Should You Replace Your Water Pipes During a Remodel?

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Posted By

Helene McQuaide

Should You Replace Your Water Pipes During a Remodel?

Picture of Posted By

Posted By

Helene McQuaide

As you start planning for a remodel of your bathroom, kitchen, or entire home, it’s important to consider what’s behind your walls or beneath your floor. The pipes in your home could need to be replaced and a remodel is the perfect time to do it. But how will you know if you can forgo replacing your pipes or if it’s well past time? We’ll tell you the signs to look for when it’s time to replace your pipes and what it could cost to replace them in your Pittsburgh home.

Signs You Should Replace Your Pipes During Your Remodel

There are a few tell-tale signs that replacing the water lines in your home during your remodel is a must. A kitchen remodel or bathroom remodel are ideal times to take care of this essential component in your Pittsburgh home. If you’re already considering relocating your vanity in your bathroom or rearranging your kitchen, extending or rerouting your pipes will already be part of the remodeling process, and a great time to make the needed update. 

Old Pipes

If your home is 50 or more years old and your pipes haven’t been updated, it’s time to replace them. A remodel is a very convenient time to do so. Your water pipes will already be exposed if the walls and flooring are removed. Even if your pipes are in okay condition and could potentially last a few more years, the inconvenience and added expense of waiting won’t be worth putting off this important update. 

Also, waiting until you absolutely have to replace them could set you up for dealing with water damage from a broken pipe, temporarily losing water access, and being blindsided by an unexpected expense. 

Material of Your Pipes

Older pipes may be made of lead, galvanized steel, or polybutylene. These materials are notorious for affecting the quality of your water supply and should be replaced. They’re also known to deteriorate. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes are often used for main water lines, and the more flexible polyethylene (PEX) pipes are great for smaller spaces, like within walls and ceilings. Both are durable and corrosion-resistant. 

replacing water pipes

Your Water Tastes or Smells Odd

If your water tastes or smells a little off, it could be that it arrived at your home that way. However, it’s usually more likely that your home’s pipes could be to blame. Iron, copper, or lead pipes will corrode over time and leach into your water. This is likely a sign that your pipes are older and it’s only a matter of time before they break, leaving a huge mess or even damage. 

Low Water Pressure

If you suffer from low water pressure, this could be a sign of either corrosion or a small water leak. Corrosion builds up within older pipes and blocks an adequate amount of water from passing through your pipes. Corrosion also means some harmful materials could be making their way into your drinking water as well. 

On the other hand, a small water leak could be occurring in your crawl space or underground. Copper pipes, specifically, are known to develop pinhole leaks if your home has hard water. If this is the case, you may have also noticed an increase in your water bill recently. 

How Much Will Replacing Water Pipes Cost?

The cost to replace water lines in or outside of your Pittsburgh home will vary depending on where the pipes are that need to be replaced. Your water service line–the line that runs from the street to your home–can cost around $5,000 for assessment, materials, and labor. You’ll also want to budget for repairing the area of your lawn that had to be removed. 

As for pipes inside your home, costs will consider removal, type of materials, the fixtures pipes will connect to, and the length of pipes you will require. Labor alone can cost around $300 per hour and replacing all of your piping can take a few days to a week to complete. With all of the factors to consider, a full pipe replacement in Pittsburgh can cost up to $15,000. If only a few areas need to be replaced, of course, the cost will be considerably less. 

Is It Worth It to Replace Your Water Pipes?

Waiting until there’s a problem could cost you more in the end by having to address repairs from a broken pipe. Older pipes, pipes in disrepair, or ones that are leaking harmful metals into your water supply should be replaced as soon as possible. 

If you’re still uncertain about replacing the pipes in your home, it’s best to consult with a trusted expert that can assess the pipes in your home. But how will you find a plumber in Pittsburgh you can trust? Your best resource for finding a plumber will be to tap into your remodeler’s network. 

The team at Master Remodelers has the experience and knowledge to vet only the best and most trustworthy subcontractors, including plumbers, in the Pittsburgh area. When you’re thinking about expanding your cramped kitchen, giving your outdated bathroom a high-end remodel, or remodeling your entire home, contact us to schedule a consultation. Our in-house architectural designer and carpentry staff will work with you to create a stunning design while working side-by-side with the best tradespeople for all of your home’s needs.


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