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  • New Homeowner Plumbing Nightmare

    My wife and I closed on our first house last week and we're stuck with it. Half the house is not getting good cold water pressure: the water just trickles out of the faucets and into the toilets. We have a home warranty so we called them to get it fixed. They sent two plumbing companies out to assess the situation and they both determined that my pipes are full of calcium and they cannot be repaired. The only option is re-plumbing the entire house. Both plumbers were shocked to see that the water lines are plumbed with CPVC. They say they can't clean them with a plumbing snake because of the joints in CPVC and they can't reverse the pressure to shoot the blockages out to the street because they're worried they will burst the pipes.

    Of course, the quotes they gave the warranty company were very expensive and my warranty is denying coverage, claiming it is a pre-existing condition.

    Does this all sound legit? I mean, at first I thought the plumbers were seeing the deep pockets of a warranty company and trying to get a big job, but if that was the case, they screwed themselves out of work.

    Do I need to call my own, 3rd plumber?

    I had an idea to fix the problem myself... Let me know what you think... I was planning to immediately install a sediment filter because of all this. Something like this:

    http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...3+90401+500589

    (The GE GXWH20F)

    The filter sits in a tank of water during use. I thought I could fill the tank with vinegar (or CLR or something) and run it through the pipes. Will this dissolve some of the buildup? Could I melt my CPVC pipes or something? Will the water be safe to drink after I do this?

    Do you have any other ideas of things I can do? Please help, we're very distraught about this whole situation. Thanks!

    Alan

  • #2
    Re: New Homeowner Plumbing Nightmare

    Talk to the plumbers, your warantee company used, about flushing the lines(and recapturing the solution) with that they use to flush out tankless water heaters like Noritz and Rannai.
    A filter may not help you with your problem. Most if not all of that calcium or lime came into your house in solution and precipitated out.
    Thats the direction I would go with my limited understanding of your water conditions
    Good luck

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: New Homeowner Plumbing Nightmare

      Can you explain what the two plumbers did to arrive at those conclusions?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: New Homeowner Plumbing Nightmare

        I think it's a lie.

        I'd call my own plumber and have them cut out a section where the worst part supposedly is and look into the pipe myself.

        J.C.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: New Homeowner Plumbing Nightmare

          One plumber removed the cold water valve under the kitchen sink and one removed the valve behind a toilet. They looked into the end of the pipe and pulled out chunks of white sediment. They cleaned out what they could, but the pressure to that valve was not affected, so they determined this white sediment was very far back in the pipe, where they couldn't get. This house is built on a slab, so most of the plumbing is under concrete.

          The filter idea is currently an easy way for me to get a chemical into my water lines but still have pressure from the street.

          Alan

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: New Homeowner Plumbing Nightmare

            Originally posted by awsimons View Post
            My wife and I closed on our first house last week and we're stuck with it. Half the house is not getting good cold water pressure: the water just trickles out of the faucets and into the toilets. We have a home warranty so we called them to get it fixed. They sent two plumbing companies out to assess the situation and they both determined that my pipes are full of calcium and they cannot be repaired. The only option is re-plumbing the entire house. Both plumbers were shocked to see that the water lines are plumbed with CPVC. They say they can't clean them with a plumbing snake because of the joints in CPVC and they can't reverse the pressure to shoot the blockages out to the street because they're worried they will burst the pipes.

            Of course, the quotes they gave the warranty company were very expensive and my warranty is denying coverage, claiming it is a pre-existing condition.

            Does this all sound legit? I mean, at first I thought the plumbers were seeing the deep pockets of a warranty company and trying to get a big job, but if that was the case, they screwed themselves out of work.

            Do I need to call my own, 3rd plumber?

            I had an idea to fix the problem myself... Let me know what you think... I was planning to immediately install a sediment filter because of all this. Something like this:

            http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...3+90401+500589

            (The GE GXWH20F)

            The filter sits in a tank of water during use. I thought I could fill the tank with vinegar (or CLR or something) and run it through the pipes. Will this dissolve some of the buildup? Could I melt my CPVC pipes or something? Will the water be safe to drink after I do this?

            Do you have any other ideas of things I can do? Please help, we're very distraught about this whole situation. Thanks!

            Alan
            Did they actually show you the buildup?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: New Homeowner Plumbing Nightmare

              That sounds really rough. As a new first time homeowner myself, I had some scares, but nothing as bad as you are describing.

