Since you are on this page I am guessing you already know you have a slab leak. The rule of thumb is if you have had 2 or more slab leaks, it is time you start planning for a repipe. If you have had 3, don’t waste any more money on repairing the slab leak, either repipe your home or reroute the line that is causing the slab leak. You probably have a million questions and even more worries as to what “they”, our plumbers, are going to do to your home. Please feel free to e-mail me any questions or concerns you have, I will answer them as quickly as possible. Or to get immediate answers to your questions about a whole house repipe, Call me, I am always happy to answer your questions. 714-964-3519.
Hopefully these FAQ’s may answer some of your questions about slab leaks.
What Type of Material?
There are a couple of different ways to go as technology is improving the plumbing industry. Copper repipes were the standard for the last 40+ years. Now our plumbers have PEX, a new polyethylene cross-linked tubing that is easier to install and much less labor intensive. This can save hundreds if not a thousand dollars on a whole house repipe. All our plumbers have been highly trained and have all the certifications required for installing the new tubing by each of the manufacturers. Although we still like the old school approach, using copper tubing for a repipe, the new tubing is quieter than copper, last longer than copper, especially when used on a recirculating system, and saves the consumer, you, a substantial amount of money. Do you want to learn more about using PEX for a repipe? This will take you to a PEX manufacturer site.
Uponor PEX http://www.uponor-usa.com/
Nibco PEX http://www.nibco.com/PEX/
Who will be doing my repipe?
We will, with our fully trained, knowledgeable, well equipped PLUMBERS. You will have your main contact plumber that will be in charge of repiping your home. Plus you will have other plumbers assisting him in the repipe. NOT a bunch of apprentices or “workers” which have not had the training or the knowledge to do the job right. You are spending a good amount of money to do a repipe, You don’t want to have to go back and open walls to fix problems an inexperienced or untrained person left you with. If you have a question, you can ask any of the plumbers, they all speak english, and will be able to give you an educated answer as to what they are doing and why.
Will the walls and ceiling need to be opened for a repipe?
Since your home is on a slab, unfortunately, Yes. The walls and ceilings in certain areas will need to be opened. Our plumber will be happy to walk the entire job and explain approximately where and to what extent the drywall would have to be opened. Usually behind any fixture that requires water, or in some cases, like on outside walls, we would open them on the same side as the fixture. Our plumbers try to avoid opening the stucco (outside walls) or tile, as it cost much more to repair these areas. In the garage we can run copper pipes exposed (on the outside of the walls), PEX cannot be left exposed. We will discuss the options with you and let you make the final decision, it is after all your home. If we can hide them behind the washer or dryer or for the water main we may run it up in the rafters if possible. On 2 story homes the first floor ceilings would need to be opened so we can get from one area to the other. Also any area the roof comes down to meet the walls where there are plumbing fixtures the plumbers may need to open the ceiling because it is too tight to get in to in the attic. If you just want one of our plumbers to walk you through what and where they will need to open, give us a call and we will be happy to come over and point everything out for you.
Are all repipes the same?
Let’s talk quality of installation. I have seen a lot of repipes in my many years of plumbing. The quality of installation makes a huge difference in the overall job. Strapping the copper pipes directly to the wood is a big no-no. It acts like a guitar string and amplifies the noise the pipes make. Usually a plastic insulator is used between the wood and pipe to help minimize the noise. When a plumber reroutes the pipes out of the ground and put them overhead, you will definitely hear more water noise. We minimize this best we can. Using PEX greatly reduces the the water noise as metal transfers sound to the surrounding areas and PEX helps by absorbing a lot of the sound.
How long will a repipe take?
Of course every job is unique. Typically a full house repipe will take from 2 to 4 days. Depending on how many fixtures the plumbers are having to run new water lines to and the type of materials we are using. Any company that states they can do it in one day is not getting permits or having a city inspector verify they have done the job correctly and to code. There is the time to open the walls and ceilings as needed, drilling of new holes for the pipes to run in, and installation of the new plumbing. Then we have to do the “tie-in”, which is actually putting water in the new repiped system, and testing for leaks. The next day the city inspector needs to look the repipe over and after that the walls all have to be repaired and this takes another day or 2 depending again on what the plumbers had to open.
How long will I be without water?
Normally only 4-6 hours, as long as the original slab leak isn’t so bad the plumber had to turn your water off to protect your home and belongings. The plumbers work together and do most of the repipe before they do the actual tie-in. Once the plumbers have all the piping in and they have checked all their work, cleaned everything up, they are ready to get water in the pipes. Usually we will wait until the following day so we are a little fresher and can move a little quicker helping to minimize the time without water.
Can I still live in my home while the work is being done?
Of Course. It will be a little noisy the first day and there will be a lot of plastic and drop cloths around to protect your belongings, but you will still have water and the use of all your plumbing fixtures up until we do the tie-in. Then just a short 4-6 hours and it’s done.
Will there be a big mess when you are done?
Absolutely NOT! We clean as we work. First the plumbers and plumber’s helpers cover all your belongings with plastic to keep any dust from getting on them, cover your floors and carpeting with drop cloths or plastic as needed. Then as the plumbers are making small messes the plumber’s helper is continually cleaning up. At the end of the day your house is at least as clean as when we got there, if not cleaner.