Author Topic: Evaluating Triplex #2  (Read 1088 times)


  • Stubble
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  • Location: KY
Evaluating Triplex #2
« on: April 20, 2017, 08:24:27 AM »

I'd like some input on a triplex that I am evaluating.

Even though the heat and water is included in rents, the property looked like a big win: Home was built in 1908 as a triplex (not cut and carved out), maintenance appeared good and 49,900 list price with rents of: A - 475 (vacant), B - 475, & C - 400.  The same day it went on the market, I was able to walk through Unit A and the cellar, and made an offer for the full price which was accepted same day.

On that first walkthrough, I noted a continual leak (~1drip/10sec) from a cast iron waste plumbing stack that I thought was coming from the toilet wax ring of the first floor apartment (easy fix).  I also noted that the wood subfloor around where the stack came through was saturated with water, but not yet rotten, so I assume the leak has been going on for perhaps months, but not years?

The inspection which occurred Tuesday correctly noted that this stack is actually the waste stack to the second floor and roof vent for the house. Inspection report states: Budget Consideration/defect: Active leaks noted at Unit A toilet as well as sewer stack from upstairs unit. Cast iron has rust cysts and cracks present.  Suggest licensed plumber review entire plumbing in central crawlspace area for needed repairs.

After talking with the inspector, I think there are 3 separate issues:
1- Unit A toilet leaking from tank to bowl - easy fix
2- The 2" vertical stack to second floor has visible vertical crack
3- The 3" vertical stack to second floor has active leaks from above subfloor - likely cracked or failed joint somewhere in wall.

I am assuming that issues #2 and #3 could fail more catastrophically at any time and are high priority repairs.  I really want to get back in it and see what the leak looks like when someone is running water / flushing toilets on the second floor. 

Does anyone know how much a repair to replace the 2 second floor stacks would cost?  I am assuming one would need to rip out the plaster walls and perhaps the floor of the second floor bathroom.  This would mean that 2 of 3 units would need to be vacant for the repairs to occur?

Pictures from inspection report:

« Last Edit: April 20, 2017, 08:29:21 AM by Enough »


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Evaluating Triplex #2
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 09:06:11 AM »
I guess I would assume all the plumbing is bad and get some bids for a complete overhaul of at least the waste/sewer lines and maybe also the culinary water end of things. There's probably more stuff waiting to have problems you can't see.



  • Senior Mustachian
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Re: Evaluating Triplex #2
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 10:42:31 AM »
Get some bids and use them to negotiate a lower price. It's just wrong on so many levels to allow a waste water leak to continue.


  • Stubble
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  • Location: KY
Re: Evaluating Triplex #2
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 09:06:06 AM »
Thanks for the feedback. I am less concerned after another visit.  Realtor and I found a cover plate in the bath and, after removing, were able to see the cracked pipe and leak first hand.  [side note, this proves that the seller lied on the disclosure when he stated no known issues with the plumbing system.  someone knew there was a leak, punched a hole in the wall to find it, installed a plastic cover plate, and then painted over it].

Met with two contractors. 

The first was 400+ materials.  He planned to cut a slightly larger hole in the wall, cut the cast iron above the crack, drop it through to the crawl space and insert new pipe from the crawl into the wall and install a larger cover plate and paint.  My concern is I couldn't see how he would properly brace the remaining upper cast iron through a small access hole and I am concerned of additional issues above that he wouldn't be able to see.

Second contractor was $600 total cost.  His recommended scope was rip out a section of wall starting from the floor and going up to where ever he started to see good pipe and replace from there down.  Price included new drywall, finishing, and paint.  Price did not include any additional damage above bathroom ceiling (additional costs if he had to replace drain piping from the upstairs  toilet and stack through roof).

At this time, I am leaning towards the second contractor.

Signed an addendum to the purchase agreement today.  Seller to pay $500 at closing to cover repairs.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 09:16:27 AM by Enough »