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Old 05-26-2016, 12:30 AM   #1
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Repipe an entire house


Hi:
My house has galvanized pipes. It is 43 years old. We have had one leak, and before all the pipes corrode we would like to have it re-piped.
I have a 1700 Sq. foot house ranch, with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and Laundry room has a water heater in it.

I don't know where to begin on this project. I want to hire someone, because we think it is too intensive to try ourselves.

Can anyone tell me where to start, what kind of pipes in Texas, I want the entire job done.

Help please
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Old 05-26-2016, 05:23 AM   #2
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Re: Repipe an entire house


Is home on a slab or is there a cellar or accessible crawl space? PEX is what you want for replacement.
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Old 05-26-2016, 05:26 AM   #3
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Re: Repipe an entire house


Since you do not want to do the work yourself, the remaining option is to bid the work out to a plumbing contractor. You need to prepare a scope of work, which in your case sounds like you want to replace all the galvanized water piping in the house. You can expect contractors to offer to do the work in PEX, copper, or possibly PVC.

There are many threads on this site comparing PEX to copper and PVC, there are pluses and minuses to each, but one thing everything will likely agree on is that copper is going to cost more than PEX. Look at the threads, do your research, get at least three quotations from contractors. Make sure they are all bidding the same thing, in particular find out if you need a permit, and make sure they all bid to get a permit and have the required inspections. Check out the last three similar jobs the contractors did by calling the homeowners.

Were they on time? Were they careful not to damage the framing? Was the homeowner satisfied with the quality of the work? Would the homeowner use the contractor again? Good things to know.
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Old 05-27-2016, 05:32 PM   #4
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Re: Repipe an entire house


Thanks so much for your advice. I have read through a lot of the threads. Very confusing. With Pex some want to install manifolds, some don't. I think that is what i am going to get. I know we need a permit and I want them to pull it. I also want the dry wall repaired. Just a lot to think about. We are not in a rush and I do not want to have someone work in the attic in the middle of the summer. I will continue reading and try to find a reputable plumber.
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:41 PM   #5
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Re: Repipe an entire house


This is a DIY site, have you considered doing it yourself?
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:48 PM   #6
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Re: Repipe an entire house


If your local codes allow it, I think that pex is the way to go. If it is do it yourself, be aware that there are multiple methods for attaching pex to the fittings....and they are not compatible with each other. So whoever does it has to select a system...and do it throughout...or buy different very expensive tools to switch back and forth. As to the manifold, where I am it appears to be common practice to use a manifold and do home runs o it for major areas, e.g. Kitchen, bath, etc. just did a small beach house this week, 16 outlet manifold, cold out to two neighboring cottages and then hose bib, kitchen, bathroom sink and shower, hot to just bath, shower and kitchen. Ez pz. Ron
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:23 PM   #7
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Re: Repipe an entire house


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This is a DIY site, have you considered doing it yourself?
I have used this site before and have received excellent advice. At my age I cannot possibly DIY.
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:26 PM   #8
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Re: Repipe an entire house


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If your local codes allow it, I think that pex is the way to go. If it is do it yourself, be aware that there are multiple methods for attaching pex to the fittings....and they are not compatible with each other. So whoever does it has to select a system...and do it throughout...or buy different very expensive tools to switch back and forth. As to the manifold, where I am it appears to be common practice to use a manifold and do home runs o it for major areas, e.g. Kitchen, bath, etc. just did a small beach house this week, 16 outlet manifold, cold out to two neighboring cottages and then hose bib, kitchen, bathroom sink and shower, hot to just bath, shower and kitchen. Ez pz. Ron
Yes our local Texas codes allow pex, my home is on a slab, so I know it will be harder to re-pipe. I have been told manifold is the way to go, but some plumbers are dead set against it. So confusing. I will keep researching and want to thank anyone who helps me, this is a great site.
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:28 PM   #9
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Re: Repipe an entire house


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Is home on a slab or is there a cellar or accessible crawl space? PEX is what you want for replacement.
No basements here in Texas, it is a slab home, which I suspect will cause even more problems.
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Old 05-28-2016, 02:13 PM   #10
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Re: Repipe an entire house


The advantage of a PEX manifold system is that you have a shut-off for every fixture in a single location (usually a garage or utility room, commonly near the water heater). As long as you have stops at each fixture I don't see that as a compelling advantage.

