Notices

Whole house plumbing repipe

Old 08-18-2020, 12:35 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 392
Received 76 Likes on 42 Posts
Default Whole house plumbing repipe

I live in a house on a slab with copper pipes. Iím on number four of the dreaded slab leaks. I have a plumbing company coming over to discuss a total repipe and switching the pipes to the attic.
Has anyone had this done? What are some important questions to ask? Iím dreading this worse than a root canal.
Old 08-18-2020, 12:41 PM
  #2  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Garett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 24,720
Likes: 0
Received 1,137 Likes on 640 Posts
Default

I guess because I can do all the work myself I would sooner do the replacement than the root canal.

For starters I would run 3/4" to everything.

How many floors in the house? How many bathrooms and kitchens? Taps outside or in the garage?
Old 08-18-2020, 12:44 PM
  #3  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Arcata Ca
Posts: 952
Likes: 0
Received 36 Likes on 27 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by dorado II View Post
I live in a house on a slab with copper pipes. Iím on number four of the dreaded slab leaks. I have a plumbing company coming over to discuss a total repipe and switching the pipes to the attic.
Has anyone had this done? What are some important questions to ask? Iím dreading this worse than a root canal.
another reason against slab houses.
Why is the copper leaking
only a few reasons-
A-lack of minerals in water so water eats pipe? You then before water enters house run it thru a calcite mineral tank (we do this on our water system)-if your water is green thats copper in water and its ripping it from the pipes(this is how you tell)
B-Slab is cracking apart and taking pipes with it???
C-really crappy pipe solder joints
which is it
Old 08-18-2020, 12:45 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 392
Received 76 Likes on 42 Posts
Default

One story ranch style. Kitchen, two bathrooms. Hose bib out front and one out back. Iím temped to ask them to add a hose bib along side the house where I park my boat.
Old 08-18-2020, 12:48 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,134
Likes: 0
Received 559 Likes on 359 Posts
Default

Not something I am specifically qualified to advise on so take it for what it's worth. If you are going to run the new supply from the slab where it is now to the attic and then bring the branch lines back down to each fixture location that will involve some sheetrock removal at all the affected areas.

I would at least consider running the pipes in the lower portion of the interior walls. Doorways will be a hurdle, but if you could cut drywall on one side and up say 12" that may entail less repairs than the attic method. You could investigate lining the existing pipe. It can be done, I attempted it on a 1.5" underground supply pipe to a warehouse.Unfortunately the guy that did it was a loser. I ended up replacing the line with new pipe by boring.

D. Concrete is notorious for attacking copper pipes. Just adding for Onkai.

Last edited by muskrattown; 08-18-2020 at 12:55 PM.
Old 08-18-2020, 12:48 PM
  #6  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Garett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 24,720
Likes: 0
Received 1,137 Likes on 640 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by onokai View Post
another reason against slab houses.
Why is the copper leaking
only a few reasons-
A-lack of minerals in water so water eats pipe? You then before water enters house run it thru a calcite mineral tank (we do this on our water system)-if your water is green thats copper in water and its ripping it from the pipes(this is how you tell)
B-Slab is cracking apart and taking pipes with it???
C-really crappy pipe solder joints
which is it
You have to also ask what grade of copper pipe was used, type M or the heavier type L?
Old 08-18-2020, 12:49 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 392
Received 76 Likes on 42 Posts
Default

I have seen the pipe sections cut out from previous leaks. The pipe would have green corrosion with pin hole leaks.
Old 08-18-2020, 12:54 PM
  #8  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 620
Received 225 Likes on 136 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by onokai View Post
another reason against slab houses. t


People couldnít believe we built on a crawl space. Said it costs so much more.
Old 08-18-2020, 12:57 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,134
Likes: 0
Received 559 Likes on 359 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by dorado II View Post
I have seen the pipe sections cut out from previous leaks. The pipe would have green corrosion with pin hole leaks.
Was the green inside? If so it was attacked by the water. If outside it was the concrete.
Old 08-18-2020, 12:58 PM
  #10  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Garett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 24,720
Likes: 0
Received 1,137 Likes on 640 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by dorado II View Post
One story ranch style. Kitchen, two bathrooms. Hose bib out front and one out back. Iím temped to ask them to add a hose bib along side the house where I park my boat.
Being a ranch style home really that is not that big of a job.

