Considerations Before Repiping Your House
No matter how well you take care of your plumbing system, sooner or later, you’ll run into issues. If you find yourself making frequent repairs to water pipes, you may want to consider repiping your home. A home repiping project is a big undertaking, so here are a few things you should know.
If you are looking for an efficient plumber in Elburn, IL, contact Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. today!
1. Hiring a Plumber
Unless you have professional experience repiping a house, you’ll be relying on a professional. The last thing you want is a contractor that cuts corners during the repiping process and does a poor job. When looking for a plumber, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do they have positive reviews and testimonials online?
- How many years have they been in business?
- Can they provide licenses and proof of insurance?
- Do they offer a guarantee for their work?
- Do they provide estimates for labor and materials costs?
You should also ask around and see if you can find detailed pictures of their work. One option is to get references from friends who have had plumbing work done.
2. Type of Pipes
The first thing to determine is the kind of pipes you want to use. Modern homes typically use one of three types of piping for plumbing installations:
Copper is extremely durable, and quality pipes can last for over 70 years. Copper pipes are among the oldest plumbing options and are still a popular choice for many reasons. It is resistant to bacteria and is corrosion-resistant, unlike steel. Additionally, copper pipes are more resistant to damage from flooding and ground events.
The main downsides of copper piping are that they are expensive, vulnerable to acids, and susceptible to cracking from pressure in cold weather. Copper piping also requires soldering to install, which is more labor intensive.
Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) pipes are very common in modern construction and provide a good mixture of durability, flexibility, and affordability. PVC is easier to install than copper and is virtually immune to corrosion and acidic water. PVC piping can last upwards of 50 years.
However, PVC is more fragile than copper piping. The rigidity makes it prone to cracking from impacts and pressure.
Cross-linked polyethylene piping is a relatively new material and is one of the easiest piping materials to work with. PEX piping is lightweight, easy to install, and cheap to manufacture. However, PEX is still new, so we don’t have reliable information on how long PEX piping lasts.
Otherwise, PEX is very cost-effective and does not require joint fittings, so it is extremely useful for new constructions. However, it is less durable than other materials and can degrade from UV exposure.
3. Project Cost
Home repiping costs can vary significantly depending on your home’s size, piping materials, and labor costs. Depending on the scope of your project, you may also need to pay for a building permit as well.
Copper piping is the most expensive, and installation costs anywhere between $1 and 3$ per foot. The typical home has about 400 feet of piping, so you can expect to pay around $1,500 for the piping alone.
PVC piping is less expensive at about $0.50 per foot. PVC is very cheap to manufacture and install, so it is ideal for whole-home repiping projects. PEX piping is even cheaper at about $0.30 per foot.
Keep in mind that these costs are just estimates. You also need to factor in labor costs, costs to remove the old piping, and any related renovation costs after installation. Most homeowners can expect to pay at least $5,000 for a whole-home repiping project.
4. Plumbing Upgrades
Homeowners also have several options for plumbing upgrades to improve system performance. Repiping your home is a perfect time to upgrade fixtures and appliances to save money and take full advantage of your new piping.
Tankless Water Heater
Upgrading to a tankless water heater can save you hundreds on your annual water bill and ensure you have constant hot water on demand. Instead of heating a tank full of water, tankless heaters pump water over superheated coils to provide instant hot water.
Low Flow Toilets
If you care about your environmental footprint, low-flow toilets can reduce annual water consumption by up to 50%. Replacing fixtures like faucets and showerheads with low-flow versions can further reduce water consumption.
Bidets are popular overseas and are becoming more common in American homes. Bidets save water and contribute to better hygiene than traditional toilets.
Signs You Need to Repipe Your Home
Below are some common plumbing issues that require repiping.
Leaking pipes could just be because of a small crack. However, if you notice frequent leaks in different places, your pipes are probably near the end of their lifespan.
As pipes degrade, they can leach into your water and discolor it. If you notice your water has a rust-brown color, the problem could be bad piping.
Pipes make a small amount of noise during normal operation, but frequent loud banging noises mean that your pipes cannot handle the stress of operation anymore.
Bad Smell or Taste
If you notice that your water has a metallic or plastic taste, it could be a sign your pipes are corroding. Foul-tasting water could also be a result of mold and mildew in the piping.
Water Pressure Problems
Is the water pressure weak whenever you turn on a faucet or showerhead? Old pipes cannot maintain high water pressure and need replacing.
Contact an Expert Plumber
Advantage Plumbing & Sewer Co. offers plumbing, drain cleaning, and sewer services in Elgin, IL. Whether you need routine maintenance or emergency services, we’ve got you covered.
Read our blog to learn how to spot the signs of plumbing problems. If you would like to discuss a home repiping project or require plumbing services, contact us online or call today at (847) 268-3553!