Repiping Your Home
What is Repiping?
In many older homes, pipes made of galvanized steel or another material that may one day begin corroding. This is much more likely in homes with small (even undetected) slab leaks. The corrosion may not be immediately obvious since the visible portions of the pipe look good. However, this is the part that doesn’t touch the water. The inside of the pipes become clogged with rust and the water pressure may begin slowing. In addition, the corrosion makes it easier for pipes to break or small leaks may occur that cause damage to your home from the inside out.
Repiping means that the old, rusty, damaged pipes are taken out. Then, new pipes are installed that improve water pressure and assure that the water entering your home is as fresh and clean as possible.
How Do You Know it's Time to Repipe Your Home?
Some of the most common signs that your home needs repiping include:
- Low water pressure
- Difficulty running water in more than one area at a time
- Slab leaks
- Red or discolored water
- Water with an odor
- You have gray polybutylene pipes
Repiping a home can be a big job, so it is best to work with an experienced professional. If you are in Fairfax or anywhere in the Northern Virginia region, contact us at Nichols & Phipps. We will work with you through all steps of this process.
Plumbing Pipe Types
PEX, or cross-linked polyethylene, is a modern choice for indoor piping. The pipes have become quite popular because they are flexible, durable and are some of the fastest to install in most homes. PEX is a solid, flexible material that is resistant to freezing and corrosion. Plus, the pipes do not cause much heat loss, getting hot water to you quickly!
Copper pipes are a good choice for many homeowners because of the durability aspect. In most cases, these pipes have a lifespan of around 50 years. Copper has a natural resistance to bacterial growth, keeping your water supply clean and safe. With the installation of these pipes, you will usually see an improvement in water pressure too.
PVC is a highly durable plastic/vinyl material. Since the pipes are not metal, they resist corrosion and do not rot over time. The durability of these pipes mean they can withstand bending and movement.
Another plastic type pipe is the CPVC pipe. This plastic material also has strength and flexibility. You’ll most often see these pipes used for lines transporting hot water because CPVC has extreme resistance to heat. In addition, they are also corrosion-resistant. Because these pipes cannot be exposed to sunlight, they must be used indoors or deep underground.
How Much Does it Cost to Repipe a Home in Northern Virginia?
If you have found that low water pressure or discolored water is a significant problem in your home, it may be time to replace your pipes. Or, on the other hand, if you are doing extensive remodeling or renovating you may have realized that replacing your pipes now would be more economical than waiting until the situation is urgent.
One of your biggest concerns about replacing pipes is likely the cost. Determining the cost is tricky and a bit intimidating.
First and foremost, work with a professional. The team at Nichols & Phipps would love to work with you on your project, but even if you do not choose us, make sure you research the chosen plumber and choose a firm with a good track record. Once you begin working with the plumber of your choice, there will be several factors that determine the final cost of the project.
- Home Size - The size of the home is a major factor in the cost. After all, with a larger home, more piping will need to be installed. A home with more bathrooms, appliances, or additional features such as a pool will raise replacement costs.
- Complexity of layout - It is easier to use the path of your existing plumbing, but sometimes that is just not possible. Sometimes there is a smoother route that needs to be explored for future ease.
- The height of Home - It will cost more to replace piping in a multi-story unit than a ranch-style home. The higher the plumber must work, the more labor required to get the piping up to these levels.
- Materials - We reviewed some of the different material options above. Each has a different price. Your choice of material will affect the final cost of the project.
- Demolition - When you replace existing pipes, there is some demolition required. Depending on the condition of the pipes and what type they were, the costs to demolish can vary.