Do you know how much does it cost to replace plumbing in an old house?
Old houses are known to possess a certain kind of charm to them. Most of the time, they’re built with older materials that give them a unique, rustic look.
However, living in one of these houses is not always that glorious.
Old houses more often than not require plumbing replacement. Old and overused fixtures can often lead to leaks and other system failures that can cause even greater damage.
In this article, we discuss the first step to this plumbing replacement – calculating the cost of it.
Let’s find out how to make living in an old house a beautiful experience again.
Plumbing Installation Cost Calculator
Let’s start off by saying there is no full-proof existing calculator that will show you the exact price you’ll be paying.
In this article, you will be introduced to the range of lowest and highest estimated costs of plumbing replacements.
Typically, a plumbing replacement is a process that can take from 2-3 days to an entire week to complete. It involves installing the new piping system first, transferring the water supply, and removing the old pipes after.
Plumbers are known to be costly.
A plumber can charge about $70-90 per hour for labor, but many companies charge about $100 per hour too. This is because some of them include travel fees.
On average, replacing an entire plumbing system of a house can cost about $1,500 to $15,000 or more. Repiping old houses averages with a higher lowest estimate of $2,500.
Big projects involving an entire plumbing replacement can cost $4.50 per square foot.
The cost of plumbing projects severely depends on how big that project is. Large projects include the number of items and fixtures that have to be replaced.
For example, those can be septic tank repairs, burst pipes, toilet installation, etc. These can cost from $500 to $800.
Updating the plumbing in an old house is a fairly large project. You should keep in mind that every fixture that is to be replaced is usually connected to another one.
The best way to create a plumbing estimate is to do the following:
- Hire a reputable plumber – Be it from your neighbor or someone else, it’s best to get a recommended plumber. This way you can be sure the job will be done correctly and in time.
- Inquire how much they charge per hour
- Estimate the time required – With the help of a plumber, estimate how many hours/days it will take to finish this project.
- Divide into smaller projects – Every segment of the house including the kitchen, bathroom, basement, etc.
- Include additional expenses – Many things can go unplanned when working on an old house. Leave room for plumbing mistakes and include things such as temporary toilets.
Cost To Replace Plumbing In An Old House – Deciding Factors
There are a lot of factors that lead to a certain cost of a total plumbing repair. However, a couple of them should certainly be considered as they act as deciding factors.
The exact cost of plumbing will highly depend on:
- The location of the house
- The amount your plumber charges per hour
- Size of the house (including the number of floors)
- Materials used
The first two deciding factors are the ones that you can best estimate yourself, as they are highly specific.
The location of your house impacts the price in two different ways.
The first one is the estimated amount plumbers charge in that area. The second one is travel fees, in case you live in a rural area.
The amount a plumber charges per hour will depend on the experience of the plumber (having a license, working for a company, etc.).
We highly recommend choosing a reputable plumber for a large project like this one.
Cost Of Plumbing a 3 Bedroom House
The cost of repiping a 3 bedroom house costs $3,000-$7,000 or more for old houses.
Keep in mind that this is an estimated amount for average 3 bedroom houses. These have 1-2 bathrooms and 2 stories.
The price can vary around these factors greatly. This is because of the number of fixtures that need to be replaced in each bathroom and other locations requiring specific appliances.
Plumbing Cost For 1000 sq ft House
The question of plumbing costs for a 1000 sq ft house is too vague as it depends on many other factors.
Cost for a 1,500 sq ft house is $8,000-$10,000 using copper piping, and $4,000-$6,000 using PEX, with the average cost of$8,250.
Cost for a 2,000 sq ft house is $4,000-$10,000 in an existing house and $12,000-$16,000 when building a new house. 
That being said, the cost for a 1,000 sq ft older house can be anywhere between the higher ranges despite the smaller size. This is because the cost depends on the quantity and nature of the materials used.
Material Cost In Plumbing Replacement
Counting the total cost of repiping a house largely comes down to the materials of the pipes being used. Typically, the ones used are copper or plastic pipes.
By plastic pipes, we mean either PVC/CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride pipes) or PEX pipes.
PEX pipes tend to be the most praised ones due to the variety of their use and their lower cost. PEX pipes are flexible pipes made of cross-linked polyethylene.
Blue PEX pipes carry cold water, red PEX pipes carry hot water, whereas white and gray ones are for mixed-use. PEX pipes are highly flexible and can even be buried if needed, as they can withstand pressure.
PEX pipes can withstand freezing than copper pipes too. They are easier and faster to install than copper pipes.
Per linear foot, PEX piping comes down to $0.30-$0.40, whereas copper piping averages up to $1.10.
Some other estimates show PEX piping costing $0.50-$2.0 per linear foot, and copper piping costing $2-$4, and CPVC $0.50-$1. This makes PEX the cheapest reliable option for piping.
That’s why PEX pipes are commonly used instead of traditional copper pipes. However, PEX pipes do have disadvantages, and if you’re concerned about them, consider the alternatives.
Cost To Replace Plumbing In An Old House – Additional Factors
There are certainly some common problems when replacing plumbing in an old house. The smart thing one should do is to count in the additional things in the total cost.
That includes additional time for plumbing replacement. As the plumbing system of the house is old, unexpected obstacles may arise.
To make things easier for you, we made a list of additional things that can increase the cost of the total plumbing replacement:
- Wall Demolitions
Depending on the ease of access, the plumbing work may require wall demolition. This can certainly add up to the total cost of plumbing replacement. 
- Burst pipe location
Closely related to the previous one – the ease of access to the system that needs replacement affects the cost. This is because a plumber needs more time to access and replace hard-to-reach pipes.
- Number of fixtures
Depending on the number of fixtures your old house has, the price will be different. The cost is higher when there are more toilets, bathtubs, kitchen sinks, washing machines, and other similar fixtures.
- Drainage pipes
This often goes unnoticed because of the huge stress on the replacement of the water pipes in the house. The drain pipes need to be in equally as good of a condition in order for the house to function properly.
Cost To Replace Drain Pipes In House
What is the difference between plumbing and drainage system?
Plumbing includes pipes, fittings, and tanks that are needed for the water supply to the house. On the other hand, the drainage system includes parts of the system that go downward, removing the waste from your house. 
It can be especially dangerous if the drainage system is not properly working. A leak in the draining system can cause water backups, introduce bad smells, and invite animals and insects to the house.
Cost to replace drain pipes averages $696, with a range of $225 to $1,160. However, consider that this is only a small part of the entire plumbing system replacement.
Also, as with the plumbing replacement, the cost of drain pipe replacement depends on accessibility and materials used.
The Bottom Line
To make the most out of an old house, it’s important to update a plumbing system. Calculating the cost of this replacement beforehand will save you both time and money.
The cost to replace plumbing in an old house will largely depend on many different factors. Those include the location and size of the house, materials used, and others.
Use this article to help you estimate the cost of replacing the plumbing in your own house. This will prepare you for the process and make everything a lot easier.