Water pressure valve regulators
Hi Leonard — I’ve recently read about water pressure that goes into houses and how it should be like 60-80 PSI. I understand that it can cause damage to pipes if it is much higher. I bought a tester, and my pressure is about 110 PSI, even though I have one of those pressure regulators on my house? I think it might be dead? Help! Bob M., Las Vegas
Hi Bob — Yes, the pounds per square inch (PSI) — and check with your local water authority — should be 60 to 80. You probably bought a $15 tester at the store, unscrewed an outdoor hose attached to your property, then screwed on the tester, turned on the water and found the higher 110 PSI. Good job for doing a little DIY test!
OK, you can reduce that pressure with the water pressure regulator; and you noted you have one on your house, but it doesn’t seem to be doing the job. Those regulators only last 5-7 years, so yours probably is dead if your house is older. To test a little more, you can carefully turn the screw at the top of the pressure regulator, while your tester is on the hose bib, and see if the pressure changes. If not, you need to replace the regulator, and they’re about $85.
If you can find an exact match and size, and your main water shut-off is in line from the city’s water supply and before the regulator, then you might be able to just shut off the water, unscrew the old regulator with a crescent or pipe wrench, and install a new one — if you are handy. If not, have a plumber come test the water PSI and install a new regulator for you.
For non-handy people, parts and labor will probably cost $350-$500 for the install, depending on whether the water main shut-off is easily accessible. Do a little more research on the Internet and make sure to have a couple of plumbers give you an estimate. Good luck.
Contract contingency HOA documents
Professor — I’m buying a property and trying to get the HOA documents to review them, per your guidance. I’m having an awful time getting everything I need, and my inspection period is ending in a few days. Jenny H., Modesto, CA
Hi Jenny — You’re in California, so you’re most likely in luck if you used the California Association of Realtors (CAR) Purchase Contract. For other states, hopefully any buyer’s contract clauses provide for this issue.
The CAR contract requires the seller to provide documents and disclosures related to the homeowners association. Unfortunately buyers rarely receive these documents in a timely manner (as is your issue) and never receive all the documents that I would recommend a buyer review. And even if you do get them all, it’s a mammoth task to review, understand and analyze them.
If you don’t receive what you need, request the documents in writing and note that your contingency related to these documents is to remain open until you’ve received what you need. Note the specific documents you still want to review, and have your agent deliver the request to the seller. This stops your inspection period clock from ticking, but it doesn’t stop any mortgage loan locks you might have, nor are you going to get back your appraisal, home inspection or condominium document fees if you end up canceling the purchase due to a major problem with the HOA. And that is just an unfortunate part of buying real estate in an HOA.
You can also call the HOA community management company, the board members or the HOA accountant in an attempt to track down the documents.
You’re doing a great job trying to protect yourself on this vitally important task, so keep at it and hopefully you will approve and move forward with your purchase.
- What to Review in HOA Documents When Buying
- HOA Documents: Are They Worth the Money?
- Real Estate Investing: Single Family Home vs. Condo
Leonard Baron, MBA, is America’s Real Estate Professor®. His unbiased, neutral and inexpensive “Real Estate Ownership, Investment and Due Diligence 101” textbook teaches real estate owners how to make smart and safe purchase decisions.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.
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