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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    Replace the plumbing. Do it now, before it fails. It isn't a question of if the poly will fail, it's a question of how soon. I learned this to my own detriment and spent six months and plenty of money on a new kitchen after ours quietly bit the bucket underneath the hours. And yes on most of the other stuff you said, too. Our house was built in 1986, and I wouldn't say it was a quality job. It's still an asset, but any future buyer won't get a worry-free purchase, that's for sure.

    But do replace that plumbing. It'll cost you some money, but that's money you won't have to spend later.
    my house is 1986 vintage as well, glad we dodged this particular plumbing issue...but there are others, some of which I seem to discover every year...since we're pointing out plumbing calamities and new kitchens, this is a good time to re-mention the perils of hooking up your ice maker in your fridge. I know five people now who have ruined their kitchen floors (and sustained basement damage) due to these crappy things leaking. Two of our big local appliance dealers refuse to hook them up because of their failure rate, they insist you get a plumber so you won't blame them when it leaks (cheap plastic parts even in most fancy ones).

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    my house is 1986 vintage as well, glad we dodged this particular plumbing issue...but there are others, some of which I seem to discover every year...since we're pointing out plumbing calamities and new kitchens, this is a good time to re-mention the perils of hooking up your ice maker in your fridge. I know five people now who have ruined their kitchen floors (and sustained basement damage) due to these crappy things leaking. Two of our big local appliance dealers refuse to hook them up because of their failure rate, they insist you get a plumber so you won't blame them when it leaks (cheap plastic parts even in most fancy ones).
    We recently shut the water off from our fridge, for just this reason. The fridge itself was displaying dodgy ice-making behavior which indicated internal lines might be freezing. We just shut it down before any leak could happen. We definitely don't want to remodel twice.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    We recently shut the water off from our fridge, for just this reason. The fridge itself was displaying dodgy ice-making behavior which indicated internal lines might be freezing. We just shut it down before any leak could happen. We definitely don't want to remodel twice.
    yes, I've had lengthy chats with plumbers about this, there are some wonky plastic parts that just don't hold up...neighbors down the road just had this happen, they needed not only new floors, but some new cabinets, too, major flood.

    Plus...filling ice trays is good exercise!

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    WA State
    Quote Originally Posted by devil84 View Post
    I live in a c.1990 home built in the boom times of my town. It has polybutylene plumbing and while we haven't had any problems, many of our neighbors have replaced their plumbing after catastrophic failures, many after the class action lawsuit stopped paying. The original Masonite siding had to be replaced -- the class action settlement didn't go very far towards replacing it. The electrical system -- geez. Clearly that was a drive-by inspection, because I'm pretty certain nearly half the 4BR, 2.5BA house shouldn't be on one circuit. Only one or two windows were operable when we moved in at the end of 1999. Thankfully, the builder left many really huge trees on the lot, so we don't spend a fortune with AC in the summer. If we take up the carpet, there is no chance of gorgeous hardwood floors underneath. But we do have a huge ensuite bathroom with a giant, very dated, garden tub and plenty of brass fixtures where the bright brass finish has peeled or discolored, and not in a beautiful "aged patina" way. (After the pandemic, we'll take care of the bathroom and the kitchen).

    All in all, I'm not sure we're much better off with a 30 year old house than a 100 year old house.
    Others have mentioned it, but putting the poly repair at the top of your list would be very prudent. It has a high failure rate, especially in areas that use chloride (all of them) and fluoride (major municipalities) in the water supply system. Also, the piping degrades from the inside, so you won't be able to see an impending failure. (Disclaimer: I hate plumbing and it hates me right back!)

    My least favorite era of housing is from 1976 to about 2000. There was a huge rush on to build, the older tradesmen were retiring, and I joke the workers replacing them had not reformed their habits gained at college or Vietnam. The Levitt homes, 1947-1972ish, disparaged in that article by The Atlantic were generally much better built. They're not fancy but, in this area, they are solid.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    This housing conversation has been a fun/interesting read, but the attacks on ice makers are a bridge too far!

