How Much Should A Repipe Cost?
Here at Repipe Specialists, most of our repipes fall somewhere between $4,500 for a two-bedroom, one-bath house, and up to $15,000 for a much larger, more complicated job. Further down in the article, we review key factors to consider when comparing repipe quotes.
If you are researching repipe pricing for large multi-family properties (HOA's, condos, apartments, etc), then visit our Multi-Family Division site. Repipe Specialists' Multi-Family Division can provide quotations on complex multi-unit projects; including project management support across tenant units and project financing.
Key factors that influence residential repipe pricing:
- Type of piping material, with copper pipe vs PEX tubing being the primary choices. PEX can be significantly less expensive than copper. Read our article: Is PEX a Good Choice for Repiping?, for more on PEX.
- Pipe quality and specification: quality (and cost) of selected plumbing material can vary greatly. Copper comes in a variety of thicknesses and grades - and some non-US suppliers have been known to have inconsistent manufacturing quality. PEX tubing is also manufactured by several companies, with varying levels of quality. Here at Repipe Specialists we only use Uponor PEX tubing, and American made Grade L copper piping (and back both with lifetime warranties).
- Types of connectors and fittings: there are many grades and types of various fittings and connectors used in a repipe project. Pressure regulators, shut-off valves, tube connecting systems, etc.
- The number of plumbing outlets: showers, faucets, toilets, laundry facilities, etc.
- The overall linear feet of plumbing required.
- Accessibility of plumbing can influence labor costs significantly. Attics, raised foundations, open sub-flooring, basements, standard hollow wall construction (drywall over wood framing), etc.: these are all common home features that can reduce labor costs associated with running new pipe.
- A note on slab foundations and slab leaks: a key benefit of a repipe vs a repair is that we can actually bypass slabs completely, running new pipe through walls and attics. Read our article on Should I Repair or Repipe After a Slab Leak? to learn more.
- Included services and common add-ons: drywall repair, new water heaters, pressure regulators, main service lines from street to house, coordination of the repipe building permit process, expectations around cleanup and protection (i.e., protecting home interiors with plastic sheeting and floor coverings).
- And finally,the type of plumbing company used for the repipe. Specialist repiping companies can usually perform a repipe for less than a generalist plumber. Here at Repipe Specialists, we've found our quotes are often as much as half that of some generalist plumber quotes. Read more about Choosing A Repipe Company: Specialists vs General Plumbers.
Our local estimators can provide you with a fixed price quote, with a clearly specified scope-of-work and material specifications. Contact us by phone or email to arrange a free consult.
Repair vs Repipe: Which Is More Cost-Effective?
If you've had one or more leaks, you are faced with a choice of just continuing to repair leaks as they occur, or going for a complete replumbing of your home. Which is more cost-effective?
When deciding on repair vs repipe - the most important consideration is determining whether you have a systemic plumbing issue, or just a point problem.
There will be virtually no scenario - when you have a systemic plumbing issue - where a pipe repair is more cost-effective than a repipe.
If your plumbing issue is related to pipe leaks; once you have one failure, you will likely have more to follow. Water damage remediation (or mold remediation potentially, in the case of a slow leak) is almost always more expensive (and intrusive) than a repipe. That's without even factoring in the cumulative costs of successive plumbing repairs.
If your plumbing issue is related to clogged or corroded water pipes, leading to low pressure and rusty water - then again, a repipe is really your only viable option. In the case of low water pressure and low water flow (when caused by constricted plumbing - like in old, corroded galvanized plumbing) - a common practice is to raise the pressure setting on the water pressure regulator. While this might increase flow and pressure in the short term - the underlying problem is not resolved, and you raise the risk of pipe leaks due to the higher than standard pressures.
We've gotten feedback from many customers, that they wish they'd known about how easy, and affordable, a whole home repipe can be (after spending tons on successive repairs and water damage). We've perfected our One Stop Repipe™ process, and can typically complete a whole home repipe in only one or two days. We can handle everything - including drywall repairs and building permits - and your water will always be turned back on at the end of the day (if the repipe takes longer than a day).
To take the sting out of unplanned repipe costs, we also offer several financing options, including a Nothing Down, No Interest offer, on approved credit.
Factors that suggest a systemic plumbing issue:
- Copper pinhole leaks. A copper pipe pinhole leak indicates the copper piping has corroded internally - and it is highly unlikely that this would occur in only a single section of pipe.
- Multiple connection leaks: if you've experienced more than one leak at a pipe connection, then chances are high that you either have a defective plumbing connection system, or your plumbing is simply nearing the end of its lifespan.
- Slab foundation leaks: these can be the result of a pipe failure (for example corrosion), or a shift in the slab, causing a mechanical failure in the piping. In either case- if you've experienced one slab leak, your best option will be to re-route new plumbing, bypassing the slab completely.
- Low pressure or low flow at multiple outlets: when municipal pressure is high, and the home water pressure regulator is working properly, you most likely have constricted flow water pipes due to corrosion and/or sediment buildup.
