If you are looking into replacing your home's plumbing pipes, you will typically spend between $2,000 and $8,000 for PEX piping OR between $2,500 and $15,000 for copper piping, including labor and materials.
To narrow that down, re-piping a small 1-bathroom home with PEX costs about $2,000-$3,000. For a 2.5 bath, 3 bedroom home, the cost will be $3,000-$7,000 or higher. Copper pipes will add approximately 20-25 percent to these figures.
The cost to re-pipe your house varies according to:
- size of your home and number of stories
- number of plumbing fixtures (sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, etc.) and water-consuming appliances
- accessibility of plumbing system
- whether you use copper or PEX pipes
Reasons to Re-Pipe a House
Plumbing Problem Cause
OLD COPPER PIPES
Pinhole leaks due to poor quality copper and/or acidic water.
GALVANIZED METAL PIPES
Rusts easily resulting in lowered pressure, unhealthy drinking water and damage to fixtures.
Serious danger of pipe splitting and flooding. Difficult or impossible to insure this piping.
KITEC® BRASS PIPE FITTINGS
De-zincify resulting in lowered pressure and weakening of the fitting, with possible leaks and floods. Class action suit in progress against the manufacturers.
CPVC PIPE (after 8-10 years)
Vulnerable to chlorine and high temperatures, especially after about 8-10 years. Danger of splitting and flooding.
PIPE INSTALLATION NOT TO CODE
Potential hazard. Can cause difficulties insuring or selling your home.
Can cause weak spots in plumbing pipes.
TREE ROOT INTRUSION
Causes slow leaks and lowered pressure.
Severe damage to a wall from a storm, vehicle impact, etc. can affect nearby pipes as well.
Cost to re-pipe a house will normally include:
- Materials and Supplies -- The main material is plumbing pipe, either copper or PEX. Copper pipes are bacteria-resistant, not UV sensitive, and recyclable; however, they are more expensive, can corrode, sometimes give water a metallic taste, and may burst in freezing temperatures. PEX is flexible, resists bursting and corrosion, retains heat better than copper, and is easy to shut off; its disadvantages are it cannot be used outdoors because of a UV sensitivity, it cannot be recycled, and it allows for the possibility of water contamination. Other materials include: plumbing feed lines, main valves, shutoff valves, and flexible supply lines.
- Labor -- Your plumber will need to install the piping, divert the water to the new pipes, and shut off the old pipes. Usually the old piping can be capped and left where it is; if you'd like your plumber to remove it, this may add to the expense. Repairs to drywall and finishing work may or may not be included in the re-piping contract.
- Estimate -- The initial estimate, which may include an onsite inspection, is often free.
Get the Most for Your Money
Don't take any chances with your home's plumbing pipes. If a licensed plumber advises you to have the house re-piped, take this advice very seriously. Ask for a second opinion, if you want to be doubly sure, but then go ahead and have the problem taken care of. WARNING: If you experience a major pipe burst, a flood report will be filed. This will discourage potential future homebuyers due to the danger of mold in your house.