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by Acymetric View Post
    This housing conversation has been a fun/interesting read, but the attacks on ice makers are a bridge too far!
    i met my wife at The Ice House Restaurant, so ice and I go way back. Some prominent local families came to the U.S. as immigrants 100 years ago and started with ice businesses...big deal back then before Mr. Frigidaire invented freezers.

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by budwom View Post
    i met my wife at The Ice House Restaurant, so ice and I go way back. Some prominent local families came to the U.S. as immigrants 100 years ago and started with ice businesses...big deal back then before Mr. Frigidaire invented freezers.
    We live on an old dairy farm and there is still an "ice house" on the property (now converted to a small guest house) where the farmer would store ice during the winter months (cutting blocks of ice from local ponds and lakes - back when there were very cold winters around here - and hauling the ice back to the house by horse and wagon through feet of snow) and then insulating the ice with hay to hopefully make it last through the warm weather months. When I'm tempted to complain about the problems with modern appliances, like leaking ice cube makers on the refrigerator, I think back to how tough those people were in the old days. Frankly, I'd be dead within 5 days, if I have to live in colonial times.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by duke79 View Post
    We live on an old dairy farm and there is still an "ice house" on the property (now converted to a small guest house) where the farmer would store ice during the winter months (cutting blocks of ice from local ponds and lakes - back when there were very cold winters around here - and hauling the ice back to the house by horse and wagon through feet of snow) and then insulating the ice with hay to hopefully make it last through the warm weather months. When I'm tempted to complain about the problems with modern appliances, like leaking ice cube makers on the refrigerator, I think back to how tough those people were in the old days. Frankly, I'd be dead within 5 days, if I have to live in colonial times.
    Yes, those are amazing. Plus they would ship the ice long distances for the ice deprived.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chesapeake, VA.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich View Post
    It's all ball bearings nowadays
    Sporked, but with a typo (sorry). One can never have too many Fletch references.

    Just gettin' a birds-eye view, lol.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    Replace the plumbing. Do it now, before it fails. It isn't a question of if the poly will fail, it's a question of how soon. I learned this to my own detriment and spent six months and plenty of money on a new kitchen after ours quietly bit the bucket underneath the house. And yes on most of the other stuff you said, too. Our house was built in 1986, and I wouldn't say it was a quality job. It's still an asset, but any future buyer won't get a worry-free purchase, that's for sure.

    But do replace that plumbing. It'll cost you some money, but that's money you won't have to spend later.
    We've waffled on replacing the plumbing. We're looking to downsize soon (like, after we reno the kitchen and bath post-pandemic), so we may leave that as an exercise for the new owners. We did have a couple of leaks under the house, which we caught because the town's fancy meters that send usage data several times a day emailed us to tell us we were over our user-set threshold. With the second leak in the same place, the plumber told us he wasn't worried about the plastic pipes so much as plastic fittings. We have the better fittings, so he thought we would be OK. What caused the leaks was the pressure was way too high. Our pressure was registering 95 psi rather than 65 psi. They put in a pressure reducing valve and we've been good since (knock wood). Now the only drawback is that it takes a lot longer to fill large buckets or pots of water with the lower pressure. But the high pressure seems to be a contributing factor to the catastrophic leaks around here. That, and the idiot builders that put water heaters on the third floor (WHY?!). That was where our only other leak was.

    And as far as ice makers...we bought a Samsung fridge from their series of fridges that has a known defective ice maker that fails after about a year. Samsung they won't recall those models. We've replaced the ice maker with the OEM upgraded version and it still ices over. Well, make that past-tense, because some other sensor around the water filter doesn't work and requires another $200 assembly in which the $2 sensor is embedded to get the water to the ice maker. We gave up on it and now have a countertop ice maker to fill the fridge's ice dispenser and a Brita filter pitcher for cold water. The new kitchen will NOT have a similar Samsung fridge. The water is turned off to the fridge so at least that won't leak!

