How Long Does It Take to Replace the Pipes in Your Home?

by Team eLocal
Critical case for a major plumbing and drainage repair

Repiping your house is an expensive and disruptive undertaking, so it's best to start the process armed with the right knowledge.

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Your plumber will need to turn off the water supply during at least part of the project, so it's natural to wonder how long you'll have to wait to use your plumbing fixtures as usual.

What Does Pipe Replacement Involve?

Whole-house pipe replacement is an invasive process because your contractor must gain access to every water pipe in your home and replace them with new ones. Replacing pipes in areas such as basements is often more straightforward because they tend to be exposed, so your plumber can access the water lines without removing building materials.

However, accessing pipes in walls, ceilings and floors requires removing materials such as drywall, plaster and tiles. Therefore, you'll also have to repair any damage after finishing your pipe replacement.

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How Long Does It Take to Replace Pipes in a House?

How long it takes to replace pipes depends on several factors, including the size of your home and the number of fixtures. Generally, replacing the pipes in a typical family home takes between two and seven days, but it could be longer if your house is larger than average.

The number of rooms with a water supply can also affect how long pipe replacement takes. For example, repiping a house with a family bathroom and en suite or guest bathrooms takes significantly longer than replacing pipes in a home with a single bathroom. If you have multiple rooms with plumbing, repiping your house could take several weeks.

Another factor to consider is the time it takes to obtain a permit for the work. Generally, whole-house repiping requires a permit because it is a major plumbing job involving replacing all the supply lines. How long it takes to get a plumbing permit depends on the process in your city or municipality, but you should generally expect a wait of one to three weeks.

You'll also need to have an inspection before your contractor can begin patching the removed drywall and replacing the removed flooring and ceiling materials. Pipe replacement could take longer if there are delays in arranging a professional inspection.

A final factor to bear in mind is the accessibility of your plumbing. The easier it is to gain access to your pipes, the quicker the job. Therefore, you can help the job run smoother and avoid delays by removing furniture and wall art from the affected rooms beforehand if your contractor doesn't offer this service.

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