Is it time to replace the pipes in your older home?

Most homes built before 1960 were originally piped with threaded galvanized water pipes in either part or all of the home. Most of the time when people begin to have clogging problems in their houses, they call it water pressure. It is actually a delivery problem. Delivery is a combination of pressure that is provided by the city and the volume of water coming through the pipes. This depends on how large the inside of the galvanized pipes were when installed and how plugged they have become over the years.

In this situation, the most effective solution for St Paul Pipeworks plumbers is to remove the outdated threaded galvanized pipes and replace them. For years, only copper pipes were used to replace the old pipes, but now the preferred material is polyethylene cross-linked tubing (PEX) or a combination of copper and PEX. Many of the properties of PEX are better and easier to use than copper. PEX is one of about six to eight Plumbing Code-approved plastic polymer water pipes in Minnesota, but in St Paul Pipeworks view, it is the superior plastic water pipe. During a home pipe replacement, the plumber is not only getting rid of the threaded galvanized pipe that is plugged up, but they will also resize the new pipes at the same time. The plumber will check to see what the water pressure is coming from the city and then use that to figure out the correct size of the new water pipe. In older houses, there can be piping systems that are undersized and that affects the water delivery.

What is a general rule when sizing water pipes for the number of fixtures in your home?

Most homes can be served with a ¾” incoming water pipe that connects to the home’s water main. Newer homes have a 1” water main from the street. The main pipe is located in the basement. After the main water line, there will be ½” water pipes going to each fixture group in the home – the kitchen, each of the bathrooms, and the laundry room. Also, there is a separate pipe that is used to serve each lawn faucet. St Paul Pipeworks always uses a ¾” water pipe to the lawn faucets, so that they are full flow faucets.

What does a plumbing water re-pipe correct?

A plumbing water repipe corrects the quantity of the water delivery to the home thereby increasing the quantity of water that is coming out of each fixture. At times, certain areas of the city will have low pressure. When St Paul Pipeworks plumbers find out that the area of that city where they are working has low pressure they will install new pipes that are slightly oversized to increase the volume and help improve delivery.

Old Galvanized Pipes
New Piping Installation

If you have an older home and have questions about a plumbing water re-pipe or are just looking for a quality plumber in the St. Paul and Minneapolis metro area, give St Paul Pipeworks a call today.

Yours Truly,

Matthew Dettwiler

Social Media Manager


When a plumbing water re-pipe is necessary in an older home and what it will correct. Ask A Plumber