Cost to Replace Plumbing in an Old House

replace plumbing

Plumbing systems simply do not last forever. Over time, copper pipes will become frail, iron pipes will corrode and start affecting the water quality and Orangeburg pipe is simply unacceptable in today’s modernized plumbing system. When the time finally comes to replace plumbing, many wonder what costs will be incurred throughout the process.

Although each home will have its own needs, we can give you a basic idea of which type of piping will cost what and how much an overall project may set you back. Bear in mind that it is possible to replace plumbing in sections, which many homeowners on a shoestring budget opt for.

Learn the different pipe types

Some are better than others

Traditional plumbing systems have two distinct pipe groups: supply pipes and drain lines. Below are the materials used in each and the typical lifespan one can expect.

Supply pipes (sturdier material suggested since the pressure is consistently high):

  • Brass: costs less and offers 80-100 years of life
  • Copper: slightly higher in cost, but a respectable 70-80-year lifespan
  • Galvanized steel: sturdiest of all, offering 80-100 years of good use
  • PEX, more durable than copper but must be buried below frost line; 50-year lifespan

Drain lines (some pressure but not enough to merit heavy pipes):

  • Cast iron, perhaps the oldest pipe type but still offers 80-100 years
  • Polyvinyl chloride, a.k.a. PVC, sturdy enough but unfortunately, only 25-40 years of good use

Should your pipes be older than the above, replacement is not mandatory but is something you should think about.

Cost of piping

Per linear foot

We researched the various costs to purchase piping based on national averages. The results:

  • PEX, the newest player in the piping game, is $.50 to $2.00 per linear foot
  • CPVC, rigid and able to withstand test of time, is $.50 to $1.00 per linear foot
  • Copper, very durable but costly, is $2 to $4 per linear foot
  • Brass (Schedule 40 or 80) is rarely used for long-run plumbing projects because costs fluctuate so much

Note that these are national averages and do not reflect volume purchases. Your licensed plumbing service may be able to purchase the necessary pipes, fittings, and accessories for much cheaper too.

Rough estimate of whole house re-plumbing

Not so bad, really

Going from the water meter all the way through your home, assuming it is roughly 1,500 square feet, could teeter between $4,000 and $15,000 or more (possibly even less), depending on what you want to accomplish. These costs may include everything from labor to materials, digging, and anything else associated with the project. It really depends on how much pipe (if not all of it) is being replaced.

To replace plumbing in sections, simply start with higher demand areas, like your sewer and main lines. As soon as you are able to purchase more new work, then you can replace pipes in the bathroom, kitchen and other non-essential areas like garages and spigots.

All estimates above are conservative and do not reflect other unforeseen expenses. Costs of pipe are market-sensitive.

Redoing the plumbing system in your home from the ground up is a huge undertaking. It is better to phone an experienced plumbing service provider in Cerritos who can give excellent estimates and plan your work from start to finish. Schedule a consultation today by phoning (562) 457-4206, or check out our informative yet easy-to-read site,

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