- Rusty or discolored water: when the source water supply (well or municipal) is clear, rusty or discolored water is most commonly caused by corroded, rusty galvanized piping. Should I Replace My Galvanized Plumbing?
- The age of your plumbing system: all plumbing systems have an expected life expectancy. Unfortunately, the actual lifespans can vary widely for the same plumbing material, so the published plumbing life expectancies are only guidelines. For example, hard water with high mineral content, can knock decades off the useful lifespan for a particular system. Lower grade copper may fail much sooner than higher grade copper pipe. The key point however: plumbing systems aren't expected to last forever. Like many other structures and systems in a home (i.e. roofing or flooring), homeowners should plan that at some point in a home's lifespan, the plumbing will need to be replaced.
Our experienced local estimators would be happy to help you determine if you have a systemic issue that would benefit from a repipe. Contact us for a free consult.
Choosing A Repipe Company: Specialists vs General Plumbers
Whole-home potable water repiping is just one of many services that general plumbing companies offer. A general plumbing company will perform services from clearing a blocked drain or fixing a dripping faucet, up to bigger projects like installing new plumbing as part of a bath remodel. They will cover all aspects of home plumbing systems: gas, sewer, vent lines, fixtures, irrigation systems, etc. Generalist plumbing technicians also often work solo, or in pairs. They must keep well-stocked vans, and have broad generalist skill-sets.
In contrast, when a company specializes in whole-home repiping (as we do here at Repipe Specialists), they can focus all their efforts on excelling at that one service. At Repipe Specialists, we can deliver a whole home repipe at a lower cost, deliver a more convenient overall experience, and do it at a quality standard equivalent to or better than a generalist plumber.
How can Repipe Specialists deliver both a quality repipe and convenient experience, but do it at a lower cost than a generalist plumber?
- Our repipe crews work in teams, with sufficient manpower to get the job done in one or two days. Teamwork will also likely lead to overall less man-hours on a job, as well as lower average labor costs (since the team can have a wider range of experience and skill sets - as opposed to a plumbing team of one or two technicians, who each need to be fully qualified plumbers with broad experience). Note that at Repipe Specialists, we always assign an onsite foreman with each repipe crew.
- Crews only need repiping-specific van stock and tools (a small subset of what a generalist plumber needs to carry). This is a significant operational cost saving.
- As a national company solely performing repiping - we have the scale to purchase repipe materials in bulk at a lower price than generalist plumbers - offering direct savings to the customer.
- Since our crews specialize, and each perform several repipes per week; there is natural learning involved that allows them to be more efficient and cost-effective than plumbers who only occasionally perform whole home repipes.
- Furthermore, all our crews go through a repipe certification process that involves comprehensive online and on site training. The certification ensures each crew adheres to the best practices that we've defined in our standardized One Stop Repipe™ process; developed and refined over 30+ years and 70,000+ repipes of repiping experience.
Comparing Repipe Quotes? Factors To Consider
Comparing repipe quotes across companies can be tricky, and you want to ensure you are not comparing apples to oranges.
Key factors to consider when comparing repipe quotes:
- Pipe and connector type specifications: obviously, you can't directly compare a copper repipe to a PEX repipe quote. What may not be completely obvious though, is that not all copper pipe nor PEX tubing is created equal. There are also multiple methods for connecting pipes. Be sure to ask for specifics on types of material and connection methods, and get it in writing as part of the quote. Have your estimator explain their material grade/type recommendations.
- Angle stops/ compression valves and supply lines: related to above, these are one of the details where a company may choose to cut corners. Angle stops are the shut-off valves at each fixture in your home, and the supply lines are the short lengths of tube that run from the angle stop to the actual fixture. Quality angle stops will last longer, be less prone to leaks, and be more likely to actually work when you need them to.
- Pressure regulator valve: in areas with high municipal water pressure, homes are equipped with a pressure reducing valve. These reducing valves have limited lifespans, and will likely need replacement at the time of your repiping.
- Cleanup & site protection practices: be sure to have in writing, what a plumber will be doing to protect your home during the repipe, as well as the expected state they'll leave it in, when complete. At Repipe Specialists, we put floor coverings in place, and plastic sheeting over all surfaces and furniture, then completely clean up after ourselves at the end of the project.
- Warranties: find out specifics of what's covered; any exclusions, time periods, transferability, etc.
- Building permits: will the repipe company cover pulling permits, and supervising permit approval & sign-off?
- Main service line repipe: many repipes do not require a replacement of the main service line from the street to the home. However, this can make a big difference in the overall price - so be sure to discuss with estimators if this needs to be included, and if yes, be sure it's part of the overall quote for accurate comparisons (and to avoid mid-project change order surprises).
- Water heaters: it is commonplace to upgrade/replace your water heater at the time of a repipe.
- Drywall repair: all repipes require cutting into walls to varying degrees. At Repipe Specialists, we can include drywall repair pricing as part of our overall repipe service. With many generalist plumbers in particular - the expectation is often that you'd hire a drywall contractor separately.