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What Is Involved in Repiping a House? A Beginner’s Guide

What Is Involved in Repiping a House? A Beginner’s Guide

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Sometimes a home’s plumbing has to be replaced. Wondering what is involved in repiping a house? This article explains.

Unless your home is a cabin in the woods with no running water (or if you live—to quote the late, great Chris Farley—in a van down by the river), you are going to have to deal with plumbing issues at some point. For some, that means fixing a leaky pipe or two. For others, that means having their entire plumbing system replaced.

Repiping a house normally involves 4 steps:

  1. Inspection.
  2. Estimate.
  3. Demolition.
  4. Plumbing.
  5. Reconstruction.

To be clear, replacing your home’s plumbing is not a DIY job. You are going to need a professional, licensed plumber to handle this project. Are you thinking of repiping your home? Here’s what you need to know.

How Do I Know If I Need to Repipe My Home?

Before we get into the specifics of what is involved in repiping a home, you first need to determine whether your home requires it. Repiping is an expensive, time-consuming process — but here are a few signs that your home needs a new plumbing system.

Lead Pipes

Lead pipes are common in older houses from the 1920s and earlier, but even later homes may have this kind of piping system. They present lots of health hazards for you and your family. When these pipes corrode, lead can leak into your drinking water and cause harm to your heart, kidneys, and reproductive organs (even at low levels).

The bottom line: If your home was built before 1986, find out what materials your plumbing system is made out of and replace any lead pipes!

Galvanized Steel Pipes

Before the 1960s, galvanized steel pipes were common in homes. However, these pipes are coated in zinc. While this zinc lining helps to prevent rust and discoloration, lead deposits can build up when it corrodes. Not only is this harmful to drink, the deposits can build up and clog your plumbing.

If your home was built before this time period, consider giving your plumbing system a once over.

High Plumbing Repair Costs

If you seem to find a new plumbing problem every month, it might be time to replace the pipes in your home. Even if the issues seem minor, the repair costs can quickly add up over time. Instead of spending money on numerous small fixes, it might actually be cheaper to install a new plumbing system altogether.

What is Involved in Repiping a Home?

In this section, we’ll cover what happens before, during, and after a repiping.

  1. Inspection.

If you are unsure what kind of work you need completed, you don’t need to worry. The first step in the repiping process is an inspection conducted by a plumbing professional, who will listen to the problems you have been having and look for signs of the kind of work you need done. Without a thorough inspection, you can’t know what is involved in repiping a house.

  1. Estimate and Recommendations.

Once your repiping specialist finishes the inspection, they will give you their recommendations. Depending on the age of your home, the layout of your plumbing, your needs, and any other relevant details, they will recommend the best course of action, including which materials are best for your situation and what work is most urgent. You may need to replace everything or only a small section.

It is critical to think about how much you are willing to risk your home if you decide to only do a small section or to repipe your home bit by bit. It may help you budget to cover the costs, but if your pipes are at risk of failing, it could save you money in the long run to do the entire project at once.

You should also expect an estimate for the work that is to be done. Most plumbing companies, including Custom Plumbing of Arizona, offer a free estimate to give you an idea of the cost.

  1. Demolition.

Once you accept the estimate, it’s time for the professionals to get to work. If you watch even for a few minutes, you will see first-hand what is involved in repiping a house—and it’s a lot! From locating the pipes behind walls and in ceilings to demolition and installation, they do it all.

Good plumbers will take care to protect your home from any possible water damage during repairs, placing plastic sheeting over furniture and moving family possessions when necessary. They also need to turn off and drain any water lines.

Once they turn off your plumbing system, they will get to work cutting through your drywall. A plumber will try to remove as little material as possible to minimize reconstruction costs.

  1. Plumbing.

After your plumber has made their cuts, they will detach your old pipes and install new ones. For pipes in your floor, they will try to go through the ceiling of the bottom floor if possible.

Once the repiping is done, your plumber will need to turn the water lines back on in order to test the new pipes and determine if there are any leaks. If there are leaks, your professional will take care that they are patched up.

  1. Reconstruction.

Once it’s determined that all the pipes are working properly, your drywall contractor or other professional will need to patch up your walls. They should repair and seal your drywall, then paint over it for a nice, smooth finish.

How Long Will I Need to Wait for the Job to Finish?

The length of the repiping project will depend on how large your house is and how many bathrooms you have in your home. For small houses, a plumbing expert might take only two days to complete. However, larger houses could take up to a week.

Want more information on what is involved in repiping a house? Talk to the plumbing experts at Custom Plumbing of Arizona.

Get in touch with Custom Plumbing today if you are interested in receiving a free estimate for your home repiping project. Call us at 602-883-2761!