How Much to Replumb a House?

  • Due to multiple fractures or simply the age of the pipe material in your house, it may be necessary to replumb it with a more modern and healthier type of pipe. 
  • Read this article to learn what to do to ensure your new plumbing project keeps your house and its walls dry. 
  • In the paragraphs below, we’re checking if it’s time to replumb your house. We’re also discovering how much the pipe replacement costs depending on the variables like pipe type, materials, and dimensions.

Every now and then, it may become necessary to replumb (also known as repiping) an entire home or installing new plumbing.

In this article, we’ll tackle the most common reasons why this is needed, and we’ll take a look at the cost of this enterprise. 

When should I replumb my house?

There are several reasons why you should consider replumbing your house. Let’s break them down in the paragraphs below:

Water is red or brown

Reddish or brownish water tint is a sure sign that plumbing in your house isn’t at its best. 

Unfortunately, some types of pipes rust over time. 

When the rust piping invades your water supply in the household, you’ll notice that tap water has changed its color. 

Reddish or brown tap water is a call to action! 

Your drinking water quality is lower. This, in turn, may affect your health. 

Your home is old

Consider that the age of your home is something to be proud and happy with, yet, plumbing pipes don’t get better with time (like wine).

So if your home is 50 years old or older, and your current pipes are there since the beginning, think about pipe replacement.

In this type of old house, there were usually galvanized pipes installed. We, unfortunately, know them for being the ones that burst and corrode with time. 

Low water pressure

If you get frustrated every time you take a shower and can’t have a proper water massage or wait for ages to fill any water tank, water in your house may have low pressure. 

 If water doesn’t come out of your faucets as fast as it should, your pipes may be in the process of closing up. 

Low water pressure happens due to rust or mineral buildup (this process actually takes years). 

In other words, your pipes will need to be replaced.

Many pipe leaks

If it happens once, you need to react and call for a plumber, that’s for sure. 

At this point, you don’t need to consider repiping the plumbing system in the entire house. 

Yet, the plumber may suggest it if the situation repeats over and over. 

If pipe leaks are a common occurrence in your home, consider the investment of repiping your house.

While it may seem a cost at first, think how many times you call for a plumber to fix isolated cases. Then, you’ll understand that this can pay off. 

You’ll avoid not only the costs of frequent plumbing repairs but also save water you lose with every leak each time. 

How much does it cost to replace piping in the whole house?

So what is the average cost to replumb a house?

The average cost of plumbing a house per square foot is about $4.50 per square foot.

So the cost to replace old pipes or install new plumbing in an entire house ranges from $1,500 to $15,000 depending on:

  • the type of piping, 
  • dimensions, and 
  • the complexity of the process (location for permitting, materials, cost of labor). 

It gives an average of $8,250 for the house. 

Other sources say that the cost of repiping a house with two bathrooms is $8,500, with the low starting around $2,000 for PEX tubing to $15,000 for copper.  

Polybutylene and lead pipe replacement cost

Here, it’s not about having better pipes, but it’s necessary to replumb a house for health security reasons. 

Be aware because lead plumbing pipes can lead to lead poisoning for pets, family members, and even plants! 

Test the water in your home for elevated lead levels. 

Also, polybutylene needs to be replaced because these pipes are only a temporary solution.

Not to mention they are also weaker than newer PVC or PEX pipes. 

Having the whole home repiped ranges between $2,500 and $15,000 depending on the layout.

Important: For homes built between January 1, 1978, to July 31, 1995, Cox settlement stemming from Cox v. Shell case can cover 100% of the price for polybutylene pipes with acetal plastic fasteners.

Galvanized pipes replacement 

Replacing galvanized pipes (the typical old pipes of galvanized steel) costs $4,650 on average (ranging from $1,500 to $8,000), depending on the number of fixtures.

The average cost of this replumbing project is equal to that for every pipe type. So taking it down shouldn’t be a problem. 

Galvanized pipes are safer than lead pipes. They also last longer than polybutylene pipes.

Although some contractors will suggest updating only visible pipes, when galvanized pipes are worn down, the ultimate damage can negatively affect the waterlines.

A plumber will use: 

  • PEX (flexible plastic tubing created out of cross-linked polyethylene), or 
  • CPVC (rigid plastic plies created out of chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) 

as a replacement material.

If it’s unnecessary to repipe a house but small piping sections have to be replaced with new pipes, the average cost will be $1,042 (ranging from $350 to $1,774).

A replumbing project―elements

Among the main and additional labor when replumbing, a plumber needs to: 

  1. cut open floors and walls, 
  2. remove old piping, 
  3. replace the piping, 
  4. repair the walls and floors in the house;  

Take into consideration that plumbers and contractors usually count it as one job project. 

Cost to replumb a house―factors

There are at least four factors that influence the cost of plumbing a house with PEX or copper. 

How many fixtures 

The bigger the number of water line appliances (like the kitchen sink, water heater, toilet, shower, dishwasher, washing machine, bathtub, bathroom home),  the more repiping services will cost. 

More time, more materials needed, it all adds to the price. 

Access difficulties

Piping can be everywhere; it can run in walls, floors, and ceilings.  

If it takes time to access them, you’ll have to pay. One thing you can do is moving furniture by yourself before the plumbing service comes to your house. 

Pipes whose access is in closets or crawlspaces cost more than those that are simply behind walls. 

One advantage of PEX tubing as we can run it with less invasive demolition.

Type of pipe

There are three major types of pipe used in homes: 

  • PEX piping

Depending upon the square foot, expect to pay between $2,000 and $5,000 to repipe a house with PEX.

PEX is the most popular, flexible, affordable, and least time-consuming replacement piping option.

  • CPVC piping (polyvinyl chloride, the world’s third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer)
  • Copper piping;  

House with copper piping is costly. It calls for the most demolition, and the materials are expensive.

Copper pipe is one of the most durable and longest-lasting piping materials. However, expect to pay the price ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 to repipe an entire home ($2 to $5 per foot).

Square feet

We can’t forget about the size and dimensions surface where pipes are. 

Homes with a large number of the square foot are great, but they are also more costly to maintain.

Repiping takes more time and costs more if your home is larger; it has more fixtures, requires more piping, fittings, and labor.

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Frequently Asked Questions

While repiping your house, a plumber will need to remove small sections of your dry wall to access and replace pipes. It may take from a few days up to one week in a house of average size. Repiping a house is a major plumbing repair, so go for plumbers with experience, even if the cost isn't your favorite at first.
You will need to cut into walls and ceilings to access and remove the old pipes. It's around $300 and $1,000 for ceiling repair and $300 to $800 (all the way up to $1,400+) for drywall repairs (depending on the number of walls).
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