Lead water entrance pipe (street side)

I just got a call from a very unhappy client. He informed me I missed a lead water entrance pipe on the street side but got the house side right. The pipe was painted and maybe I did miss it but do not recall as all I put on the report was copper. I have the feeling he wants to take me to court. I offered his money back and posibly test his drinking water in hopes to clear it up and told him I do not need to see it because I beleive what he is telling me. Basically, I just wanted to put it to bed. He said it will be thousands of dollars to replace it to the street. He said he would have to look into it. I am feeling a lawsuit coming on! Any advice? I am posting this on the legal page as well.

Maybe Im missing something here but doesn’t the city own everything from the meter out?

Exactly Doug you are spot on. But in the same tiraid he said it was in the basement. I will have to go over there even if I do not want to, to get another look. This was a month ago and I just don’t remember. My report indicates where the meter is was completly covered with storage (pallets of luggage, boxes, etc) and I evaluated what I could see with out moving all of that stuff. What is really troubling is that I had a gut feeling about this guy and actually left the property with a knot in my stomach.

In many communities, especially in older buildings the supply piping is lead to the meter, this is not uncommon. Water doesn’t sit in the pipes long enough for the lead to be an issue. You can check with the municipality and they can give the numbers on the piping and address concerns your client may have.

Using this buyers logic, you as the home inspector, are responsible for everything from the water reservoir to his house. There could be a section of lead pipe out in the street you could not possibly see or inspect. First thing; do not panic and never admit to anything until you have had a chance to see for yourself what the real facts are. Be calm, be cool and be firm. If it isn’t part of the home that he is buying and paying for, I do not see how you could be held responsible for what the city puts in their system.
Second: learn to listen to your gut. Your first instincts were correct.
What a lot of untrained people refer to as “lead” pipe is in fact galvanized pipe. He may not know the difference and is now looking for a patsy. Sometimes when the hair on the back of your neck goes up it is best to send the customer to your competitor. In the long run it is worth whatever money you save by NOT doing their inspection. Believe me, anyone in this business either has had a similar call or will have one. Hang tough…

I hope you can see or open the above preview doc attachment. Now I understand why his ranting was not making sense.

Well here is something to ponder. Lead Paint needs to be disclosed, so in the same line of thinking since Lead was commonly used as water supply piping back in the day. Why should that not be disclosed too in the disclosure statement from the seller, we may need to lobby someone on this…? And do we go around and test all of the soldered joints; the removal of lead in solder is relatively new in the time line of things. Do HI’s test all of the joints to see if there is lead in those too, I think not.

Out of the Illinois Residential REAL PROPERTY DISCLOSURE REPORT

[FONT=Times New Roman]16. _____ ____ ____ I am aware of unsafe concentrations of or unsafe conditions relating to lead[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]paint, lead water pipes, lead plumbing pipes or lead in the soil on the premises.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]17. _____ ____ ____ I am aware of mine subsidence, underground pits, settlement, sliding, upheaval, or other earth stability defects[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]on the premises.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]So maybe the seller knew of something since they had stuff stacked up in front of the meter and had painted the pipe?? [/FONT]