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In this situation, the most effective solution for St Paul Pipeworks plumbers is to remove the outdated threaded galvanized pipes and replace them.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 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 the 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


Q: Why would an older home require a plumbing water re-pipe?

A: As homes age, the plumbing system’s pipes can deteriorate due to factors such as corrosion, rust, and mineral buildup. This can lead to leaks, reduced water pressure, and even potential health hazards from contaminants. A plumbing water re-pipe becomes necessary to replace the old, damaged pipes with new ones, ensuring a safe and efficient water supply throughout the home.

Q: What signs indicate that my older home needs a plumbing water re-pipe?

A: There are several signs that may indicate the need for a plumbing water re-pipe. Look out for recurring leaks, low water pressure, discolored or foul-smelling water, rust particles in the water, and visible corrosion on exposed pipes. Additionally, if your home has galvanized steel or polybutylene pipes, both of which are prone to issues, consider scheduling a professional inspection.

Q: What benefits can I expect from a plumbing water re-pipe in my older home?

A: A plumbing water re-pipe offers numerous benefits for your older home. Firstly, it eliminates leaks and water pressure problems, ensuring a reliable and consistent water supply. Secondly, it improves water quality, as new pipes are free from rust and contaminants that may have accumulated in the old pipes. Additionally, a re-pipe can enhance the overall value of your home and prevent potential water damage, saving you from costly repairs in the long run.

Q: How long does a plumbing water re-pipe typically take to complete?

A: The duration of a plumbing water re-pipe depends on the size of your home and the complexity of the plumbing system. In most cases, the process can take anywhere from a few days to a week. However, factors like the accessibility of pipes, the need for wall repairs, and any unexpected challenges can affect the timeline. Our experienced team at St. Paul Pipeworks will provide you with an estimated timeframe after a thorough assessment of your home’s plumbing needs.

Q: Is a plumbing water re-pipe a DIY project, or should I hire a professional plumber?

A: A plumbing water re-pipe is a complex and labor-intensive project that requires specialized knowledge and skills. Attempting it as a DIY project can lead to costly mistakes, potential water damage, and compromised safety. It is highly recommended to hire a professional plumber, like the experts at St. Paul Pipeworks, to ensure the job is done efficiently, up to code, and with the use of high-quality materials. Professional plumbers have the expertise and tools to perform a successful water re-pipe, giving you peace of mind and a well-functioning plumbing system.

When a Plumbing Water Re-pipe is Necessary in an Older Home and What it Will Correct. Ask A Plumber…