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What Does it Cost to Replace Plumbing in an Old House?

cost to replace plumbing in an old house

Published By: Vince Vince

The cost to replace the plumbing in an old house depends on several factors. In this article, we try to lay out a general idea of the financial impact it could have on your bank account.

Buying an old house and fixing it up—it’s a dream for many people, whether they are first-time homeowners or real estate investors. Unfortunately, when you buy an old house, there is a chance that the inner workings have severely deteriorated, and that includes one of the most important systems: the plumbing.

Over time, regardless of the material used, plumbing corrodes and decays, leaving you, the homeowner, with an expensive mess. But just how much is it going to cost to replace plumbing in an old house that you own?

Here’s what you need to know.

Know the Signs That Your Plumbing Is Failing

First things first, if you have not read our piece on the signs that your plumbing needs to be replaced, read that post before moving on.

Done? Okay, let’s talk about costs.

What Is the Range of Cost to Replace Plumbing in an Old House?

If you are looking for a precise number here, you are not going to like this answer. The cost of replacing your old home’s plumbing can range from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $15,000. Sometimes it can cost even more, depending on the size of your home and the types of materials you decide to use. For instance, PVC is a lot cheaper than copper.

How to Make It More Affordable to Replace Your Plumbing

Now that you’ve heard the bad news—or perhaps the unsatisfying news—let’s hear some good news. You don’t usually have to replace all of the plumbing in your home at once. There are many ways that you can spread out the costs associated with removing old pipes and installing a new plumbing system.

One example involves replacing the plumbing in your home as you do renovations. If you are planning to redo a bathroom or a kitchen, you can knock out the deteriorating pipes as you go.

You may also choose to only replace the pipes in your home that are exposed. Taking this route allows you to forego the expense of ripping out and repairing walls, floors, and ceilings until it is absolutely necessary.

This can be especially costly in old homes, which were often built with more expensive materials than we use today. If you want to preserve the integrity of your home’s originality, you will want to use those same materials when you renovate.

5 Factors That Affect the Cost to Replace Plumbing

No plumbing equipment is impenetrable, and even the most robust and long-lasting pipe systems will inevitably disintegrate. If your home’s pipes are significantly damaged, a simple repair may not always be enough to stop a leak.

Hiring a professional who knows how to do the needed maintenance is critical when this occurs. Otherwise, you could have water leaks all over your house, and you’ll have to deal with the mess yourself.

What are the Different Factors That Affect the Cost to Replace Plumbing?

When it comes to home improvement, the costs are bound to vary from one house to the next. Factors that affect the costs include the condition of your pipes and gutters, how many years you’ve been without maintenance services, and whether you’re willing to take on a costly project yourself. Here are five of the most critical factors that can affect the cost:

  • Location of Failing Pipes

The placement of damaged pipes influences the cost of replumbing a house. For example, replacing a line in the basement will be more expensive than replacing a pipe in the attic. In addition, more expensive plumbing must be fixed beneath your bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchen walls. There are additional fees associated with these emergency repairs, as well as the extra time required.

  • Size of Home & Total Stories

Replumbing a home larger than 2,600 square feet will cost more because it will require more supplies and time than homes smaller than 640 square feet or with only one floor. Furthermore, homeowners will save money replacing older homes with larger models rather than smaller ones. Similarly, a two-story house will cost more to replumb than a ranch house with a single floor.

  • Quantity of Sinks & Fixtures

The expenditure of a replacement project is higher in homes with multiple plumbing fixtures. This is because the sewer and water lines are corroding, necessitating the installation of additional pipes and supplies. The cost of replacing these pipes is also higher because connecting the pipes to each fixture takes time. Replacing a single sink can cost between $200 and $1,500, while replacing multiple sinks can be much more expensive. 

  • Diameter of the Supply & Drainage Pipes

A large diameter pipe necessitates the production of additional materials, which prove to be more expensive. This can add up when labor is used for installation, as the cost of a larger diameter pipe may be significantly higher.

  • Replacement Pipe Material

The most common types of pipes used in homes are Cross-linked Polyethylene (PEX), Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC), and Copper. PEX piping is less expensive to repipe than copper piping because it is more flexible and takes a plumber less time to install behind the walls.

Copper piping costs more than PEX piping because it is more robust and lasts longer. The cost of replacing a home’s pipes with old-fashioned copper wiring can range from $5,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on several factors.

Tips for Reducing the Cost of Replacing Plumbing

You can do a few things to keep the cost down when it comes to replacing plumbing. Here are four tips:

  • Take advantage of coupons and discounts

Many plumbing companies offer discounts during certain times, such as during summertime. Check with your local businesses to see if they offer any special deals.

  • Ask around for recommendations

Talk to friends, family, and neighbors about their recent plumbing replacement experiences and see if anyone has any good advice or recommendations.

  • Compare prices online

Use online tools like Google Shopping to compare prices between different plumbing retailers in your area. You can also use these tools to find coupons and discounts specific to certain retailers.

The Cost to Replace Plumbing in an Old House Depends on Many Factors

Interested in learning more about replacing your home’s plumbing? Need a quote? Get in touch with Custom Plumbing of Arizona today so that we can send one of our plumbers to your home and give you an estimate.

We are here to help you tackle your plumbing project, so don’t hesitate to contact us now!