Everything You Need To Know Before Repiping Your Home
The start of a new year is the perfect time for homeowners to make a list of the home improvement projects they're itching to get done. Those who plan to add a room or remodel an existing one will need repiping. However, for the sake of consistency and convenience, it may be worth it to update the rest of the home's plumbing at the same time.
Others may just be tired of repairing leaks and dealing with pressure issues in their existing plumbing and want to renovate the whole system. Since most homeowners understandably have reservations about committing to such a monster task, here's a guide to help demystify repiping.
Is a Whole-House Repiping Necessary?
Homes built before 1970 often feature water supply pipes made of galvanized steel. Steel is susceptible to corrosion and is generally no longer used for residential plumbing lines. Many homes from that era were built with copper supply pipes, which are more durable but can also succumb to corrosion over decades of use. Fifty years is a long time for any pipe, so the likelihood of leaks and ruptures due to corrosion is very high in older homes.
In regions with very hard water, mineral deposits can slowly accumulate inside the water supply pipes and constrict water flow, resulting in pressure issues. Pipes that have become choked in this way will need replacement. In general, if the home's plumbing system suffers from frequent problems such as pinhole leaks, broken valves, or split connector joints, it's time to consider repiping the whole house.
Which Piping Materials To Use?
Modern drain pipes are typically made from hard, durable plastics like CPVC or ABS. When doing an extensive home repiping, plumbers may use the same materials, but it's a good idea to change the old pipes for fresh ones. On the other hand, there are two main options to consider - PEX and copper when it comes to supply pipes.
For decades, copper has been the go-to material for supply pipes because it lasts a very long time (sometimes as long as 70 years) and stands up well to intense heat. PEX (a tough but flexible plastic) has an estimated average lifespan of about 40 years, but this can be made shorter by exposure to extremely hot water. However, PEX is considerably less expensive than copper, potentially saving thousands on a whole-home repiping. Its flexibility also makes it easier to install. This is particularly helpful in a repiping scenario, as it requires very few connections - and therefore, fewer wall cuts and labor hours.
What Does It Take To Repipe a Home?
Repiping an entire home is a big task, but it can be done in a few days to a week, depending on the home's size and the type of piping used. The home's water main will need to be shut off for a few hours each day, so it's a good idea to prepare for that - or even stay in a rental home or with a friend for the duration. The old pipes will need to be excavated, which involves cutting into walls, moving large appliances, and even temporarily removing some fixtures like sinks and toilets.
Many homeowners try to tackle repiping themselves, but given the intensive labor involved and sheer scope of the project, they'd be better off hiring a professional. An efficient, expert crew can make the process as quick and painless as possible - and leave the home looking as good as new.
About Cajun Maintenance
Cajun Maintenance is a local full-service plumbing company that has served Denham Springs, LA for over a decade. Their fast response times, friendly personalized service, and outstanding workmanship have already earned them several awards and an ever-growing base of loyal, satisfied customers. Call now for repiping services!