A manifold system does allow smaller pipes feeding each fixture so that you get hot water quicker with less waste. And with piping in a Texas attic, it will let you get cold water quicker.

A manifold system will definitely cost more and IMHO I don't see the advantages worth the additional cost.

Don't let anyone talk you into a CPVC re-pipe.

As far as drywall repair. I would not insist on the plumbers doing it. In many cases they can add an access panel to cover the hole and provide for future access. Drywall repair is pretty DIY friendly at almost any age. Or you can hire a handy man at a lot less than plumber's rates.
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Old 05-28-2016, 05:25 PM   #11
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Re: Repipe an entire house


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The advantage of a PEX manifold system is that you have a shut-off for every fixture in a single location (usually a garage or utility room, commonly near the water heater). As long as you have stops at each fixture I don't see that as a compelling advantage.

A manifold system does allow smaller pipes feeding each fixture so that you get hot water quicker with less waste. And with piping in a Texas attic, it will let you get cold water quicker.

A manifold system will definitely cost more and IMHO I don't see the advantages worth the additional cost.

Don't let anyone talk you into a CPVC re-pipe.

As far as drywall repair. I would not insist on the plumbers doing it. In many cases they can add an access panel to cover the hole and provide for future access. Drywall repair is pretty DIY friendly at almost any age. Or you can hire a handy man at a lot less than plumber's rates.
Thanks so much for your explanation on the manifold. Now I understand it. I would probably have to contract out for the drywall. I hate taping up drywall and never seem to get it the way I would like. From what I understand there are going to be many cut outs all over the walls and ceiling. That is a lot of drywall repair. I definitely want PEX after reading the forum. I am doing this for preventative reasons. Galvanized pipe is 43 years old and probably not going to last much longer.
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Old 05-28-2016, 05:39 PM   #12
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Re: Repipe an entire house


Re: drywall repair. What is the house layout? # of floors, baths. The advantage of PEX is the it can be snaked into the walls. On a single story house the only openings required are normally behind the fixtures.
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Old 05-29-2016, 03:15 PM   #13
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Re: Repipe an entire house


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Re: drywall repair. What is the house layout? # of floors, baths. The advantage of PEX is the it can be snaked into the walls. On a single story house the only openings required are normally behind the fixtures.

3 bedroom ranch, 1 floor, utility room next to kitchen, master bedroom on opposite side of house with attached bath. Other bathroom down the hall. House on slab.
So you are saying that the bathroom sinks and potty's will have an opening, and the kitchen sink along with the utility room. Oh the water heater is in the utility room.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-29-2016, 03:31 PM   #14
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Re: Repipe an entire house


Probably the hardest one will be the kitchen sink on an outside wall. Showers can be tough if you can't get behind them. A 3 bed, 2 bath ranch is about as easy a re-pipe as you can find. As I suggested use access panels to close the holes.
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Old 05-29-2016, 03:36 PM   #15
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Re: Repipe an entire house


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Probably the hardest one will be the kitchen sink on an outside wall. Showers can be tough if you can't get behind them. A 3 bed, 2 bath ranch is about as easy a re-pipe as you can find. As I suggested use access panels to close the holes.
The outside of the kitchen is attached to the outside water pipe.
Our shower was re-tiled last year and they took out the galvanized and put pex in, although there is no cut off there.

I have turn offs at the toilets and the ones under the bathroom sink are stuck.

I need to somehow find a list of plumbers in the Houston area, I tried thumbtac but got a bunch of different answers and prices ranging from 3 thousand up to 10 thousand. Angies List was the same.
Do you think I should find a general contractor and go from there?
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