Another question, how old is the roof? Can you still buy the same shingle material? The reason why I ask if might be faster and therefore cheap to open up the roof to do your 90's and drops down to your fixtures. By doing this you save drywall damage and the removal of upper cupboard(s). As far as the lowers go, just cut the back out, cut the drywall to bring your drop feed into the cabinet, then patch vapor barrier, then do a half ass drywall repair and cover with another panel covering the back side of the cabinet.
Old 08-18-2020, 01:09 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: CT / SWFL
Posts: 839
Received 237 Likes on 148 Posts
Default

Why would you open roof?
Old 08-18-2020, 01:18 PM
  #12  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: East Central Florida
Posts: 6,791
Received 1,457 Likes on 733 Posts
Default

Here in central Florida thousands and thousands of slab homes built in the 50s/60s/70s/80s with copper plumbing have been repiped with pex/cpvc up through the attic. I believe "they" said in addition to corrosion it was lightning strikes that were causing leaks because the home electrical systems used the copper plumbing as grounds rather than putting in actual grounding rods.

Last edited by Onewolf; 08-19-2020 at 04:52 AM.
Old 08-18-2020, 01:19 PM
  #13  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Martin County Florida formerly Palm Beach County
Posts: 11,836
Received 2,653 Likes on 1,495 Posts
Default

friend of mine just had it done, 1500sqft cost him 8k jupiter fl
Old 08-18-2020, 01:22 PM
  #14  
Admirals ClubCaptains Club Member Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lighthouse Point
Posts: 5,599
Received 1,127 Likes on 741 Posts
Default

We did it when we bought this house. Total gut. Though I just watched it looked pretty easy. Took out all the insulation and opened the attic space up.
Old 08-18-2020, 01:47 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: St Petersburg, FL
Posts: 5,060
Likes: 0
Received 393 Likes on 220 Posts
Default

My water supply comes in from the curb to the middle of the front of the house. Being that all of the users are on the perimeter, if and or when this happens we have a leak I will route my piping around the outside of my house and stub in to the users.
Old 08-18-2020, 02:11 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,134
Likes: 0
Received 559 Likes on 359 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
My water supply comes in from the curb to the middle of the front of the house. Being that all of the users are on the perimeter, if and or when this happens we have a leak I will route my piping around the outside of my house and stub in to the users.
I am guessing you are in an area not at all subject to freeze. If OP is sure of that factor the exterior walls would be a good option, less doors to worry about.
Old 08-18-2020, 02:18 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Apopka, Fl
Posts: 102
Likes: 0
Received 63 Likes on 48 Posts
Default

Had it done 2 years ago..1400 sq ft...about $6k as I recall. Pottydoc over in the Florida forum works for a company that does it and did mine. There were a few places where they had to cut the drywall, but you would never know it..their repair guy was good!
Old 08-18-2020, 02:20 PM
  #18  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 7,312
Received 1,471 Likes on 773 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by onokai View Post
another reason against slab houses.
Why is the copper leaking
only a few reasons-
A-lack of minerals in water so water eats pipe? You then before water enters house run it thru a calcite mineral tank (we do this on our water system)-if your water is green thats copper in water and its ripping it from the pipes(this is how you tell)
B-Slab is cracking apart and taking pipes with it???
C-really crappy pipe solder joints
which is it
At least most slab houses today have no in or below slab joints. The runs are made in soft copper and terminated/joined above the slab. The soft copper is also more forgiving should slab movement occur. I'm thinking the pipes are also jacketed where they pass through the slab. Mineral (or lack of) corrosion will occur whether the pie is in the ground or overhead.

Last edited by airbrush; 08-18-2020 at 02:29 PM.
Old 08-18-2020, 03:34 PM
  #19  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
bsmit24's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Tejas or Bust
Posts: 17,721
Received 105 Likes on 69 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by onokai View Post
another reason against slab houses.
Originally Posted by Rferrell View Post
People couldnít believe we built on a crawl space. Said it costs so much more.
It is the norm here but after owning two older homes, if I rebuild it will have a crawl space. Fighting failing sewer lines now and the only option is cutting the slab and replacing rotten cast iron with PVC.

OP, as mentioned above you should be able to run the lines in the attic and with PEX it should not be much demo. Kitchen sink, bath room sinks, tub, etc will likely be behind cabinets so no ugly patches to be seen. Toilets and exterior hose bibs not as lucky though. Its probably better to get a good idea of what you want to do now before it is an emergency.
Old 08-18-2020, 09:30 PM
  #20  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: nassau county
Posts: 664
Received 167 Likes on 96 Posts
Default

Your gonna re pipe where there is the least damage to your home , from above you can most likely run the main trunk lines, then down to the fixtures Guessing little issue with freeze ups there?
so most or a lot of the costs sheet rock repair.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.