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Over time, the best of plumbing systems need replacing. The copper pipes may become frail, iron or galvanized steel pipes may corrode — affecting the water quality. The time to repipe your house will come eventually. If you’re wondering about the costs to replace the plumbing in an old house, we will tell you exactly how much.
Although every house has its own plumbing requirement, this article will give you a basic idea of how much will your overall plumbing project cost based on the type of piping you use and the extent of the work.
And, there’s good news for those on a shoestring budget. You can replace your plumbing in sections if you so desire. Just identify the areas that need replacing the pipe at and get to work.
For instance, if you see that some of your taps have low water pressure, this could be because of corroding galvanized pipes in that particular location. Since galvanized pipes release iron and can cause leaks, discoloration, or rusty drinking water, it’s best to replace them at the earliest. A delay could mean pipes bursting under a slab foundation.
Keep in mind that whenever you remodel a portion of your house, you must inspect all the plumbing lines that you expose while opening up the walls and floors.
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If you’re in doubt, it’s advisable to seek the help of a reliable plumber. They will tell you whether it’s time for a complete pipe replacement or a partial one. Moreover, plumbers carry liability insurance. A homeowners’ insurance will cover only a professionally installed work — not a DIY project work!
If you’re opting for a large plumbing project, a plumber will guide you regarding the requirement of a plumbing permit to comply with local building codes — and will even get them for you.
The typical method to repipe a house is by installing the new pipes first, transferring the water supply to the new system, and then draining out the old pipes. A whole-house repipe usually takes between two days to an entire week to complete. Of course, the exact duration depends on the size of your home and the type of piping system already in place.
Read more: How to maintain an old house
Cost to install or replace plumbing pipes
The average cost to replace plumbing in an old house is approximately $8,300. Costs for replacement or installing new plumbing ranges from $1,500 to $15,000 (or higher). It translates to $4.50 per square foot for plumbing in a new construction. Smaller plumbing jobs will cost will range from $350 to$1,780.
New water pipe installation projects in residences are bid by the fixtures that you install or replace — not by square foot (as in the case of commercial plumbing installations that cost $4 to $10 per square foot).
Do take a look at the table below for a clear idea regarding the plumbing costs.
|Location/Appliances||Average repiping costs|
|Bathroom plumbing||$1,500 – $4,000|
|Kitchen plumbing||$1,600 – $3,200|
|Water Heater||$600 – $1,600|
|Washer||$600 – $1,600|
|Dryer/Stove/Furnace||$1,800 – $4,800|
Your total plumbing price depends on the location of the pipes are located, the number of bathrooms you have, or if you require a complete repipe or just a visible repipe.
Plumbing cost factors
The cost to replace plumbing in an old house varies based on the layout of your home, the number of stories, the location of bathrooms/kitchen, ease of access, and whether the repiping requires a wall demolition. Let’s explore some of these price factors:
- House size: Bigger the house, more will be the piping materials used. Not to forget, more number of labor hours required to install the new plumbing system.
- Number of stories: Repiping a multi-story home costs more. The cost increases significantly as some walls may need demolition in order to reach and replace vertical pipes.
- Number of plumbing fixtures: These plumbing fixtures include bathroom sinks, toilets, dishwashers, water heater, showers, bathtub, washing machines, and bathroom or kitchen faucets. The more fixtures in a house, the higher will be the cost to replumb.
- Ease of accessibility: It’s a task to replace plumbing systems that are only accessible through a basement, closets, or small crawlspaces. The limited space requires additional effort and time (and money) to remove the old pipes and install new ones.
- Diameter and type of pipe: Different piping materials come at different costs. Furthermore, the cost increases as the diameter increases.
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Popular piping material costs
|Copper pipes||$2 to $8 per linear foot||Accepted by all building codes.|
More expensive than plastic.
Doesn’t leach harmful chemicals or gases.
Can corrode over time.
|PEX pipes and tubing||$0.40 to $2.00 per linear foot||Flexible tubing.|
Great for full pipe replacements and sectional repairs.
Made from cross-linked polyethylene or HDPE (high density polyethylene).
Resists scale and chlorine.
Doesn’t develop pinhole leaks.
|Chlorinated polyvinylchloride pipes (CPVC)||$0.50 to $1 per linear foot||Rigid type of pipe.|
May leak or burst if installed incorrectly.
Keep in mind that polybutylene, galvanized, lead or cast-iron pipes have been discontinued. And for good reason. While polybutylene and cast iron are fragile and prone to breaking, lead is toxic, and galvanized steel rusts.