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Thread: Home Inspection??

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  1. #1
    DIY Member enosez's Avatar
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    Default Home Inspection??

    Had a home inspection on a house my mother in law is planning on buying and had a couple of issues, all having to do with plumbing. The house which is a high ranch is located in Suffolk County, NY.

    *Can a Fernco formed Elbow be used to attached the vertical from the trap to the horizontal into the wall stub?

    *In the bathroom and kitchen the stub out from the wall is very low, to the point that it is just above the bottom of the cabinet. The traps are not p-traps but if you can imagine an "s" with the fernco elbow that turns the pipe back into the wall. Does any one see a problem with this setup?

    *The previous homeowner put in a stand up shower in the downstairs and tied it into a drywell in his back yard, it does not attach to the main waste line. Even worse is when you run the shower for about five minutes it backs up into shower base. After 30 minutes the water still did not go down?

    *When you run all the plumbing in the house at once, the toilet downstairs begins to bubble and gurp and the water rises to the brim. (When we got there the water level was very low in the toilet. After 30 minutes, the water level went back to the low level.

    *The previous homeowner has a kitchen sink "tee"ed into what I beleive is called the house fresh air vent. Is that legal? (Is this considered a wet vent? And will it work or will it be trouble in the future)
    From what is seen, the upstairs remodel was done with PVC and the piping under the slab appears to be CI.

    Help should we run or stay?

  2. #2
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
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    This place my wife and I got a little over two years ago had its own variety of similar problems, including some electrical ones and seeming evidence of an apparent attempt someone had made to either gas someone else out or possibly even set the stage for an explosion. I did not realize the full extent of the problems at that time, but I was not afraid to tackle them, and the most serious ones have since been resolved, including replacement of the gas meter.

    For the sake of overall relations and your mother-in-law's general comfort, I would suggest the seller be required to either attend to all issues beforehand professionally or that some money be placed in escrow or whatever to cover the related costs.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default house

    *Can a Fernco formed Elbow be used to attached the vertical from the trap to the horizontal into the wall stub?

    NO!!!!!!

    *In the bathroom and kitchen the stub out from the wall is very low, to the point that it is just above the bottom of the cabinet. The traps are not p-traps but if you can imagine an "s" with the fernco elbow that turns the pipe back into the wall. Does any one see a problem with this setup?

    A picture would help, but from your description it is wrong.

    *The previous homeowner put in a stand up shower in the downstairs and tied it into a drywell in his back yard, it does not attach to the main waste line. Even worse is when you run the shower for about five minutes it backs up into shower base. After 30 minutes the water still did not go down?

    Once the drywell fills with water it will no longer drain until some of the water seeps away. If it has been used for a few years, soap, etc., has probably coated the exterior ground surface making it difficult for the water to escape.

    *When you run all the plumbing in the house at once, the toilet downstairs begins to bubble and gurp and the water rises to the brim. (When we got there the water level was very low in the toilet. After 30 minutes, the water level went back to the low level.

    Their is a problem with the drain line or septic tank, it could be a problem similar to the one with the drywell.

    *The previous homeowner has a kitchen sink "tee"ed into what I beleive is called the house fresh air vent. Is that legal? (Is this considered a wet vent? And will it work or will it be trouble in the future)

    No way to tell without actually seeing it.

    From what is seen, the upstairs remodel was done with PVC and the piping under the slab appears to be CI.

    Doing it with PVC is not a problem. The problem would be that given the shortcuts he took with what you can see, there is no way to be sure what is in the walls is done properly. The odds may be against it however.

    I would not buy it without getting a very deep reduction in the price, or it has to be listed at well below market price.

  4. #4
    DIY Senior Member Cal's Avatar
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    Let me just say this from a professional's point of view ,,,,,,,,,,,,


    RUN , And RUN FAST !!!

  5. #5
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Let me chime in with Cal.

    Unless you are getting this house at such a low price that you can afford to dump maybe many $1,000.00s into it.... RUN.

    Depending on its age it may need a whole new septic system aside from all the other problems. When was the house built?


    The present owner may be selling for that very reason.

  6. #6
    DIY Member enosez's Avatar
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    I cant get a picture only because I dont know when we'll be able to get back into the house.

    RE: The low stub out....

    Normally I would see a stub out coming out of the wall at about 18". The stub out in the house comes out about 6" off the floor (horizontal) or at the bottom of the cabinet.

    What "they" did was add the fernco from the stub out. From the fernco it goes vertical with a piece of PVC about 12-16" where it ties into a PVC solvent trap.

    Hope this helps, I am trying to get the realtor to get us back in for some pictures.

  7. #7
    DIY Member enosez's Avatar
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    House was built in 1972.

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