FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a Repipe?
A repipe is when new hot and cold water pipes are installed inside your home to replace the existing copper or galvanized pipes already there. This would be for incoming water only.
Why not just fix the leak, why repipe the whole house?
When copper and galvanized pipes begin to fail and leak, history tells us that there will be more leaks in the coming months or years. Finding and repairing each leak will be very costly, much more expensive than the cost of a repipe and more likely to cause damage to your home. A repipe is the most efficient solution.
Are Repipes very expensive?
No. Repiping Specialists – Care Plumbing specializes in repiping homes. Our large crews are trained to repipe most homes in 1 to 2 days. Because this is our specialty and our main focus, our prices are very fair and reasonable. We will provide you with a FREE estimate in your home, and explain exactly what will take place.
Will we have to leave our homes during a repipe?
Only if you want to. A repipe is construction, so there will be a lot of activity. But not every room will be worked in. You can stay at home or take the opportunity to do some errands or visit a friend. By the end of the first day, there will be water available in at least one bathroom for you to use overnight.
How long does a repipe take?
A typical repipe is broken down into three parts. The repiping part will take 1 to 2 days depending on the size of your home. After we get a permit from the city to do the work, there will be a city inspection, this is part two. Part three is the patching of all drywall holes made to install the new piping in your home.
Overall expect 3 to 5 days total, again, depending on the size of your home. Our estimator will provide you with more details during your free estimate.
What options do we have when it comes to the type of plumbing materials being used?
Repiping Specialists – Care Plumbing uses only USA made, Type L copper and Uponor brand PEX-a plastic tubing. We use these high quality and dependable materials to ensure that this repipe will be your last.
Both of these materials provide an excellent result. Some homeowners are more comfortable with copper, while others prefer the advantages that PEX can provide. They are both backed by our warranty. Our estimator can provide more details during your free estimate.
Do you provide a warranty for your work?
Yes we do, and we have one of the best warranties in the business. Our work is a fully-transferable Lifetime Guarantee! Plus we are fully licensed, bonded and insured. We provide all of these for your peace of mind!
How long will my water be turned off?
The water typically gets turned off around 9:00 am on the first day of the repipe and will go back on at the end of the day. In many cases you’ll have full use of water at the end of the day. If the repipe goes into a second day, you and your family will have access to at least one bathroom overnight.
Why are there pinhole and slab leaks? What causes them?
If you look in Google, you’ll find various reasons and explanations on why pinhole leaks are being formed. Some claim that it’s the chemicals in the drinking water causing the leaks, others feel that there is some interaction between the pipe and the soil. Inferior quality piping has also been named as a culprit. Whatever the reason, there are homes in SoCal that have copper plumbing that is failing after 10 or 15 years. The existing copper pipes are not lasting as long as they historically did.
Does using water softeners help with pinhole leaks?
It’s safe to say that the jury is still out on that question. Many people use softeners to reduce spotting on shower enclosures and glassware and feel that it provides a “softer” and better feeling shower itself. Whatever is directly causing leaks in copper piping seems to be more than just the buildup of calcium from the hard water in LA and Orange County.
What is PEX?
PEX stands for cross-linked polyethylene. There are many different types and brands of PEX on the market. It’s a plastic tubing designed for potable (drinkable) systems that has been used in the USA for a number of years. At Care Plumbing we use Uponor AquaPEX, which has been manufactured in Minnesota for about 35 years. It’s an excellent system, with many tens of thousands of homes repiped with it. You can find out more information about it at their website. http://www.uponor-usa.com/residential-plumbing.aspx
Is PEX better than Copper?
To be honest, this really is a Pepsi vs. Coke question. It many cases it comes down to personal preference. Many homeowners grew up in homes that had copper piping, so feel more comfortable with that system. Other homeowners feel that PEX has advantages that they prefer. A quieter system as an example, (PEX inhibits the sound of water rushing through pipes,) or more reasonable pricing. Both systems are sound and will provide you with a solution to pinhole and slab leaks.
Does a standard repipe also include all the drain pipes running from the toilet and showers?
No, these are two separate and distinct systems in your home. A standard repipe that most companies promote, affects the hot and cold water system in your home. The drains or waste system would be handled separately. Care Plumbing however, can provide you with both. During our free estimate, let the estimator know that you have some concerns about your waste system and he’ll be able to provide you with some options.
