Pressure test failed

13 Replies

Looking at a HUD home where the pressure test failed for the plumbing. Wondering what kind of numbers to conservatively budget for a worst case scenario? With it being a HUD home, I'm told they won't turn the water on till an offer has been accepted? So I'm not sure how to gauge how much of a hole this issue could become. Thanks all!

If their pressure test failed they may not want you to turn on the water at all.

Don't want to flood the house.

Fresh or sewer failed?

No good budget...could be a faucet or toilet....could be a broken line somewhere, multiple somewheres.

Originally posted by @Zach Yonek :

Thanks. The report the realtor gave me shows the Sewer system as OK, but under the plumbing it says "water supply tested and functional: No. Pressure test; Fail"

 If the house is on a basement, with access, or a decent crawlspace I probably wouldn't worry about that part of the test at all. It could be something as simple as someone left a hidden faucet open somewhere, or it could be a cracked pipe, or a leaky toilet valve, or an open water heater drain valve, get the idea. If you can access all/virtually all of the plumbing, you can either patch the bad spot or if the plumbing is old and dilapidated you'd be changing it anyway so it won't matter. 

The good news is that the sewer lines tested good. Sewer is almost always more expensive to replace than inside plumbing, because of pipe size, depth in the ground, etc. I'd rather have 3 busted potable water lines to one damaged yard sewer line any day of the week. 

Time maybe to get dirty. Bring an air compressor with fittings, hook it up, go around listening for air leaks. Check for open faucets/valves first.

Well, most of the time (maybe all of the time) you're buying HUD houses "as-is" and you're not really using the presumed condition of the plumbing as a bargaining chip. However, HUD will allow for a reduction in the offer if a problem that's unknown now crops up after the offer has been accepted - I know several people (including my mother) that got some money off their HUD deal. For budgeting purposes, the easiest thing to do is assume it needs all new plumbing and add another 3-5k to your rehab costs, if you want to make an offer on the property. In reality, unless all the plumbing is junk galvanized, 80's/90's poly pipe, or similar, you can usually just make a few repairs and have a perfectly fine water system. So I wouldn't sweat it too much. You could do the pressure test yourself but as mentioned keep the PSI down as air hammer will break pipes.

This wouldn't scare me too much, but have been around.  Like @JD Martin mentions, it could be any number of small things like a faucet turned to open.

The good news is, they don't know what's wrong either so play it like it's $5k.  Excuse me, $5247.  Make it look like a bid and seek a concession in your inspection findings. 

When you say they won't turn the water on until an offer, do you mean until under contract?  Thought you were under contract.  Anyway, I'd almost not want the water turned on and show them it's a small fix @Zach Yonek .  Make it a HUGE deal!

Sorry, you are right @Steve Vaughan , they won't turn it on until under contract. I'm not currently under contract. Just trying to rough estimate total rehab costs before putting in an offer! I will be sure to do that though moving forward :) And thanks for all the insight @JD Martin ! Very helpful!

Put an offer in with inspection contingency . Even though it’s sold as-is will not repair anything .. but use the water issue to convince them to reduce the price .

I'm with @Dennis M. , if it looks like it could be a deal, submit an offer with inspection contingency. Just because you're under contract, it doesn't mean you have to buy the property at that price. Put in a fair offer, get it inspected, then negotiate based on what's found with the plumbing.

It's very hard to find the leak by listening to the air leak sound while the compressor is running. I ran into this issue once and came up with the following technique:

a. Mix FOOD color with tap water

b. Inject the colored water into the system 

c. Inject  the system with compressed air 

d. find the leak(s) where the colored water appears.