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Lack of cold water is not detected

November 01, 2009|Barry Stone | Access Media Group

Question: I bought a newly built, bank-owned, "as-is" property. On the day of the home inspection, there was no hot water because the bank refused to turn on the gas service. Because of this, the home inspector did not discover that the upstairs bathrooms were piped with hot water only. Now I can't use the tubs or showers because the water is scalding. Our plumber says there is a cross-connection of the hot and cold water lines somewhere in the building and it will be difficult to find where the problem is. I can't afford to repipe the house and don't know what to do. What do you advise?

Answer: Your house probably does not need to be repiped, but some investigative work will be needed to determine where the faulty pipe connections are. At the time of the home inspection, this problem could have been discovered, even without gas service or hot water. Your home inspector could have turned off the supply valve at the water heater. This is how home inspectors verify that faucets have cold on the right side and hot on the left when the gas service is off. Had your home inspector done this, he would have discovered the lack of cold water plumbing in the upstairs bathrooms.

-- Barry Stone, Access Media Group

To submit a question, go to www.housedetective.com.

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