Many homes built before 1960 relied on galvanized steel pipes for their plumbing system. At the time, galvanized plumbing was an ideal alternative to lead or copper pipes. Although zinc coating gave the steel pipes some protection, time and wear and tear wear that coating away, leading to corrosion. Once corrosion starts, you may get rust-colored water or leaks. The best way to deal with old plumbing like galvanized steel is to replace it. Call Apex Plumbing, Heating, and Air Pros and find out how cost-effective our house repiping services can be.
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Signs You Need a Home Repipe
Many homeowners ignore signs that their plumbing system is failing and end up paying a lot more for repairs or replacement than they otherwise would have if they dealt with the problem right away. Recognizing the signs that your pipes need replacing can save you the expense of water damage and health problems. Here are a few signs that indicate you need a whole house repipe.
- Your Plumbing is Old: The lifespan of your home’s pipes depends on the materials used and the climate you live in. If your pipes are over 50 years old, chances are they’re made from galvanized steel, which is likely now corroding. If you still have galvanized plumbing, call a repipe contractor to find out how to replace them.
- Visible Corrosion: If you see corrosion on your pipes, it means that the entire system’s structural integrity is probably compromised. Inspect your home’s pipes regularly and watch out for signs of rust.
- Leaks: Most people prefer to patch leaking pipes rather than replace them. However, if one of your pipes is rusted and leaking, chances are all of them are in the same shape. Sometimes, a whole house repipe is the best solution.
- Poor Water Quality: If you start getting rusty or yellow water out of your home’s faucets, it means that the water quality has been compromised. When this happens, plan for a repiping sooner rather than later.
5 Things to Ask When Hiring a Repipe Contractor
Repiping a home not only allows you to fix annoying plumbing problems but it improves overall performance and increases the value of your home. There are many options to consider for your repipe job, including copper, PVC, or PEX tubing. Before you take the plunge and hire a contractor, ask these five essential questions before making your decision.
- What Materials Will you Use? Not all plumbers can perform the same kind of repairs. Some plumbers have less or no experience with certain materials, while others specialize in a particular area. Don’t assume the plumber you’re hiring knows everything -- find out beforehand if they’re the right company for the job.
- What are Your Credentials? The right plumbing contractor must be experienced, licensed, registered, and insured. Again, don’t assume these things; ask, ask upfront before allowing the work to begin. It’s also wise to check with the licensing agency to ensure the company’s credentials are current.
- What Kinds of Jobs Do You Do?: Some plumbing contractors work primarily in the residential space, others in the commercial realm, while others do it all. Find out which plumbing company has the most experience doing the kind of job you need doing.
- What Do You Charge? It’s best if you can get an estimate before you agree to hire a particular company, and to do that, they must come to the property and inspect it. Be wary of any company that gives you an estimate sight unseen. Every repiping job is different, and it’s best to know what to expect cost-wise before making a commitment. Also, be sure to get estimates from several companies before making your final decision.
- What’s Included? It’s common to think that everything is included in the estimate you received, but that’s often not the case. The plumbing company may not clean up when finished or may only work certain hours, which can mean more money out of your pocket if the job takes longer than anticipated. Be clear upfront about exactly what you’re getting for the price, and get it in writing.
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How Long Does a Whole House Repipe Take?
The time it takes to repipe a home is based on various factors including, the size of the house, number of bathrooms, and materials used. Repiping a small home can be done in as little as two days, while larger homes can take a week or more.
The good news about repiping a home is that you won’t be without water while the work is being done. Most of the time, the contractor builds the new plumbing system alongside the old one, so the only time you’ll be without water is when they’re changing the old system over to the new one.