I have expensive wall paper throughout my house, do you really have to cut into it?
Not necessarily. Whether your home has an accessible crawlspace underneath or good attic space above, there are usually alternative routes that the plumbers can take to get new piping run throughout your house. We will always try to avoid going where you don’t want us to. With that said, these alternative routes may requires considerably more material and labor as part of the workaround. During the estimate we’ll give you an honest assessment of what can and cannot be done.
A member of my family has allergies. Is it okay for them to remain in the house?
During a repipe, walls will be opened and this will create dust. We do our best to protect your belongings, but it probably would be best to have that member of your family stay with a relative or friend for a day or two.
Why does a repipe for a slab home cost more than one with a raised foundation?
A raised foundation home (with a crawlspace underneath) gives our plumbers greater access. Thus it is easier to run piping from one location to another, without opening many holes. A slab foundation home, especially one with two stories, often requires that we open more holes in order to run the new piping. This requires more patching and labor, which directly impacts the cost of the repipe.
Is there much of a price difference between a 2 bathroom and 3 bathroom house?
Yes, there usually is. A typical 2 bath house with a raised foundation generally takes 1 day to complete.
A 3 bathroom house (usually 2 stories) requires more labor, more material and more patching, to bring the piping throughout the house and usually takes 2 days to complete. Larger homes require larger diameter piping and fittings, which costs more. Our pricing is always reasonable and we do our best to keep costs down. Homes that have extra fixtures, bar and laundry sinks, 3, 4 or 5 hose bibs or a softener, all require extra material and labor to repipe. These are some of the reasons why the prices may vary.
Can’t you just reroute the pipe to my kitchen? Wouldn’t that be cheaper?
Excellent question. In many homes that experience a slab leak, we find that it’s the hot water line to the kitchen that develops a leak first. Kitchen sinks are always in use, thus hot water is always flowing to it, so this line tends to wear out first. We can bypass the hot water line in the slab and run a new line in the ceiling or attic, depending on your home. We can do this, but … history tells us that leaks in a home rarely come only once. That first leak is a sign that the system is beginning to fail. We know, from past experience, that replacing only a single hot line to a kitchen sink, will not prevent the 2nd or 3rd or even 4th leak from happening in adjacent lines. Re-routes or bypasses are good emergency measures, but they simply do not address the long term problem of future leaks happening. A whole-house repipe is the more viable solution – and the less costly in the long run.
Can’t you just fix a leak in the slab? What’s so difficult?
Yes we can. To get to a leaking pipe in the slab requires getting through the concrete foundation above it. This requires a jackhammer, and it usually entails breaking floor tiles, or having someone remove wooden flooring first. These actions are all rather costly, all things considered. And at the end of the day, we are only fixing one leak in one section of a pipe. Historically, a section of pipe that sprang a leak often springs a second one further down the line – and soon. It can be done. It just isn’t very cost effective. Doing a whole-house repipe is much more economical.
We like our shower faucet handles, do we have to replace them?
No. In many cases it is not a necessity. However, we do recommend replacing older faucets and here’s why. A) New faucets are designed according to more recent plumbing codes. B) When detaching old galvanized or copper pipes from an older faucet, this action puts a lot of stress on the material. To keep your faucets functioning for years to come, we recommend installing new ones along with new plumbing pipes.
If you have older, more antique handles and really want to keep them, there are other options to consider. Ask our estimator when he comes to your house.
How do I know if I have a slab leak?
There are several signs to look out for. 1) The surface of the floor in one area is warm or even hot to the touch. 2) The dial on your water meter keeps spinning, even when all appliances and fixtures in the house have been turned off. 3) The water heater seems to be running all the time. 4) All this adds up to higher gas and water bills, sometimes very quickly.
With the ongoing drought in California, these leaks must be fixed right away. In many water districts, they’ll penalize you if these leaks go unhandled.
What size piping is used during a repipe?
This will vary depending on the size of the home and the number of fixtures (sinks, toilets, showers) inside it. The average repipe will include 1 inch, ¾ inch and ½ piping, installed according to the Uniform Plumbing Codes.