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Old 09-22-2007, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 11,006,434 times
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I'm curious what other real estate agents have experienced in this regard. If a house has PB piping that is not leaking, do you normally disclose it? Do you normally see home inspectors mark it as a area of concern?

Back story - our house had PB piping. We asked our home inspector during the inspection about it, and both my husband and I remember him saying that no, there is no PB piping. Had some plumbers out for some estimate, and they said yes, it is and we should get it replaced. We went back to our written report, and searched for it, and there was nothing in the written report about it. So, per the terms of our inspection contract, we informed the home inspector about it in writing. He just showed up at my door and claimed that he DID tell us verbally, and that PB is only an alleged problem, not a real problem, and that any judge would rule in his favor (not that we ever even threatened court ).
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Old 09-22-2007, 04:40 PM
 
11,273 posts, read 45,599,146 times
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With an industry-wide perception that there may be a problem with this stuff, I think you'd be better off disclosing up front that the house has it, although no problem has arisen.

Better, IMO, to sell to an informed buyer than to have a problem come up later and the inevitable finger pointing and possible lawsuit.

As far as I'm concerned, a buyer's inspection report is valid insofar as to what is in writing and not a verbal report. Your home inspector is way out on a limb if he failed to mention this detail in writing as a professional. The fact that he opened the discussion to a possible legal action outcome tells me that he knows he's got a potential problem, especially in light of your having asked about this plumbing concern; it simply should have made it to the report.
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Old 09-22-2007, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
2,124 posts, read 8,148,383 times
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you have poly-butelyn plumbing and your inspector said it wasn't a problem? did he learn home inspecting in a closet and not come out until he inspected your home?

We have a lot of PB pipes in our area. First, I am not an inspector, and you should consult one if you have questions or consult a plumber... There are two different types of connections (is what I have been told) that were used. The earlier connections do consistently fail. I have been told not if, but when. The later installations got better at the connections, etc. they are more of an if...a good inspecter that has seen PB should be able to tell which type you have.

My recommendation is to find out which kind you have. You may have to pay for a pre-inspection or just have a plumber come out and pay for their time. I would choose the pre-inspection, as you can go ahead and have the rest of the inspection done as well.

then disclose the PB piping and give information regarding it... Hopefully you have the second type, and you can take away the objection before it becomes a problem.

Shelly
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Old 09-23-2007, 06:36 AM
 
Location: Sometimes Maryland, sometimes NoVA. Depends on the day of the week
1,501 posts, read 11,006,434 times
Reputation: 1100
Thanks Shelly & sunsprit I left our some of the non-relevant details. We just bought the house in May (home inspection was in April). We are remodeling the bathroom and brought some plumbers out for that, and thats when we found out that we do have PB pipes. Specifically, quest pipes with copper fitting. One of the qualifying fittings under the class action (but, we are past the 16 year cut-off, and we aren't the original owners). They haven't leaked yet, probably b/c we are on a well. Chlorine is thought to be what speeds the degradation process. However, we will probably be getting public water within 5 years. Once we get public water and the high chlorine content of this county's water hits these pipes, they will likely fail (according to the 3 plumbers we consulted).

During the home inspection, we made it explicitly clear that our concerns were system-wide things, anything non-handyman and non-electrician (my husband is a licensed residential electrician and a skilled handyman). The only things we would have asked for at settlement were large, non-handyman type problems. The only thing we ended up asking for was the septic system to be replaced (granted, that was a major expense for the seller, but would have had to be done legally to sell the house, even if we backed out of the deal). Hard to prove after the fact, but if we had known we had pipes covered under the class action, we would have asked for them, too.

Blah... the whole thing yesterday just left a really bad taste in my mouth. The guy showing up unannounced and confronting me about the letter. Some of the stuff he said that was degrading. I'm trying to get over it, but honestly, I spent half the night replaying the whole conversation in my head. I don't complain about service much, and when I do, the guy shows up at my door, keeps referring to me as a "kid", and dismisses my complaint.

Last edited by rubytue; 09-23-2007 at 06:44 AM..
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Old 09-23-2007, 10:39 AM
 
11,273 posts, read 45,599,146 times
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rubytue, you've got thicker armor than I do .....

there's clearly a problem here with the quality of professional services you received from the "home inspection" provider, and it may have resulted in financial damage to you.

Document now the extent of the pipe in your house, and notify the inspector that you're holding him accountable for the consequences of his omission. If he's a legit business, he's got O&E insurance for his professional services ... if not, he's personally liable for his professional conduct and you could sue him.

Of course, at that point it becomes a contest between your expenses and liklihood of securing compensation vs his ability to pay off. Other than possibly making his life miserable, what's the benefit to you?
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Old 09-23-2007, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Pinal County, Arizona
25,106 posts, read 36,113,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubytue View Post
I'm curious what other real estate agents have experienced in this regard. If a house has PB piping that is not leaking, do you normally disclose it?
Mandatory in Arizona
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Old 09-23-2007, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 17,910,696 times
Reputation: 3876
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubytue View Post
I'm curious what other real estate agents have experienced in this regard. If a house has PB piping that is not leaking, do you normally disclose it? Do you normally see home inspectors mark it as a area of concern?

Back story - our house had PB piping. We asked our home inspector during the inspection about it, and both my husband and I remember him saying that no, there is no PB piping. Had some plumbers out for some estimate, and they said yes, it is and we should get it replaced. We went back to our written report, and searched for it, and there was nothing in the written report about it. So, per the terms of our inspection contract, we informed the home inspector about it in writing. He just showed up at my door and claimed that he DID tell us verbally, and that PB is only an alleged problem, not a real problem, and that any judge would rule in his favor (not that we ever even threatened court ).
Verbal shmerbal. If it wasn't on the inspection report, and these pipes have a history of being faulty, then it was negligence on his part. Tell him there won't need to be a judge involved when (not if) he pays the plumber's bill.

Either that or you can plaster his name, business address, phone number and website all over city-data.
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