Much like a human needs to take care of their internal organs, a home’s internal organs often include a whole lot of plumbing. Between the walls and floors of a home is a sophisticated array of pipes that lead to bathrooms, kitchen sinks, and laundry rooms. Unfortunately, those pipes get old and there comes a point where you have to reconsider the piping.
Repiping your home includes many steps. The more you know about the process, the more you will understand the necessity and benefits of pipe changes. Follow this guide to get a complete overview of the process and learn about different options professional plumbers have for your home.
Age of the House
The age of a home will make a big difference in the necessity to repipe. Typically, the older a home is the more need you will have for new pipes. A full inspection of the home will determine the condition of the pipes. If the home was sold in recent years, new pipes could have been part of the purchase agreement.
If the home has stayed within a family or sold “as is”, then the pipes likely remain the same as when the house was first built. Even if some of the pipes are upgraded, not everything may have been changed out. Pipes located within walls could have been left in the same condition and not touched.
Along with a full visual inspection, a plumber will test water for any signs of pipe problems like corrosion, sediment, or lead.
Old Pipe Materials
Plumbing has evolved over the years as plumbers and scientists learn more about the materials used to carry water into a home. In homes that are over 50 years old, the inlet pipes may have lead material included in the piping. Lead exposure is dangerous to humans, especially in drinking water. A plumber would recommend lead pipe removal as soon as possible.
Another pipe material that needs replacement is Galvanized steel. Originally used for its strength, steel has showcased corrosion in water pipes. Pipes will often fill with sediment. Pieces of sediment could block pipes and cause poor water flow. Smaller particles can get in drinking water and bathwater.
A full replacement can dramatically change the quality of water in your home and prevent health issues or major plumbing problems.
Signs of Problems
The age of a home is not the only factor in repiping. You may have many signs of problems with the water in your home. Weak water pressure, dirty water, or water leaks are all major signs of plumbing issues. Not only will you notice the problems on your own, but a full plumbing inspection could pinpoint problems you weren’t even aware of.
In many cases, the problems may have a quick-fix solution but could return in the future. Repiping the home is the best method to fix your plumbing and help it last for years to come.
New Pipe Options
One of the more important options for the new pipes in your home is the replacement material you choose. The total cost of the process depends on the size of the home and the material you select. One of the more expensive options is copper pipes. Copper provides a reliable way to transport water in the home and has multiple benefits.
The copper is durable and should last a lifespan inside the home. The creation of copper pipes is less harmful to the environment than plastic pipes. Copper will not chip off or allow build-up on the inside of the pipe.
Cheaper options include plastic cross-linked polyethylene pipes known as PEX pipes. CPVC pipes are common and one of the most affordable options for a home. Many plumbers rely on CPVC pipes for any type of plumbing work. The thick plastic is durable, easy to install, and is a suitable replacement option.
When you hire a plumber for new pipe installation, expect a multi-day job. A plumber needs to access all the pipes in the home and some cuts in drywall are needed for specific sections of pipe. The water is shut off in your home for the duration of the project. You may consider staying with other family members or booking a hotel room.
The more you stay out of the house, the easier it will be for plumbers to complete the job. You will still have full access to everything but water. Ideally, you want to complete laundry and other tasks like dishes in the days that lead up to the job.
A plumber will patch up and replace any drywall that needs to be cut into. In many cases, a majority of the pipes will be located in the basement area for easy access, but second-story pipes will likely need full wall access. Purchase the same paint color for the wall so you can touch up areas that were cut into.
For more information on repiping and plumbing upgrades, contact us at Swan Electric Plumbing, Heating & Air. We can set up an appointment and inspection to provide you with a full estimate of the changes needed for your home.