Repiping your home or business is a massive endeavor and can be a headache depending on the existing plumbing and design of the property. Having said that, repiping is an almost unavoidable reality when you own a property. If you are unfamiliar with the perils and benefits of repiping, we will cover that here.
What Is Repiping?
The health of your entire plumbing system is dependant on the quality and integrity of your pipes. Repiping doesn’t mean you have to replace every pipe at once. It can mean replacing sections of pipe incrementally. But there are instances when whole house repiping is in order.
Replacing the pipes throughout an entire structure, which includes both the water supply and drain lines, may be a wise long term investment. Whole home repiping is a surefire way to remedy any chronic plumbing problems, and fix any minor plumbing issues that would have worsened over time.
Common Piping Materials Used in Homes:
- Chromed copper for water supply lines
- Galvanized iron for water supply lines
- Copper piping is a popular choice for water supply lines
- CPVC (Chlorinated Poly-Vinyl Chloride) for water supply lines
- PEX (Cross-linked Polyethylene) for water supply lines
- Cast iron for plumbing waste lines
- PVC pipes for waste lines
- Chromed brass for plumbing waste lines
Typically, whole house repiping projects can span anywhere from 3 days to a full week. As one would assume, the time it takes to repipe a home or business will depend largely on the size and layout of the structure, how many levels it is, and what kind of piping is being used for the project.
When Should You Repipe Your Home?
Old Piping – This is especially the case if you buy an older home. If you are thinking about buying a historic home, be sure to ask your realtor when the plumbing and piping were last updated. Generally speaking, the lifespan of piping should average about 50 years. It all depends on the piping material that was used when the home was built. Some homes built in the 1920s still have clay piping. Clay pipes typically last about 50-60 years. If you do the math, a home built in the 1920s that still has its original piping would definitely qualify for a whole home repiping today. There is one kind of piping material that should be replaced immediately if you find it in your home or business, and that’s lead pipes. Lead pipes contribute to adverse health effects and should be replaced as soon as possible. Aside from the material of the pipes, having older pipes can eventually lead to leaks, which can cause a pipe to burst. When that happens you’re dealing with much more than a plumbing problem. You’re also contending with potential water damage. If you suspect your piping is old and has surpassed its expiration date, call a professional to inspect your piping before opting for whole home repiping. It is better to be safe than sorry in these cases.
You Notice Multiple Leaks – No matter the age or material of the piping, leaks happen. Finding a leaky pipe before it turns into a larger problem is the best case scenario. When you start to notice multiple leaks, it may be time to look into repiping. Repiping could bring added peace of mind, even if you are only replacing a small section of piping.
Low Water Pressure – Low water pressure can be a red flag and shouldn’t be ignored. This could indicate that there is buildup in the pipes and they are becoming clogged. Clogged pipes can lead to larger plumbing issues like sewer line backup and cracked pipes.
Water Discoloration – This is a very common problem with older pipes. Discoloration indicates that there is rust or sediment in your waterline. If you have been out of town for an extended period of time, try running the water for a minute or two in the kitchen and bathrooms to flush out any sediment that may have accumulated during your time away. If this issue comes up when you are running hot water, it could be an issue with your water heater. If you continue to see brown, yellow or red colored water come from your faucets, this could mean that your pipes are deteriorating and rusting away. Both of the above situations would constitute giving your plumber a call to check out the situation. Repiping may be the necessary course of action.
Foul Odor Coming from Faucets – If you are noticing a foul smell, like that of rotting eggs, or your tap water has a bad taste to it, it may be a much larger problem. To be on the safe side, it is best to call a certified plumber to test your drinking water and assess what the cause is.
Extreme Temperature Fluctuations – Within your piping there are devices called anti-scald devices. These devices are valves that regulate your home’s water temperature. If you notice your water temperature dramatically switching from scalding hot to icy cold, there is a possibility that debris or materials may have broken off and become lodged in the anti-scald device. Depending on the severity of the issue, your plumber may suggest replacing a small section of piping, or undergoing an entire home repiping.
What Does Repiping Your Home Involve?
Whether you are repiping your entire home or simply replacing a small section of pipe, any repiping project requires some demolition to successfully do the job. Drywall will typically be removed and you will be without water for the length of the repiping project.
Trust that any professional plumbing service will protect your belongings and completely shore up any structural damage that was created during the repiping or piping replacement project. This includes covering all of your furniture and making sure any areas exposed to the elements will be sealed accordingly during the construction period.
Keep in mind that any repiping project, no matter the size, is a major plumbing effort and should only be left up to reputable and experienced plumbers. Once finished, your home should be cleaned and the water should be tested to see that everything is flowing properly and working correctly.
Are you considering repiping your home, or suspect that one or more of your existing pipes is leaking? Then it’s time to call the trusted plumbers at Detour Plumbing. We offer 24/7 plumbing services. Contact Detour Plumbing today: (661) 495-2483