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Raleigh,NC
    I purchased a 2017 house in Raleigh and every single bath tub/shower was installed incorrectly and either creaks or already has cracks. We are in the process right now of replacing the master bathroom one. Expensive as heck. We are turning the garden tub into a stand up shower and we got quotes for $11k and $16k. No joke.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by devil84 View Post
    We did have a couple of leaks under the house, which we caught because the town's fancy meters that send usage data several times a day emailed us to tell us we were over our user-set threshold.
    Yeah, OK, this prompts a rant: Durham actually also had that data for our house. They even admitted they should have sent it to us to alert us of the problem. They didn't. But we know they had the data because we asked for it in our fight to try to get insurance to cover the damage. But the data made the insurance problem worse because, there is a special clause in the insurance policy sold that excepts from coverage any water damage from a problem that was present for "weeks, months, or years" (that's an exact quote). The data clearly showed that this was a slow leak that had been going on for some time without our knowledge, so there was effectively no way to fight the insurance denial. I'd change insurance providers, but after checking, they all have exactly the same clause, because, thanks to our wonderful legislature, it is approved language in North Carolina. Why wouldn't they put that in?

    OK, I'm done ranting now. But for anyone in NC, be sure you do routine checks for water damage throughout your house every so often, and rigorously repair anything that could even possibly cause a leak.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by Phredd3 View Post
    Yeah, OK, this prompts a rant: Durham actually also had that data for our house. They even admitted they should have sent it to us to alert us of the problem. They didn't. But we know they had the data because we asked for it in our fight to try to get insurance to cover the damage. But the data made the insurance problem worse because, there is a special clause in the insurance policy sold that excepts from coverage any water damage from a problem that was present for "weeks, months, or years" (that's an exact quote). The data clearly showed that this was a slow leak that had been going on for some time without our knowledge, so there was effectively no way to fight the insurance denial. I'd change insurance providers, but after checking, they all have exactly the same clause, because, thanks to our wonderful legislature, it is approved language in North Carolina. Why wouldn't they put that in?

    OK, I'm done ranting now. But for anyone in NC, be sure you do routine checks for water damage throughout your house every so often, and rigorously repair anything that could even possibly cause a leak.
    Oh wow. That is awful, both that you were denied by insurance and that our wonderful legislature approved such a thing.

    Now I see why you suggest we should get it replaced ASAP (or maybe we downsize quicker). I'll make a note to login to the Town of Cary Aquastar portal more often instead of relying on them to email. And check more frequently for leaks.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Ash View Post
    Ah, no, I actually kept the bathroom door closed... both kids take LONG showers, and the room gets SOOOO steamy, I thought it would be smarter to just let the fan do the work... otherwise it just creates billowing clouds upstairs.

    Would closing the door, turning on the fan, and opening the bathroom window be an acceptable solution?

    And me too!
    There's one other element that can contribute to this problem I haven't seen mentioned. Have you checked to see if the fan itself is restricted?

    After we'd been in our new house for about fifteen years, I noticed it was getting much steamier in the bathroom during showers. We never experienced any condensation problems, but it was clear that something had changed. I took the cover off the fan/light housing and shined a flashlight up into the fan compartment. It was filled with gunked up dust/lint that had collected over the years. It looked the same as the lint you find in your clothes dryer exhaust.

    I vacuumed out the lint, and it improved the situation with the fogged up bathroom. The fan motor failed a few years later. I expect it had been running hotter than it was designed for since it had been pretty well insulated by all the lint which reduced the ventilation of the motor.

    I'm also more on the side of leaving the bathroom door at least slightly open. You want the fan to move air as easily as possible. Having a bunch of lint on and around the fan blades, and a closed door, both restrict the fan's ability to exhaust air into the attic.

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