In a modern home we use safe materials that are good for your health, environmentally friendly, and built to last. In an older home, however, there may be pipes made from polybutylene, galvanized steel, or even lead pipes.
When your entire home plumbing system needs to be replaced, we can help.
This page is for homeowners who have problems with their plumbing system, but don’t know what to do. You’ll find basic information about different types of pipes, understand the dangers of these materials, and learn how to talk to your remodeling contractor and make a purchase decision.
Schedule an appointment on your timetable. Get your home repiping done. Get back to living life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will re-piping my home tear it apart?
A: Re-piping your home may be a big job, but we’re able to do it with minimal disruption. Where we need to make changes inside the walls, we’ll make minor holes in drywall which are easily patched. For most customers, we can complete a whole house re-pipe while they’re still at home!
Q: Will re-piping solve my plumbing problem?
A: If you’ve been experiencing leaks and recurring problems, a whole home repipe will help you avoid additional material failures. We offer workmanship warranties starting at 1 year, so if something goes wrong we’ll repair it at no additional cost to you.
Have a question about whole home repipes? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you an answer!
Section 1: Plumbing Systems
Section 2: Repiping Your Home
Section 3: Buying A Repiped Home
Polybutylene was an inexpensive pipe that was used extensively from its introduction in 1978 until 1995, when it was discontinued. During this time it was installed in an estimated 6 to 10 million homes across the United States, and used heavily here in the Pacific Northwest.
Polybutylene, also known by manufacturer names Qest or Quest, was touted as a low-cost, efficient alternative to copper or galvanized pipes. Also manufactured by Shell Chemical Company and Vanguard, the pipe was celebrated as the “pipe of the future”. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to its reputation, which led to its disappearance from the market around 1995 after a class action suit was filed.
Polybutylene pipe is notorious for failing without warning. Because of the Qest system’s central design, it’s not possible to turn off water at plumbing fixtures, which can cause massive water damage when the piping bursts inside the home.
If your home contains polybutylene, insurance companies may deny you coverage in the event of a leak. It can also affect the market price of a home. We recommend replacing polybutylene piping as soon as possible.
Galvanized pipes are steel pipes dipped in a zinc solution to prevent rust. They were commonly used in homes before 1960.
The zinc in a galvanized pipe can react with water, and oxidation can form inside of the pipe. This reaction causes clogs and blockages to form inside the pipe. Oxidization can also cause poor-tasting water.
We recommend replacing a galvanized plumbing system with a modern plumbing system, which will last much longer and with less chance of material failure.
As scary as it sounds, lead and plumbing have a long history. (In fact, the Latin word for lead is plumbum, which is where the word “plumbing” comes from.) Despite overwhelming evidence of the dangers of lead poisoning, lead pipes were promoted for use in water supplies as recently as the 1970s.
Clark County and most local cities issue regular water quality reports, which consistently show that we have excellent overall water quality. The county’s public health department recommends testing for lead in homes built before 1978.
If you believe you have lead piping in your home, refer to the county website for information about lead poisoning and certified lead inspectors.
Repiping Your Home
Getting started on a home repipe can be daunting, but like all fears, this one gets a lot smaller when you know what to do.
When to Repipe Your Home
Most home plumbing systems are built to last for decades. For some homes that’s a long ways off. Eventually, all piping decays and needs to be replaced. If you’re experiencing recurring or frequent plumbing problems, especially in the walls or ceiling, you should schedule a repipe estimate.
Home Repipe Prices
Q: What does a home repipe cost?
A: A whole-house repipe can cost between $4,000-$10,000 according to the real estate website Houselogic, while CostHelper puts prices between $1,500-$15,000. We normally recommend repiping your home with PEX tubing, which is less intrusive and can save you a lot of money over traditional copper pipes.
Buying A Repiped Home
If you’re looking at a home that needs to be repiped, here’s what you should know before you make an offer.
Hire A Home Inspector
Any time you’re buying or selling a used home, there’s a possibility of unpleasant surprises. The presence of polybutylene piping qualifies as “unpleasant”. A home inspector can identify potential problem areas and help you address any issues in advance so that the only surprise is the housewarming party.
Who Pays For Repiping?
If you’re in the sale process and you discover that the home needs to be re-piped, talk to your real estate agent about your options. Sometimes it makes sense to have the seller pay for a re-pipe, but it may work to your advantage to negotiate a lower price instead.
Is There Water Damage?
If your home inspector identifies polybutylene, galvanized or lead pipes in the home, ask about previous leaks and water damage. Ruptured pipes can leak for weeks and months without being discovered and can cause major structural damage. Make sure you identify any work that needs to be done before finalizing the sale.