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Replumbing a House: What to Expect When
Replumbing or repiping means to completely replace the existing plumbing with brand new plumbing materials. Undertaking an entire home repipe/replumb project is not something you will want to attempt on your own. It requires the use of plumbers with experience in repiping/replumbing, like the experts at MET Plumbing.
Why Would You Need to Replumb Your Home?
Just like other things in life, the pipes that deliver hot and cold water throughout your home, as well as drain water and sewage away, do eventually wear out and need to be replaced. They have a useful lifespan, which can range from 25 years to eighty years. However, there are certain signs you should watch for, as these could shorten the anticipated lifespan of your home’s plumbing.
Signs to Watch For
If you notice a drop in water pressure, rusty or cloudy water, or springing water leaks in pipes in different areas of the home, these are all potential signs you are due for a repiping/replumbing.
Other Reasons to Consider New Plumbing
- You bought a fixer-upper. Since you want renovations, this is a good time to get the entire home replumbed. Most renovations require tearing out drywall, so it provides easy access for our plumbers.
- Your home is more than fifty years old and still has the original plumbing. The pipes are either getting near the end of their usefulness or have already exceeded it. At this stage, you will want to make sure to have annual plumbing inspections performed to identify potential problems before they become major home repairs.
- You have had problems with broken and bursting water pipes, and they keep occurring. As pipes wear out, they are not able to handle being under constant water pressure. This will cause fittings to start to leak and could even cause weakened sections in the pipe walls to burst.
- Dripping and running water inside the walls of your home, basement, or crawl space is not good. Not only can it lead to problems with mold and mildew, but also damage wooden support structures, insulation, and electrical wiring.
- Problems with pipes freezing on those few cold winter days. When pipes freeze, the ice inside expands and, if they don’t burst or break, could weaken and damage the interior walls as well as the fittings.
- The entire home has polybutylene plumbing. This is a type of plastic resin that was widely used in the 1970s through the 1990s. This type of plastic piping can become brittle and break easily, especially if your water is chlorinated or chemically treated.
- The home has lead pipes. Homes built in the first part of the 1900s were plumbed using lead pipes. At that time, people had no idea that the lead in the pipes could leach into the drinking water, let alone the health hazards associated with lead.
What Are the Benefits of Repiping/Replumbing Your Home?
Depending on the type of materials used to repipe/replumb your home, you may only need to do this major type of renovation once during your lifetime, especially if you keep the home. On the other hand, if you will eventually sell the home, updated plumbing could potentially increase the value and selling price since the new buyer will know they do not have to worry about this type of home repair project.
Other benefits you might gain could include:
- Reduced water bills if you have city water.
- Increased water pressure if you currently have low pressure.
- All leaks, worn outfittings, and other plumbing problems will be resolved.
- Better quality and safer drinking water.
What Type of Plumbing Pipe Materials Are Available?
Two of the more popular choices for repiping/replumbing projects are copper pipes and PVC/PEX plastic pipes. Copper has a longer life expectancy than PVC/PEX. In addition, copper has natural antibacterial properties.
However, the costs for copper can push entire home replumbing costs up higher compared to using PVC/PEX pipes. PVC/PEX pipes cost less and are flexible. This means that entire replumbing project can be completed faster since fewer sections of walls have to be removed.
To determine what materials would be best for your home, we recommend scheduling an in-home plumbing inspection with one of our plumbers. This will allow us to see what concerns and issues you currently have, as well as answer your questions. In some cases, an entire replumb is not always necessary.
How Is a Home Repiped/Replumbed?
There are several detailed steps to the entire process. To give you an idea, the following is a general overview:
- Step 1: The water is turned off and all water lines drained out of the faucets as best as possible.
- Step 2: Drop cloths, tarps, and other protective coverings are put over flooring and furniture.
- Step 3: Precise cuts are made into drywall where the pipes run and are required to access and replace them.
- Step 4: The new pipes are installed and connected to the appropriate locations: i.e., toilets, sinks, tubs, showers, and so on.
- Step 5: The water is turned back on and water lines tested for leaks.
- Step 6: If there are no leaks, or once any leaks have been corrected, the drywall is replaced.
- Step 7: The drywall is sealed and painted.
On average, it takes between three and seven days to do an entire home. The amount of time it will take to repipe/replumb your home depends on the size of the home, amount of water lines that need to be replumbed, the type of piping materials being used, and other such factors. In some cases, it may only take a day or two, especially if you have a much smaller home or the majority of pipes are easily accessible from your basement or crawlspace.
What if I Cannot Afford an Entire Home Repipe/Replumb?
If your home needs to be repiped/replumbed but you have budgetary concerns, MET Plumbing can work with you to develop an effective solution to address your needs and budget. For example, we could start by replacing essential incoming water lines that we can access without having to remove drywall.
Since the pipes are easier to access and replace, it costs less to do the work and takes less time. Then, as your budget allows, we can address other areas of the home and gradually replace all of the pipes over a period of time, rather than all at once.
Cases Where Repiping/Replumbing May Not Be Required
There are a few different cases where your plumbing problems may suggest you need to get the entire home repiped/replumbed but are actually being caused by some other issue.
- Rusty Water – If you have an older hot water heater, there could be sediment and rust in the bottom of the tank. This would make your water seem reddish or brownish in color anytime you ran hot water. If this is the only cause for rusty water, then a replumb would not be needed. Instead, you would just need to get a new water heater installed, which our plumbing company can also do for you.
- Reduced Water Pressure – If you have well water, mineral, and calcium deposits from hard water can build up inside the pipes. There are different methods we can use to descale the pipes and attempt to restore water pressure. Again, if this were your only problem, then a full repipe/replumb might not be required. However, badly scaled pipes may need to be replaced.
For more information about repiping/replumbing your home, your different options, and the different plumbing services we offer, please feel free to contact MET Plumbing & Air Conditioning at 281-603-9949 today!
We also offer hot water heater installation and repair, toilet installation and repair, clogged drain cleaning, garbage disposal repair, faucet installation and repair, and air conditioning services and installation in Houston and the surrounding areas.