Things to Know about Copper Repiping
Many old house that were built back in the 70s' might have galvanized pipes that were found later to be not suited for running water through. Those pipe can get rusty and clog the water from flowing to the faucets. If you notice your water is coming out very slowly and it is not because of the water heater, there chance is your pipe is rusty and need to be change.
When you consider repiping your house with copper, there are the several important things to know:
How much does it cost? How to pay?
How long does it take to get it done?
Who is paying for the permit?
The Cost of Copper Repiping
It is wise to get at least three quotes from different companies when hiring a repipe company. The price difference on the quotes could also be due to the different techniques the repiping company wants to employ. From removing all the old pipes and replacing the new pipes in its place or running the new pipes along a different path as well as trying to cut areas in the ceiling to lay pipes which could cost more to repair and cover that area again. You might be surprised on the difference in amount of the quotes you receive. It cost us about $7,000 for 3 bathrooms and one kitchen from the main valve by the garage door.
City Permit for Repiping
If you live in San Jose CA, you are required to have a permit from the city before the project begins. Be cautious when a company tells you that you don't need a permit to repipe your house. For your own safety, it is always best to follow the the building code. One of the repipe company told us that a permit is not required for repiping and promised that they would deliver same quality work with or without the permit. Good thing we didn't use them because a permit is required by the City of San Jose and a inspector came out to ensure everything was up to code.
How Copper Repipe is done?
When we found out that we had to repipe our property, our first concern was the big mess and inconvienience that caused during repipe. We thought the ground would have to be dug up and a lot of walls needed to be tear down. To our surprise, there were only few openings on the walls and ceilings. We have popcorn ceilings in part of our house and concerned that it might contain danger materials and could be harmful to people if they expose to the air during repiping. Luckily the workers thought of a way to avoid that from happening. They ran the pipe through the wall and up to the attic, then come back down to where the pipes needed to go. Here is how copper repipe was done at our house:
- Worker came in and did an analysis of the house layout and came up a plan on how and where to run the pipes.
- Worker used floor coverings to protect the place where they would be walk and work on.
- Cut open the walls, ceilings where the pipes were
- Shut off the main water valve
- Placed and welded the pipe
- Cleaned up and reconnected the main water valve so that there was still water available for use at the end of the day even when the job was not completely done yet.
Day 2 and 3
Workers came back the next two day and finished the job. We were told that the job would be done in two days. However, due to the company's internal problem, they ended up finish the job in three full days.
After the repiping is done and has passed the city inspection, a patcher came in and patch up all the openings. This was also a full day's job.
Final inspection by the city.