Pipe Repair & Replacement
Home plumbing is designed to last for decade after decade of repeated use. But even the most durable materials are susceptible to corrosion over time. Take galvanized steel plumbing for example, it has an expected lifetime of 80 years but depending on the quality of water and what kind of cleaners you use to clean your fixtures the material can break down much sooner than expected.
What is Pipe Repair?
Pipe repair describes a process in which your plumber identifies the source of a leak or clog within the plumbing system and replaces a specific piece of plumbing. These repairs are typically quick jobs that involve a few hours of work and solve a specific issue. Another term for this type of repair is called point repair because it involves a localized area within your home. Depending on the health of your plumbing system, these small repairs could go on for years without the need for any more extensive work.
What is Pipe Replacement?
Pipe replacement is the process of completely stripping and upgrading your home’s plumbing system. This is obviously the most extreme and invasive plumbing repair that can be made, so be sure to discuss with your plumber to ensure there are no other options available. When a complete pipe replacement is recommended, it is because the leaks and corrosion issues within the system are so numerous that they are affecting the purity of the water and the quality of life for the homeowner. A word of advice would be to conduct a pipe replacement during a renovation when your home is already an active construction zone. If your system was created in the '80's or '90's your home could have had Polybutylene pipes installed. These pipes were a way to replace copper piping but were later discovered to be ineffective. Read more about that here.
Warning Signs for Pipe Replacement
Plumbing issues can range anywhere from small leaks and a gradual loss of water pressure, to more dramatic issues such as bursting pipes and flooding. To ensure you are always aware of what’s happening with your home’s plumbing system and when it may be time for a replacement, let’s take a look at some of the warning signs below.
There Is Discolored Brown or Yellow Water Coming Out Of The Faucets
When you see these colors in your water, especially on a daily basis it can be a sign that there is rust in the pipes. While some rust is to be expected over time, it’s usually a sign of wider issues and should be inspected by a plumber.
You Find Yourself Calling for Plumbing Repairs On A Monthly Or Weekly Basis
While having a good relationship with your plumber is important if you are seeing them for point repairs more than a few times a year it may be time to think about a complete pipe replacement. A pipe replacement may be expensive at the front end, but it will likely save you money over time on plumbing repairs.
As mentioned above, the decision ultimately lies with you as the homeowner to continue doing point repairs or to completely replace the plumbing system. Even if you are not having frequent plumbing issues it’s still important to have your plumbing inspected 1-2 times per year to ensure the system is wearing well. If you have any questions about home plumbing repair or would like to schedule an appointment give our experienced team at Jolly Plumbing a call today!
Pipe Repair & Replacement Frequently Asked Questions
When Should I Replace My Water Pipes?
It may surprise you to learn that just because a pipe in your home is old, it may not be necessary to replace it. For instance, copper supply lines have an expected lifespan of 70 to 80 years. That being said, there is always the possibility that your water pipes need to be replaced. Most times, the key is that you’re looking for performance in that most water pipes don’t need to be replaced until a problem or potential problem becomes evident.
When you handle your regular maintenance around the home, it can be helpful to examine your visible pipes. You want to be on the lookout for leaks, cracks, and corrosion during your visual inspection. Even a tiny leak can be a severe problem when it comes to water damage and increased utility bills. In addition, cracks and corrosion could lead to a pipe bursting causing even more problems.
In addition to the visible check, you should also monitor your pipes and plumbing. Some signs that it may be time to replace water pipes or fixtures include low water pressure, discolored water, or dangerous materials. These can all be signs that there is an issue with your plumbing that needs to be addressed.
When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to contact Jolly Plumbing to evaluate your pipes. You may miss signs that your water pipes need to be replaced and end up with a larger bill on your hands.
How Many Days Does It Take To Repipe a House?
It’s time to replace the pipes in your home. The next question you ask yourself is how long you will have to be dealing with life without running water in your home. It can be a scary scenario and may make some think twice about having their plumbing taken care of at that time.
The good news is that often, the work can be done during the day with your water shut off throughout your home, but at night, the water can usually be turned back on, so it shouldn’t interrupt your evening and morning routines. In some cases, you may not even have your water shut off during the day if they build the new plumbing system next to the old one. In this instance, you’d only have your water shut off when the new plumbing becomes the main plumbing in the home and old plumbing is removed.
When it comes to the length of time it takes to repipe a home, it depends. There is a variety of factors in play. Is the entire house being repiped or only a section? Was your home during the 80's when Polybutylene Pipe was installed? How many vanities, cabinets, walls, and other fixtures must be moved to get to the pipes? The answers to these questions can help to narrow down the answer. Small projects can take just a few days, while repiping a whole home can take up to a week, depending on the size of the house.
The easiest way to learn more about how long your particular project will take is to talk to your plumbing service. They can go over the specifics for your home and give you a better idea about how long they estimate it will take.
What Is the Best Material to Repipe a House?
Three materials are currently being used on the market to repipe homes that are some of the best options available: CPVC, copper, and PEX.
CPVC, which stands for Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride, is a more robust version of PVC pipes you may already be familiar with for other projects. It can be a good option as it has a more economical price tag, is safe for drinking water, is flexible, and can withstand high temperatures as needed for hot water running through your home. It’s also doesn’t rust, is flame resistant, and insulated. However, this may not be a good choice if you’re having your whole home repiped as it doesn’t last as long as some of the other materials available. Also, over time, it can get brittle, which can lead to cracking.
Copper is a prevalent material, thanks to the qualities that this metal offers. Copper doesn’t need as much maintenance as other metals used in plumbing. It doesn’t corrode, can tolerate heat, can be recycled, and is safe for drinking water. In addition, copper has been shown to have antimicrobial properties. However, copper can be a more expensive option, especially when doing the entire home’s pipes in copper.
PEX, also known as cross-linked polyethylene, is a popular option thanks to its properties. Unlike CPVC, it lasts longer and is cheaper than copper. In addition, it’s flexible, lightweight, and safe for drinking water. It’s also easier to use in older homes as it can fit into tight spaces.
The best material for every project may be a bit different. To find out what material is best for you contact the educated professionals at Jolly Plumbing. Their 30 years of experience can easily evaluate what pipe is best for your project. Call us today to learn more about which material is the best for your particular needs.
Jolly Plumbing is your local plumbing and heating company. We promise to offer you upstanding customer service, experienced workers, and a job done right the first time. We offer affordable plumbing services to both residential and commercial sites, so no matter the size of your job, we can handle it. Contact Jolly Plumbing today at 719-473-8545 for any of your plumbing problems.