Copper repipe from 12 years ago?


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Old 07-23-21, 07:42 PM
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Copper repipe from 12 years ago?

Hey all,

We recently submitted an offer on a home we're interested in here in SoCal (Orange County) and are now in the counteroffer stage. We have a good shot of winning the bid but after being 'burnt' on the last place (we ultimately backed out of it), I'm much more wary of things in general as it pertains to the house, inspections, plumbing, etc.

That said, the listing description/agent mentioned that this home was repiped. At first I thought or maybe assumed it was PEX but the listing doesn't actually specify. I think the agent might have said "PEX" but he might have just been generally talking about it and needed to confirm what was used for the repipe.

I took the liberty of looking up building permit history from the local city (thanks to a local plumber who suggested it) and I see a permit from Jan/Feb 2009 for a copper repipe: "permit for copper repipe" are the exact words. So at this point I'm assuming the repipe was copper and not PEX...*unless* they did another repipe for PEX without pulling a permit between then and now.

But assuming the only repipe done was for copper back in 2009, how much should we be concerned about things like A) how good of a job was done B) longevity/durability of the copper lines/fittings as far as there not being another leak in the foreseeable future and C) anything else?
 
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Old 07-23-21, 10:03 PM
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Did you actually go into the house and see the work ?
A verbal description tells us absolutely nothing about quality.

I would want to see a good part of the plumbing like in the basement. I'd judge the rest of the house based on that quality. If the job was sloppy.... I'd be worried about what can't be seen. If it looked like quality work I'd feel more comfortable about the rest of the house.

What I'd want to know is how old is the house and why did it require re-piping ??
 
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Old 07-24-21, 04:00 AM
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Every house will eventually require work, electrical, roofing, and yes plumbing!

Many of those repairs are done by homeowners or contractors and even some pull permits.

So if you haven't inspected what is it about this that is concerning?

PS, if they did copper then that is good, PEX isnt better, it's just cheaper!
 
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Old 07-24-21, 05:18 AM
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Since much of the piping is in the walls, did they only replace the exposed piping? If yes, what piping material is in the walls. If no, did they degrade the integrity of the walls where there was horizontal runs of pipe? I would do a more thorough inspection before making a purchase decision.
 
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Old 07-24-21, 07:53 AM
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PJmax, we looked at the house a couple times but I wasn't inspecting the plumbing/fixtures and all that. I would lean on the inspector and or a plumber to check. No basement in this house. I'm assuming the inspector/plumber would look at the fixtures coming out of the wall to check for signs of issues. And possibly see if they can find anything up in the attic? Where else could they look for signs of poor workmanship on the piping if most of it's behind the walls?
 
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Old 07-24-21, 10:35 AM
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You'd have to check under sink and around the water heater.
 
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Old 07-24-21, 11:43 AM
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PJmax, when we walked through the last couple times I did look under and it looked pretty dry from what I could tell. The cabinet under the laundry room sink had a 2-3" hole in the particle board - not sure if that was from something acidic leaking through or if it was water damage though.
 
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Old 07-24-21, 01:22 PM
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it looked pretty dry from what I could tell
Sorry, I cant help but think your looking for an issue that doesn't exist. You see no leaks, you question the long term reliability of a repair done 12 years ago.

Id say it has already proven it's durability, I think you need to let it go!
 
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Old 07-24-21, 01:30 PM
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Thanks Marq1 - you're probably right When I think about the context of the repipe, the fact that it was done via permit (in the city database) brings a lot of comfort. Presumably, that should add enough assurance to know that the job was done properly hahaha. That said, I think we will start off with the inspection and see what comes of it. Maybe schedule the plumber and HVAC guy to come out a day or two *after* the general inspection just in case issues are called out pertaining to either, and go from there.
 
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Old 07-24-21, 02:40 PM
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J-

My 2 cents.

As Marq1 already said copper is good (but if you have acidic well water the copper pipes would not be good).

Id be a little encouraged about that house, since someone cared enough to use the best material (and the much more expensive material) on the re-pipe. I think re-pipe means ALL water pipes. So it would seem to me someone really cared about the house.

- although I think some upscale fancy schmancy localities used to actually mandate copper pipes but I dont know how common that ever was or if it still is, especially with the real high price of copper for quite some time now.
 
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Old 07-26-21, 10:30 PM
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how old is the house? maybe it was galvanize pipe and that is the reason for repipe. . how many floors is it. if its single story with a crawl space repiping is not too hard.

if they went to the trouble of getting a permit, something that many folks don't do, i would be less worried .
 
 

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