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Repiping the house

I called the plumber out this morning to
replace my water heater. The thing was
leaking all over the garage. The only
problem was that it isn't the water heater.
There is a leak in the copper plumbing of
this old (26 years) house. We've got a
concrete slab foundation - the leak is
somewhere in there.

The plumber said he could jack hammer up the
kitchen floor trying to find the leak, patch
it, and then we could wait for another leak
to appear some day or we could repipe the
whole house through the crawl space. Either
way, I'm suddenly faced with several thousand
dollar expense.

My questions are:

does copper piping really go bad like that?

are there other options?

how hard is the repiping option?



Re: Repiping the house

Copper piping almost last forever in most cases. But copper layed in concrete causes a chemical reaction between the two. The Copper Deteriorates and then leaks. The cheapest way is to re-pipe the home above the slab. As over time the whole system in the concrete will fail in time.I am not a plumber but in my times doing electrical work in homes built with copper in concrete my customers have seen the same thing. Good luck

Re: Repiping the house

Thanks for the reply. This looks
like another very expensive
summer starting. Crap. Now, do
I pull tuition payments for one of
my two biggest kids or try and
sell one of the other five to
the gypsies?


Re: Repiping the house

Maybe you can enroll the oldest kids in the trades,i.e. plumbing, electrical, HVAC and then you can have the family discount apply the next time this type of expense rears it's ugly head....:D

Re: Repiping the house

I've seen 50 year old copper in contact with 50 year old concrete and it was fine. I don't suggest the everyone should do it. You may have a number of problems contributing to the expiration of your water distribution system. Test the pressure if its over 60psi then you ned to reduce it. 40 to 45 operating pressure is ideal. Not exact but in the neighborhood. Test your waters chemical composition for acidity, mineral content etc. Since you are repiping then I recommend PEX. It is way more cost effective to install compared to copper labor wise and material cost. Fact is that the only way copper can compete is in the "pretty" factor. Besides If it failed already then where is the assurance that it won't again. Personally I think its the ground clamps that the electricians and Phone people put on the copper and that it allows electrolisys. Dogone Sparkys haha

Re: Repiping the house

I got a second opinion. Instead
of a complete repiping of the house,
this plumber will access the leak from
the garage, patch the pipe, patch
the concrete, and be outta there for
about 6K less than the other guy.
If I should continue to get leaks,
then I'll have to start thinking
about which kid to unload.


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