When Should You Repipe a House?

copper pipes

Is It Time To Repipe?

There are times when a home has a lot of plumbing issues to the point where repiping plumbing is the only way to fix them. Those reasons could be the existing pipes have become corroded which is affecting the water pressure, the water is rusty when it comes out, or there are multiple leaks. When somebody buys an older home, they will often repipe the entire house before finishing out the walls and painting.

The process of repiping plumbing is done by installing the whole-house repiping, often with copper pipes, PEX, or a combination of both.  The process is typically started by removing all the old accessible piping first, then determine what is needed to install the home repiping with PEX or repipe plumbing copper for the new plumbing system.

The decision what type of material to use for repiping plumbing in a house is determined by different factors such as budget and climate. The climate is a major concern in areas where the pipes may be buried where the ground is frozen for a good part of the winter months. There are several more questions when it comes to repipe and plumbing a structure, which we are going to address and answer here.

Does Repiping a house add value?

The piping in your home provides water much like the various lines to the HVAC system provide you heating and cooling. For any home with questionable water pipes, whatever home repiping costs maybe are worth it. A few of the benefits you can expect to have when you repipe your home:

  • Water Supply Will Be Rust-Free: One way to know if the pipes in a home are older and beginning to fail will have rust running through the pipes and out the faucets. Rusty water isn’t something anyone wants to drink or bathe in. By repiping plumbing the entire house, you will eliminate that rusty water and make the water taste better.
  • Water Pressure Improves: As a plumbing system ages, the water pressure begins to weaken because the pipes have become corroded. A total house water pipe replacement with new copper lines or PEX piping will improve the water pressure because it will have a better flow, making bathing and washing dishes easier and pleasant.
  • Plumbing System is Safer: With PEX piping, they are better for your health because they do not corrode, or rust and they fight the growth of bacteria.
  • Plumbing Leaks Stopped: Old pipes are prone to leak which can cause water damage with mold growth to follow. By repiping your entire house, you will be getting rid of any possible leaks, possible water damage, and mold growth as well as minimize the chance of freezing water pipes in the winter.
  • Home Value Increases: With total house repipe plumbing, the value will increase immediately and make the property more appealing.

Whats better PEX or copper?

PEX piping won’t degrade as copper does and it is more resistant to freezing and bursting than copper because it is flexible. PEX Tubing is less expensive and easier to install. The following are the pros and cons of PEX over copper pipe to repipe plumbing in your home:  

The Pros:

  • PEX is less likely to have leaks because it won’t corrode like copper, it resists freezing longer and it has a higher PSI to withstand bursting.
  • PEX Tubing is becoming standard for the plumbing industry.
  • City water supplies often have high levels of acid and other corrosive matters that eat copper tubing walls. PEX plumbing is resistant to those corrosive matters.
  • PEX is less expensive and it is easier to install, making labor charges less.
  • PEX tubing is flexible and an extruded manufactured product that is stored and shipped on spools, where it can be easily cut to practical lengths. The cost to ship and handle this product is much less than copper because it is lighter and easier to store.
  • PEX repipe plumbing does not require as many fittings as rigid copper piping and can be to flexed to make 90-degree corners without the usual elbow fittings. Because PEX tubing is unrolled from a spool, long runs can be made without coupling fittings.
  • No soldering is needed to attach PEX tubing to fittings, eliminating any possible health hazards from acid flux or lead-based solder.
  • PEX does not require a torch for making connections, thus making it safer for repipe plumbing installations.
  • With PEX, the water will flow quieter, almost eliminating the “water hammer” noise that is characteristic of copper piping.
  • With complete repipe plumbing using PEX, by installing from the water source, a manifold is used for each faucet, reducing water pressure loss at any of the faucets when the water is turned on elsewhere.
  • PEX piping uses push type fittings that do not require special installation tools. These fittings are more expensive than traditional plumbing fittings, but water leaks can be repaired without cutting the water off.

The Cons:

  • PEX is susceptible to damage by rodent and UV rays. It is recommended not to use PEX Tubing where it isn’t exposed to constant sun when repiping plumbing for your home, and to make your home rodent resistant.
  • Because PEX piping is flexible, if it rubs each time the water is turned off and on, it can begin leaking. This can be minimized by using bend protectors for any 90 degrees turn and to protect any hold the PEX runs through.

How long does it take to Repipe a whole-house?

Repiping plumbing for a whole home typically takes anywhere from two days to a full week, all depending on home’s size and what kind of piping system is in place. The process begins by preparations for repiping, and most plumbers are now using PEX pipe. This makes for a minimally invasive process, thus lowering the construction site in and around your home.

  • There will still be the need for drilling/sawing of holes, pipes and equipment, ladders, and tools will be used. It is recommended to remove any belongs and furniture of value before a job of repiping plumbing begins and request the plumber to use drop cloths to cover the flooring and what can’t be easily moved such as heavy furniture.
  • Next a pressurized potable water system is installed to create a safe working space without disconnecting the current piping. This enables you to live in the house while the repiping is being done.
  • The changeover is the next step is the longest step of this repiping plumbing process. The old plumbing system is turned off and all tie-ins are unplugged from the water service with the new piping tied in.
  • Finally, the clean-up is done!
many pipes in a wall

Is Repiping covered by insurance?

Typically, repiping is not covered because complete repiping plumbing is considered by most insurance companies as a preventative measure, not a replacement measure. However, if there is any corroded pipes or failing pipes that have caused damage, they will pay for that damage to be repaired.

Each homeowner’s insurance policy is different, so you should review yours before scheduling a job for repiping plumbing so that you know how to budget the job. Some policies may pay for professional plumber services to fix an issue while some policies will only pay for water damage.

If the plumbing problems stem for homeowner’s lack of maintenance or neglect, most homeowner’s insurance claims will be denied.  Many homeowner insurance companies pay for any damage caused by a water leak twice, after that, they may consider the house to be a high risk and cancel the policy.

While copper piping is still in existence and will be for the unforeseeable future as it is still used in some cases, PEX piping is the preferred choice by contractors today. As such, it is almost exclusively used in new construction and for repiping plumbing in existing homes. The benefits of PEX far outweigh that of copper piping and should be considered when repiping a home. Want to get started on repiping your house in Fort Worth, TX? Call Slab Leak Solutions at 817-281-5325 today!