Repiping 101 – How Does Repiping Work?

Occasional plumbing issues are a normal and expected part of homeownership, and localized repairs are typically sufficient to fix the problem at hand. When the problems become extensive and frequent, however, it may be time to consider repiping. Before deciding if this option is right for you, it is important to understand: what is repiping? Repiping is the process by which all the cold and hot water pipes throughout the entire home are removed and replaced.

Understandably, many homeowners are reluctant to consider undertaking such a huge plumbing project, but doing it all at once can be a more convenient and cost-effective option than constantly having to call your plumber to fix relatively minor issues. Of course, repiping your entire home will cause some “downtime” in your water service, but a skilled professional team should be able to perform the project with minimal disruption to your daily routine.

Signs It Could Be Time to Consider Repiping Your Home

repiping 101

Is repiping necessary for your home? It can be difficult to know when the cost and inconvenience of frequent plumbing issues become sufficient to warrant considering entirely repiping your home. Only a trained plumbing professional can advise you on the best solution for your home, but in general, these are some signs that it could be time to start thinking about repiping:

  • Your home is 50+ years old. Up through the mid-twentieth century, galvanized steel was the primary material used in plumbing. While galvanized steel is strong, it generally succumbs to corrosion after about 50 years and needs replacement. Even more modern pipes won’t last forever, so keep an eye on plumbing systems that could be reaching the end of their lifespan.
  • Rust and/or minerals are building up in your water. The two telltale signs of rust and mineral buildup are low water pressure and reddish-brown water coming out of the faucet. As rust or minerals accumulate over time, they slowly begin to constrict the flow of water, resulting in low water pressure. It takes a long time for this much buildup to occur, so by the time you notice it, it may be time to repipe. Red or brown water results when bits of rust break off from the pipes into your water supply, affecting your water quality.
  • Multiple pipe leaks. Occasional, isolated pipe leaks are to be expected from time to time, but frequent or recurring leaks may be a sign that the entire system is ready to be replaced. Full repiping may seem like a daunting task, but it will more than pay for itself by cutting down on plumber services and the expensive water bills associated with leaky pipes.

How Does Repiping Work?

Depending on the size of your house, repiping may take anywhere from a couple of days to a week. Typically, it is possible to do the bulk of the work that requires complete water shut off while you are out and about during the day, so you experience minimal disruption to your daily routine. To begin the repiping process, the plumbing team will first cover any carpet and furniture to protect them from dust and debris. They will then make small cuts in the wall and drywall to locate the pipes and then remove and replace them, leaving as much of the original building material as possible intact.

If further renovations are desired, such as installing a tankless water heater or expanding the water system to accommodate a remodel, this is when those additional alterations will be made. Finally, the drywall and other materials will be repaired, patched, and retextured so that it looks like nothing ever happened.

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Bay Area

At Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, we are proud to meet the plumbing needs of homeowners throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Whether you just need a few simple tune-ups, are looking for a reliable plumber to have on call for sudden leaky pipes and clogged drains, or are seriously considering a complete overhaul of your home’s water delivery system, our team is here to help. From diagnostics and emergency repairs to cleaning, maintenance, and the installation of new water systems, our highly skilled professionals do it all.