Polybutylene piping systems are being frowned upon by both homeowners and homebuyers alike nowadays. If you have this kind of piping system at home, it is to your advantage to know how much does polybutylene pipe replacement cost for budgeting purposes.
Cost to Replace Polybutylene Pipes
The average cost to replace the PB-1 of a residential property with up to two and a half bathrooms may range from $1,500 to $20,000 or higher. This depends on several factors, such as the size of the project and materials used, among others.
A couple of material options include the following:
- Plastic Pipes
The repiping cost using plastic pipes ranges from $4,200 to $6,000 on average, but can range from $1,500 to $8,000 or higher, depending on how many water equipment sets your house has. You can choose either a PVC, CPVC, or PEX.
For a small house with one bathroom, the installation of new plastic pipes as replacements may cost around $1,500 to $2,500. On the other hand, a two-story, three-bedroom house with 2 and ½ bathrooms takes the higher end of the price range.
Although the prices vary by location, CPVC pipes are commonly used in the eastern states, while the west and southwest regions use PEX. The plumber also gets to decide which material is better as polybutylene replacements.
- Copper Pipes
The most expensive replacement option is copper pipes. In fact, copper is considered the most expensive of all the piping materials available on the market.
Because of its durability, installation can be more expensive than installing plastic pipes. This is due to the fact that it would require wall demolition before you could install copper pipes.
The cost of repiping using this pipe material may range from $5,000 to $20,000 or more if you have a larger house.
Factors Affecting Cost of Polybutylene Pipe Replacement
The pipe replacement price significantly depends on the following factors:
- Size of the house
Since home improvements are comprised of materials and labor costs that are dictated by size, it is a given that the bigger your house is, the higher the piping replacement cost will be. This is especially so if you have several bathrooms and sinks around the house.
- Condition of the walls
The current condition of the walls that cover the pipes also impacts the overall cost. In most cases, current pipes are not all replaced.
Many of them are disconnected and bypassed with a new plumbing installation. Such a method reduces the overall cost of repiping.
- Choice of material
You can have plastic pipes or copper pipes as options. There are modern options as well, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes, Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC), and cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) pipes.
- The number of water equipment
The project involves pipes from the main water supply into all the household water equipment, such as sinks, showers, toilets, and bathtubs in the bathrooms, among others.
Understandably, the more water equipment and bathrooms you have in your house, the more costly the project will be. This is due to the fact that they would require longer piping materials and more plumbing fixtures like showers and sinks, which would require more labor hours to finish the project.
- Whether one-story or two-story house
Your project cost will also increase if you are working on a second story because you will need more piping materials from the ground to the second floor.
- Scope and complexities of the access
Two of the more important factors are the scope and the complexity of the re-plumbing project.
Complex access often leads to higher quotations from contractors because of extra effort and hazards in labor terms. Also, extra equipment might be needed to carry out the project.
What state you reside in definitely has an impact on the total cost because construction or home improvement is definitely affected by the cost of living and the cost of doing business in a particular location. If you are from Atlanta, most contractors would charge around $5,200 to $6,800 for a repiping project.
Homeowners would most likely turn to reputable contractors in town to ensure the quality of work. Although expensive price isn’t always a guarantee of excellent workmanship, those who really are experts in the field tend to charge more.
Since re-plumbing is a relatively big house project, you have to secure a permit from your locality’s building department. Although the permit fees vary from one state, city, or county to another, the typical cost can run from $70 to $400.
This cost may already be indicated on the contractor’s bid or may be charged as an additional cost. Moreover, a contractor may also ask for an additional fee of up to $150 for attending the inspections that the local department conducts.
Why Do You Need to Replace Polybutylene Pipes?
Polybutylene (or PB-1) is a plastic material and was considered a cost-effective alternative to conventional copper piping from 1978 to 1995. However, polybutylene pipes deteriorate over time and may break when there is too much pressure.
If for instance, you have been residing in the same house for more than a decade and your piping system uses polybutylene, you must check the pipes and have them replaced when they are in poor condition. When they are left unattended, leaks or water floods may happen, causing bigger and more expensive damage to your property.
Its production was eventually discontinued due to the discovery that its chemical composition reacts to chlorine and fluoride, which purify water. This makes the pipe brittle and eventually rupture, which is the main reason for the durability and safety concerns.
Because of the issues with polybutylene pipes previously mentioned, homeowners are finding it hard to get their houses insured. This is because homes with this type of piping system are deemed at risk of property damage by insurance companies.
Points to Take Note
A contractor will need to inspect your house first and submit a quotation for the repiping project. In most cases, a re-plumbing project takes one to five days to finish and may require cutting 8 to 20 holes in the ceiling and walls.
Homeowners can stay in their houses while the re-plumbing is ongoing. On the other hand, the water supply may be turned on again every morning.
Plastic pipes are easier to install than copper pipes. The latter takes so much time and needs more workers to get the whole job done. But in the end, the hassles and, of course, the cost will all be worth it.