What Is Involved In Repiping a House? 

Have you ever wondered what is involved in repiping a house?

Maybe you are planning to repipe your own house and you want to be as prepared as you can.

Repiping a house, whether old or new, is always a huge project. Small plumbing repairs can only do so much when a house needs a total piping system replaced.

In this article, we’ve gathered all the information you will need when taking on this project.

From materials needed, to how to repipe a house on a slab – we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at what it takes to repipe a house.

Signs Your House Needs Repiping 

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Before we take a look at what is involved in repiping a house, let’s discuss signs your house needs repiping.

Keep on reading if you’re not sure if you should repipe a whole house, as these next signs should help you.

Even if you notice just 1 or 2 of the mentioned signs, it’s still recommended to repipe a house.

This is because most of these signs are mutually connected, and smaller signs of damage can easily develop into bigger ones.

  1. Frequent Plumbing Repairs 

Frequent plumbing repairs can be frustrating. Not only can they mess with your everyday life, but they can also cost you a lot.

Having clogged drains every year or so is normal. However, if your house has constant leaks and clogged drains, that’s a sign you need to repipe a house entirely.

  1. Low Water Pressure

Do you notice low water pressure coming from a shower, a sink, or any other fixture? This is a sign possible corrosion has taken place inside the pipes.

Most often, the corrosion inside the pipes is what lowers the water pressure over time. Other times, this indicates a leak somewhere on a piping system.

  1. Lead or Galvanized Pipes

Lead pipes nowadays often exist only in really old homes. If your house has lead pipes, you should consider replacing them as lead can cause some serious health problems. [1]

Galvanized steel pipes can corrode over time too. This can not only restrict water flow but release unsafe chemicals in your drinking water. Consider replacing them too.

  1. Yellow Water

Yellow or rusty water is most often a sign that corrosion has taken place inside the pipes.

Water discoloration can be a sign of water contamination with different materials, such as iron, copper, zinc, or similar. [2]

These can stain your clothes and be harmful to your health too.

  1. Corrosion

Similar to the previous one, corroded pipes can cause water contamination and also lower the water pressure in the house.

It’s very likely that your piping system has corroded if your house is old.

If you can see the rust on the visible pipes in your home, it’s also likely your whole piping system has corroded too.

  1. Noisy Pipes (banging pipes)

Excessive water pressure and loose piping can cause banging pipes in your home. This problem can occur even when the water is not running.

Noisy pipes can really set a horror-like scene in your home and prevent you from enjoying your everyday life. When left untreated, they can result in large damage such as leaks or burst pipes.

Does Repiping a House Add Value? 

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Depending on how you look at it, some people will argue that repiping a house does not add value.

However, a house with the new piping system installed right often ensures no plumbing repairs for years to come.

A new plumbing system adds value to your home, as it improves the quality of drinking water and reduces plumbing repairs. This is why repiping a house certainly pays off for many homeowners.

Nevertheless, this is different if you decide to sell your house in the future. Most buyers are concerned with other renovations including a new kitchen, bathroom, flooring, etc.

Some buyers are still concerned with the peace of mind that comes with new piping. However, try not to rely only on repiping when increasing your house value for potential buyers.

Repiping a House On Slab 

What is involved in repiping a house is a whole process, starting from acquiring all the necessary permits. 

If your house is built on a slab, most likely there are water and sewage lines underneath it.

Repiping this part of the piping system is really important because of something called slab leaks. Leaks underneath the slab can lead to cracks on the walls and floors of the house.

Untreated slab leaks can endanger the integrity of your house, as they can cause the entire house foundation to shift.

Water leaks that seep into the walls of the house can cause mold and mildew, which can cause many health problems. [3]

Situations like these are what make repiping a house a big project – one that you should not do by yourself.

The first step will be to consult a professional to get an inspection.

Make sure to ask neighbors or friends for recommendations, as this is a job for reputable plumbers only. Some plumbing companies even offer free inspections for their plumbing jobs.

During an inspection, you will get an estimated cost of repiping a house, as well as the approximate time needed.

The cost to repipe an entire house will be anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000 or more.

Also, this is when the plumbers will decide if a total house repiping is needed. Sometimes, they need to repipe only a section of the house piping system.

Make sure to pay attention to the details such as the time needed for each section of the working period. If you need to organize your life around the parts of the house being worked on, consult the plumbers on this.

Plumbers will need to secure a work permit from a local government if a whole-house repiping is needed.

The next step is deciding on the materials to work with.

What Is Involved In Repiping a House – Materials 

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Wondering what is the best material to repipe a house? 

Even if you devote the entire repiping plan to the plumbers, consult them for the materials on this project.

Choosing the pipe materials will highly depend on the climate you live in, as well as the lifestyle of the householders.

Let’s discuss some of the most commonly used piping materials and their characteristics:

  • Copper Pipes

Copper pipes are the ones traditionally used in piping the house. They are known for their durability,  as they can last very long– from 50 to 100 years or more!

In contrast to lead, galvanized steel, or iron, copper pipes don’t release dangerous chemicals into the water. Because of this, copper pipes are environmentally friendly. [5]

This also makes them less harmful to the environment than PEX or PVC pipes.

However, copper pipes can add a slightly metallic taste to the water. They also cost more than others, averaging to $1-$3 per foot.

  • PEX pipes

PEX pipes are often used as an alternative to copper pipes. They are flexible blue and red pipes made from cross-polyethylene.

They are known for their flexibility and adaptability, and can even reduce water hammers in the house.

PEX pipes have many advantages, as they can be buried in concrete, and be used for airlines in the house.

They are also less expensive, costing as little as $0.30-$0.40. Apart from that, they can withstand freezing temperatures better than copper.

Lastly, the one main disadvantage of PEX pipes is a chemical leak in the water they can cause.

  • PVC & CPVC pipes

PVC pipes are most commonly used in HVAC systems and draining systems. They are very durable and prone to corrosion.

A PVC leak can be fixed very easily and is most commonly a DIY project not needing a professional plumber. The other advantage of PVC pipes is that they are easy to cut.

You should never connect PVC pipes to metals unless you use a rubber seal made for this purpose. However, you can easily connect PVC and PEX pipes, providing that the sizes of these two pipes match.

The most commonly used pipes are chlorinated PVC pipes called CPVC pipes. The main difference between these two is that the CPVC is capable of withstanding higher temperatures (as high as 200° Fahrenheit).

It goes without saying, but that means CPVC pipes can hold really hot water. CPVC pipes are also resistant to chemicals and acidity in water. [6]

They are less expensive than copper pipes, costing as little as $0.40 per foot, but more expensive than PVC.

FAQ

What Is Involved In Repiping a House? 

Repiping a house involves installing a new plumbing system, transferring the water supply, and removing the old piping. Often, a whole process includes works such as plumbing, reconstruction, and demolition of walls in some cases.

How Long Does Repiping a House Take? 

Repiping a house can take anywhere from 2-5 days to a whole week. Depending on the size of the house, it might take more than a week to complete.

Repiping House In Florida

In Florida, repiping a house costs anywhere from $3,000 to $7,500. Most houses in Florida are built on slabs, so you should hire only a licensed plumber for a repiping project.

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