Be Forewarned.....About Orangeburg Pipe

1 Reply

I'm new at real estate investing, but in the vein of adding information to this site (not easy to do) I thought about orangeburg pipe.  A quick word search on "orangeberg" kicks back nothing on forum discuss, so here we go.

I bought my primary residence in the fall of 2014 in Reno, NV.  It's a ranch house built in 1954.  Soon after moving in the lateral line backed up.  And after a month it backed up again, and a month later again.

I had it cleared each time (some things are really worth the money) and finally scoped.  I had several root intrusions, and some spots where the pipe wasn't round but an oval.  The culprit?  Orangeburg pipe.  Basically it is sheets of fiberglass covered in resin around a form, and after it dried the form was pulled out.  It was a quick way to make cheap pipe, but it doesn't stand the test of time.

In Reno I'm responsible for maintaining my lateral line from my house to the city main.  That means whenever I have this fixed, I'll have to pay about 10k in city permits, excavating the city street, fixing it, putting it all back, etc. I got a lawyer, the sellers (the house had been vacant quite some time before I bought it, they inherited it) claimed they didn't know, I got a little $$ out of the deal but not enough to cover the expenses.

I'm sure in some places orangeburg is fine.  It's not to code anywhere today from what I understand.  Just wanted to post this for those doing due diligence.  If I had paid the $100 to have my lateral line scoped while I was in escrow, I'd be better off now.

That really sucks!  But, while I'm not a pipe expert, you mentioned that your house was built in 1954.  Mine was built in 1960.  I was having trouble with roots as well.  Finally, they scoped my pipes and said I needed to replace them to solve the problem.  I was upset, but they said the pipes were only intended to last about 50 years.  At the time, that seemed like forever, but when you're on the other end of 50 years, it's very inconvenient.  lol

Good luck!

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