              Did you get a home inspection done before signing? Since it is optional, I was thinking about skipping it as I was purchasing a home that has a 1 year warranty. My real estate agent suggested I get one anyway and I'm glad I did. There weren't any major problems with the house, but the inspector pointed out at least 10 minor issues that the builders had to agree to correct before our closing date. That alone was worth the $250 he charged, let alone the peace of mind that there weren't any nasty surprises waiting for us down the road.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: New Homeowner Plumbing Nightmare

                Originally posted by awsimons View Post
                One plumber removed the cold water valve under the kitchen sink and one removed the valve behind a toilet. They looked into the end of the pipe and pulled out chunks of white sediment. They cleaned out what they could, but the pressure to that valve was not affected, so they determined this white sediment was very far back in the pipe, where they couldn't get. This house is built on a slab, so most of the plumbing is under concrete.

                The filter idea is currently an easy way for me to get a chemical into my water lines but still have pressure from the street.

                Alan
                If what I think is happening you might need some major issues taken care of.
                Here is what my past exp in the hydronic heating tells me.
                Pvc pipeing does not have a actual oxygen barrier . where proper floor heating tubeing will.
                What Happens ;
                the tubeing picks up oxygen from being imbedded in the concreate and the natural reaction is creating your problem ( if you really have one ) REMEMBER this is a stab in the dark but need to research everything to find out why this is happening . How hard is the water and is there a water softner?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: New Homeowner Plumbing Nightmare NOT GOOD

                  What world doesn't inspect homes with a written report before buying? AT least test driving the home before handing over the big bucks. Sorry ,You're in for a re-pipe.
                  There's no magic fix here . You already tried that on the blue smoke home warranty.
                  I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: New Homeowner Plumbing Nightmare

                    We had a home inspection. The plumbing was fine at the time. The home warranty is getting out of coverage by saying it is a pre-existing condition.
                    Alan

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: New Homeowner Plumbing Nightmare

                      Originally posted by awsimons View Post
                      We had a home inspection. The plumbing was fine at the time. The home warranty is getting out of coverage by saying it is a pre-existing condition.
                      Alan

                      Then your home inspection report should say something about water pressure and volume delivery (GPM) right? Someone is bending the truth somewhere along the lines here me thinks. Did you witness the home inspection? Walk around with the HI (home inspector)? They are working for YOU if you hired them so the answer to you, no one else. Problem is that some HIs are a little too close (some times they are even related) to some of the realtors and you may not get the "whole truth" in the report. Apologies to any HIs on here who make take offense to this, but just as there are bad plumbers out there so are there less than 100% honest HIs.
                      "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
                      John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: New Homeowner Plumbing Nightmare

                        Originally posted by awsimons View Post
                        One plumber removed the cold water valve under the kitchen sink and one removed the valve behind a toilet. They looked into the end of the pipe and pulled out chunks of white sediment. They cleaned out what they could, but the pressure to that valve was not affected, so they determined this white sediment was very far back in the pipe, where they couldn't get. This house is built on a slab, so most of the plumbing is under concrete.

                        The filter idea is currently an easy way for me to get a chemical into my water lines but still have pressure from the street.

                        Alan
                        Lime deposits out of water heater? How old is the water heater?

                        You wouldn't think they'd show up at the stool, but anything is possible, I guess.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: New Homeowner Plumbing Nightmare

                          Since your house is on a slab and the water lines are under the slab you should consider replumbing by running the water lines in the attic and down through the walls.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: New Homeowner Plumbing Nightmare

                            I have seen this problem when sediment backflowes out of an old side piped water heater .... It can usually be cleared by compressed air and reverse flow of water ... Time consuming But It usually works ....

                            Dave

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: New Homeowner Plumbing Nightmare

                              Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                              Then your home inspection report should say something about water pressure and volume delivery (GPM) right? Someone is bending the truth somewhere along the lines here me thinks. Did you witness the home inspection? Walk around with the HI (home inspector)? They are working for YOU if you hired them so the answer to you, no one else. Problem is that some HIs are a little too close (some times they are even related) to some of the realtors and you may not get the "whole truth" in the report. Apologies to any HIs on here who make take offense to this, but just as there are bad plumbers out there so are there less than 100% honest HIs.
                              Been there done that - got in a hurry when I moved here - was not familiar with the area, and asked the realtor for a recommendation on a home inspector. Big mistake. He found 1 bad outlet. In the first week I lived here, I bet I made 6 trips to the borgs fixing little nuisances. They were nothing major, but stuff he should have caught in the hour he spent there for 250 bucks. Then I made the mistake of letting the realtor (she was paying) pick the jackleg to fix the leaks under the kitchen sink that appeared on closing day. I ripped his work out and redid it myself 2 weeks later. Mine isn't leaking after 5-1/2 years compared to his 2 weeks. He was not a plumber, just a side handyman. I know there are good home inspectors out there, but I feel like the majority of them make their living off of realtors, so even if you are paying them they don't want to piss off their bread and butter.

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