but I just hate tearing out the plaster walls if it's not totally necessary.

I really appreciated your response!
Thanks,
L
 
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Old 06-05-07, 12:18 AM
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Oh, decadence, curb appeal, and the works will get you everywhere. Start watching hgtv. They can improve, market, and sell any property. Lots of great ideas and not to code or to specs, but it's a fantasy where you can pic up some pointers. You are not a jerk. You have an inquistive mind that challenges the world and the minds that surround you. The focus of your future is unlimited. Keep this in mind as you read and research and never let anyone in your realm keep your mind within bounds despite love and loyalty. Sorry, and old women't libber who lives alone and probably on the next go round starving. No one likes us any more.

I'd just fix it up and make it beuatiful and move on and smile graciously at closing. Never lie about nothing. We never lie.
 
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Old 06-05-07, 01:14 AM
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Ya know Twelvepole, I think you've answered some of my questions before, but you've never been so much fun...sorry, I'm a writer and so I find your comments fascinating...and helpful...but I still want a decent shower since I'm shallow.
 
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Old 06-05-07, 01:45 AM
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Twelvepole, if I remember correctly you are the same age as I, 57 years. That is not old although I often feel old. Maybe it is because of all the overtime work I have done being at least equivalent to another ten years.


LSummers, I replaced much of the plumbing in my parent's house and it made a world of difference. It was only to the first floor but I did not replace any of the piping in the walls. That house had a 1/2 inch galvanized service from the sidewalk and all the piping inside was 1/2 inch galvanized. You could not water the yard and wash dishes at the same time. Flushing the toilet took all the water that was available.

I ran a new 1 inch galvanized from the sidewalk (it was a 3/4 inch copper from the meter under the sidewalk) to the main shutoff under the front porch (with an extension on the handle to inside the basement). From there I ran 1 inch PVC to the center of the house, branching off with 3/4 inch PVC to the bathroom run of tub. sink and toilet. I connected this 3/4 to the existing 1/2 inch galvanized running up into the walls.

From the outlet of the water heater I ran 3/4 inch copper to serve the hot water needs in the bathroom, again connecting the original galvanized in the walls. I also ran 1/2 inch PVC (cold) and 1/2 inch copper (hot) to the kitchen which was on the other side of the house from the bathroom.

This made all the difference in the world. It was then able to wash dishes, water the lawn and take a shower all at the same time.

I would suggest that you use CPVC piping to replace all the pipng you can access in the house and use copper or 1 inch galvanized from the meter to the CPVC just inside the house.
 
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Old 06-05-07, 08:31 AM
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From a professional standpoint and a scientific one...yes. Furd is correct. It will make a huge difference.
 
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Old 06-05-07, 09:34 AM
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Thanks to everyone, I really appreciate it!
 
 

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