What’s not to love about an old house? Imagine the stories it would have if walls could talk. Perhaps the only thing that’s hard to love about an old house is the to-do list that will probably never go away when you own it. One thing that might land on that list depending on the age of the structure is a whole house repiping, and here’s what you can expect if that’s in your future.
There are few solid reasons that it’s time for whole house repiping. If your home is very old and has lead pipes, it’s wise to consider the job for the health of your family. This type of pipe usually exists in homes built well before 1920. The same goes for galvanized steel. It was a popular construction material in the U.S. but the material corrodes over time and must be replaced. If you find yourself calling the plumber often, that’s another sign that your house might be ripe for a repiping.
If you already have a plumber for the job, you can skip to the next item. If you don’t, you’ll have to go through the process of getting estimates for the job. The golden rule is to get three to be sure you’re getting a fair price for the work. Having a professional look at the situation also informs if you need to repipe the whole house at once, or if you can go section by section over time.
The first thing that your plumber will do is shut off the water to the house. It will remain that way for the entire job, so if you have some place comfortable to wait out the project, it’s a good option. Specialized tools will be used to identify the exact location of the pipes to minimize the damage to the drywall. Replacement pipes are installed through holes in the drywall which are patched and repaired once the new piping is in place.
The answer to this question depends entirely on the size of your home. A large home could take a week or more to repipe. A small home might be done in a day or two. The estimated time for completion will be included in your estimate and it’s wise to check in with the plumber each day during the job for a progress update.