As we’ve discussed here in the past, if you’re considering selling your home, a pre-inspection is an excellent idea. Additionally, bringing in some trades experts before that pre-inspection is also a good part of the plan.

And one of those experts should be a plumber – especially if the home is more than a few years old.

There are some obvious things you should consider before you even call that plumbing expert in, according to Preston Nazworth of Quality Plumbing of Gainesville.

“As far as plumbing goes, homes have a variety of piping depending on age,” Nazworth said. “It can be galvanized, copper, CPVC or PEX. Most newer homes have CPVC or PEX.”

​First, a bit of a tutorial.

If you have galvanized piping, more than likely you have a problem, simply because of age. This is especially true if you are thinking of selling your home. Most insurance agents would have issues with insuring a home with galvanized piping.

Copper, also an older form of piping, may be eroding depending on its location in the home.

Many mobile homes have polybutylene piping, which has a high level of failure. Most insurance companies would not want to insure a mobile home with polybutylene piping.

Some signs you’re having problems with your piping are rusty or smelly water or different levels of water pressure at varying locations in your home.

“If you have galvanized piping, and you are considering a home sale, I would always tell you to repipe,” Nazworth said. “There’s no crystal ball. You can never tell how long it will last. And the new piping will be more appealing to the homebuyer. They certainly would not want to repipe after they move in. The new homebuyer would be much happier knowing there’s no galvanized piping.”

There’s an obvious reason for this. About 95 percent of the piping is under the home. If that slab leak is accessible, it can be easy to fix. But if it’s part of the 95 percent, it can be a tremendous problem.

“We can come in and examine the piping but we’re not going to see most of it,” he said. “It’s safe to assume that copper or galvanize piping is a problem waiting to happen.”

Repiping an average size home could cost $4,000 to $6,000 but it could add $8,000 to $10,000 to the home’s value.

As far as newer piping, CPVC has been in use since the early 1990s. Among the improvements in CPVC over PVC is that it can handle much higher temperatures. Many building codes require the use of CPVC over PVC as a result.

PEX piping has been around for a little more than decade and is designed to last in homes for 50 years or more. It is rated at 200 PSI, while standard pressure for most piping is 50 PSI.

So, a good rule of thumb is if you have galvanized piping, you may want to have a plumbing expert take a look and consider a repipe before that home inspection. If you have CPVC or PEX piping, your potential homebuyer should be very happy.

​Next time, Mr. Rick’s blog will focus on the importance of being educated when getting ready to buy or sell a home.