A repipe is a complete replacement of the water lines inside your home. The most common reason for a repipe in the greater Seattle area is to replace old galvanized lines with copper or PEX. This helps ensure your water lines are free of lead, corrosion and leaks. A repipe may also increase the water volume in your home, depending on your Seattle neighborhood’s water pressure.
- Galvanized iron pipes, also called galvanized pipes, are actually steel pipes coated with a layer of zinc. The zinc was added to extend the life of the pipe but it contained lead and other metals. These pipes were commonly installed in homes built in Seattle before the 1960’s.
- Corrosion and lead are the main concerns with galvanized pipes. Lead can also be found in the connections to the city’s lead pipes in the street.
- As pipes corrode over time, rust debris forms and reduces the diameter of the pipe. This can reduce the water flow to your fixtures, and can create water quality issues. In addition, the corrosion can cause galvanized pipes to leak and can cause water damage to your property.
Test your pipes to see if they are galvanized by placing a magnet on a bit of exposed pipe in your home. A magnet will stick to galvanized pipe. Magnets won’t stick to copper or plastic pipes.
Some homes have a partial replacement of galvanized pipes in the kitchen area, especially if a kitchen was remodeled. Instead of a partial replacement, Raymark recommends a full replacement of the home’s pipes. This is because the shaking and vibration caused by cutting and moving galvanized pipes can loosen the accumulated corrosion. This debris clogs sink aerators, shower heads, faucets, and cartridges.
The vibration can also disturb corroded pipes in interior walls and potentially cause a leak. Due to this potential loosening, we can’t guarantee the outcome when a partial replacement is done. It is also more cost effective to replace all water lines at one time. For these reasons, a partial repipe is not recommended.
Also, the installation of new faucets and valves can inadvertently cause pipe damage and leaks. Therefore, we recommend replacing old galvanized lines before installing new faucets.
If you are looking for a partial replacement due to a better quality of water, a water filter may be a better solution. Please see our Water Filter page for more information.
Your water supply lines bring in fresh water. These older water lines weren’t built to last forever. A replacement of your home’s fresh water supply lines ensures cleaner water and sturdy, dependable pipes. A repipe should last the life of your home.
Call Raymark Plumbing and Sewer and one of our experienced plumbers will assess your current water lines and give you a quote for a repipe.