What is this strange pipe in my front yard?

weedyacresFebruary 21, 2013

Any ideas? This is in front of a house we're buying. The realtor didn't know.

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npoirier

I could be wrong but it looks like an old backflow preventer for an irrigation system. Just a guess though.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 12:34AM
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Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

Get the realtor to find out, you are paying them enough

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 4:43AM
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zagut

"The realtor didn't know."

That shouldn't surprise you.

"Get the realtor to find out, you are paying them enough"

Very true. Make them earn there money.

Back flow preventer could be correct.

It might be part of the gas line.

A regulator perhaps?

Hard to tell by the picture.

Looks like it has some rust or corrosion that makes me think it's metal and part of the gas system.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 9:20AM
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lyvia

What is it in-between? We have a strange pipe, too. (we close in a few weeks.) It might be a shutoff for water to the barn because it is halfway to the barn.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 10:35AM
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kachinee

If you have a Contract on the house you are entitled to a professional contractor's inspection. That is always a good idea.
You could also order an underground utility location which is usually free of charge.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 8:06AM
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lyfia

Looks like it would belong to a gas line at least that is how some of the older areas look like around here. Usually you can find some writing on them either with a metal plate or cast on them.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 10:51AM
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brickeyee

"If you have a Contract on the house you are entitled to a professional contractor's inspection. "

Only if the contract has an inspection clause.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 1:19PM
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weedyacres

Well, in case anyone is curious on the outcome of this, I called the city water manager and sent him a photo. He sent me to the gas company. They sent a guy out who called from the house and explained it.

It's called a farm tap. There's an 8" steel main gas line that runs along the road in front of our house, rated at 150 lbs. That farm tap is a regulator that reduces that to 60 lbs coming in our (future) house. Any house in town that has gas and taps into a higher pressure line has one. Most don't (just our street and one other in town).

They no longer bury them, but we can plant stuff around them so long as we realize the foliage could be damaged when they do maintenance. This one apparently needs to be wrapped around the bottom, which they'll do when it warms up.

So there you have it. I was actually pleasantly surprised at the responsiveness of the people I called to inquire. The benefit of living in a small town, I guess. :-)

BTW, the reason I did this directly is that we're buying the house for $14K cash, as-is, FNMA foreclosure. So no inspector, no highly-paid realtor. Just a couple of DIY-ers about to sink their renovating teeth into a new target.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 6:15PM
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hosenemesis

Good for you- and thanks for reporting back. I was wondering what that was.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 12:55AM
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mongoct

weedy, where is your adventurous side?

And to think that I was going to recommend Mr. Weedy start a nice fire around it to warm the area up. Then go at the pipe with an abrasive blade on a grinder. He'd look especially cool if he did it with a lit cigarette in his mouth.

Oh, don't forget to set up the video camera. Youtube royalties and all.

Don't forget safety! Safety goggles, gloves, etc.

Your on-line OSHA compliance advisor,
Mongo

This post was edited by mongoct on Sun, Mar 10, 13 at 16:24

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 4:23PM
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weedyacres

Mongo: why wimp out with a grinder? I'm thinking a torch would be more efficient.

The right tool for the right job....

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 7:46PM
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