If the pipes in your home keep giving you trouble, it might be time to consider the benefits of re-piping your bathroom. Frequent dripping, bursting, and breaking can be signs that your pipes might need an upgrade. Older homes and fixer uppers that come with lead pipes can also be a problem for home owners, as the lead in the pipes has a tendency to leak into that water supply. Re-piping may seem like a daunting task but don’t worry, we are here to help! Below, you can find important tips for re-piping your bathroom that will help make this process easier.
1) Locate and Remove Old Pipe
There are many reasons to consider re-piping your bathroom. If you have an older house, your pipes are probably made of either lead or polybutylene. While polybutylene pipes are inconvenient in the long run and prone to breakage, lead pipes pose a very real health hazard. Re-piping is highly suggested if your bathroom pipes are made of either of these materials and locating them for removal is easier than you might think.
Before removing, make sure that you turn off your water supply. Shut off valves make it easier to control water flowfor individual systems but you can also turn off the main water supply all together. Turn on the faucet to get out any water that may be lingering in the pipes. Use a hand saw to cut into the wall behind the shower, sink, and toilet to locate the pipes. From there you can cut and remove the pipes. Always have a bucket on hand in case you encounter leftover water.
2) Replace old pipe with the new material
The pipe material is integral to the success of the piping system as a whole. There are many options to choose, ranging from PVC to metal, and it is easy to get overwhelmed when deciding which will work best for your bathroom. Luckily, each material has specialties that make it relatively easy to determine the best pipe material for bathroom applications.
Materials to consider for bathroom piping are PVC and CPVC. PVC is a low cost material option that works well with sink and toilet drain lines. However, it does not do well with hot water and is not considered safe for drinking water. CPVC pipes work very well where PVC does not, with both hot water and driving water delivery being possible with CPVC. This material is a bit more expensive though and will split if frozen. Copper is a more expensive but long trusted option that can be used for many applications with both hot and cold water. Depending on need and preference, these options are perfect choices for bathroom piping systems.
3) Make sure you have the proper fitting of joints
The proper size and fit is also an extremely important factor to consider when choosing a new pipe. The wrong size pipe can lead to leaks later on, which can become very costly and inconvenient. To make sure that you have chosen the correct size, test for leaks. You can test for leaks by using your water meter.
In addition to size, there are different schedules that can be important to water temperature and pressure. Schedule relates to the thickness of a pipe and as a result can help determine how the pipe will react to temperature and pressure issues as time goes on. For example, schedule 80 CPVC has a maximum service temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit while schedule 40 PVC is only suitable for 140 degrees Fahrenheit and below.
When deciding what size pipe your bathroom needs, it can help to use the old pipe as a guide. Determining the size and fit of the old pipe will give you a road map when purchasing a new pipe. If you are not sure which material or size to choose, it might be helpful to consult a professional before you buy.
4) Isolate pipes from nearby building materials
Once you have figured out the perfect size and material for your pipe system, it is time to install! However, one tip you must not forget comes in handy when you are putting in the new pipes. A common complaint from homeowners is something called water hammer. This is the noisy rattling and banging caused by pipes moving under the pressure of water flow. It can become very annoying over time and the best way to prevent this is to give pipes plenty of space when installing them. The more space that pipes have, the less likely they are to hit surrounding objects.
5) Hire a Professional Contractor
If you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure of your ability to replace your bathroom pipes alone, hiring a contractor is a great option. It is natural to be a bit wary of the hiring process but there are ways to guarantee that you get the results you want without the time constraints or stress.
Before looking to google for contractors, consult your friends and family. The recommendation feature on Facebook allows you to get suggestions for professional contractors by people you know and trust. Many people opt to use professionals for plumbing and piping jobs so the odds offinding trusted help this way are very high. There are also many websites devoted to rating and reviewing professionals in different fields. The vetting done by these websites can help you find the perfect contractor for the job.
It may seem like a big job but the benefits of repipinga bathroom are well worth it. Reduced water bills, increased water pressure, and better quality water are just some of the improvements you can expect when you take the time to update your bathroom pipes. If you are looking to repipe your entire home, the bathroom is a great place to start. Whether you decide to take on this task alone or with the help of a contractor, we hope these tips helped decrease the stress of the repiping process!
Timothy McFall is the Marketing Manager at PVC Fittings Online, a leading supplier of PVC pipe, fittings, valves, plumbing supply, and more. Timothy writes on various PVC topics and enjoys using his knowledge of PVC products to build all kinds of DIY projects