Polybutylene is the most widespread plastic material in the world and is produced in the petrochemical industry. The commercial process was developed in the 1950s by German and Italian scientists.
Due to the fact that polybutylene e is a very cheap material, easy to process, and has very good physical and chemical properties, it is very often chosen, to the detriment of metals, for making pipes or tubes for the various water distribution systems.
How Much Does Replacing Polybutylene Pipes Cost?
The cost of re-plumbing a house depends on the type of new pipes that are installed and the size of the house. Also, the costs will depend on how easy it is to access the pipes (whether there is a slab foundation, crawlspace, or basement), whether the house is one or two stories, and whether the holes in the ceilings and walls are going to be repaired and painted or just left open. You should plan on spending anywhere between $1,600 and $16,000 for an average house with one to two and a half bathrooms. Typically, re-piping prices are based on the number of fixtures, with each toilet, sink, shower, bathtub, and others counting as one.
Depending on the number of fixtures, expect to spend $1,600 to $9,000 or more for re-pipping a house with plastic pipes such as PVC-CPVC (rigid plastic pipes made of chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) or PEX (flexible plastic tubing made of cross-linked polyethylene).
For a house with a small bathroom, you will have to pay $1,600 to $2,500 to re-pipe it with plastic pipes, while for a typical two-story, 3-bedroom and 2-1/2-bathroom house you will have to get out of your pocket $3,100 to $7,500 or more. However, there are some differences from one region to another. For instance, CPVC tends to be more common in the East, while PEX is preferred by plumbers in the Southwest and West.
Depending on how accessible the pipes are, the number of fixtures, and the copper price, you will have to pay $2,600 to $16,000 or more for re-plumbing your house with copper pipes. Even though there have been some issues in areas with acidic water with pinhole leaks in copper pipes, this material is more expensive than plastic and copper pipes remain premium.
According to an employee of Atlantic Re-Plumbing in Virginia, the cost for re-plumbing a 2-1/2-bathroom house with 12 to 13 fixtures with copper pipes would start at around $4,800 or more, while for CPVC pipes the cost is around $3,900. Also, a Repipe1 representative in California says that copper pipes for a 2-bathroom house cost more than $5,100, while PEX pipes cost around $3,600.
Before accepting an offer, a contractor come will to your house to inspect it.
In general, during the re-plumbing, each evening the water will be turned back on and the homeowners will be able to stay at home. It would take one to five working days to re-pipe a house and it may be necessary to cut eight to twenty holes in the ceilings and walls.
Typically, copper pipes are harder to install and the job takes more time and workers, compared to CPVC or PEX pipes. For instance, the Repipe1 company in California says it can finish any re-plumbing project in one day but uses a five-member crew or more to install copper pipes and three employees for PEX pipes.
The contract you sign with the re-piping company should include information such as the work required, the materials used, whether the company will do the job or subcontract it and the dates within which the job will be completed.
What are the additional costs?
In most cases, you will need a permit from the local planning or building department. In general, permit fees would be anywhere between $80 and $450. This cost may not be included in the professional’s price offer or can be an extra cost you need to consider. Also, the professional may charge another $60 to $170 to be present at the required inspections done by the local planning or building department.
Important things to consider
Before submitting a bid, make sure the contractor is properly licensed, insured, and bonded. Also, ask for references and read customers’ reviews.
How can I save money?
Re-piping prices vary significantly from one contractor to another. Try to get multiple quotes from the contractors in your area. You can find a professional on the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association website or you can ask your neighbors and friends for recommendations.