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How Much Does It Cost To Replace Plumbing In An Old House In 2024?

new pipelines

The idea of repiping an entire house can be daunting. It sounds like a big job, and in many cases, it is. Knowing the upfront costs and potential additional costs can help homeowners plan for the future and obtain peace of mind about a large project. The good news is, repiping a house might not cost as much as you think. The final cost of replacing the plumbing in an old house depends on a number of factors. For some homes, the price can be very reasonable.

Here is how much it costs to replace the plumbing in an old house today, including total project estimates, the price of different piping, and additional things to consider before you embark on the project.

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The Importance of Up-To-Date Plumbing

Having up-to-date plumbing that is in good shape is extremely important. Bad plumbing can cause numerous issues, with each being more expensive than the last. Leaky pipes can cause water damage and mold. Some styles of old pipe can burst unexpectedly and cause thousands of dollars of damage without warning. Home insurance costs can rise rapidly for homes with old and failing pipes. Some companies won’t cover homes with certain types of pipe.

All of these problems can quickly go from an afterthought to a crisis overnight. Replacing your old plumbing with new plumbing can prevent all of these issues before they become serious problems.

Over the years, there have been bad batches of pipes that have been notorious for failing. Galvanized pipe, cast iron pipe, and old copper Chinese pipe have all had records where the pipes fail after a certain number of years. In some cases, failure is all but guaranteed. The only way to prevent these risky pipes from exploding and ruining your home is to replace them before they fail.

For some homes updating old plumbing is imperative to prevent disaster. But the costs can be daunting.

rusty pipe line
Image Credit: Piqsels

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Old Plumbing?

The cost to replace the plumbing in an old house will vary based on a host of factors. One of the most important things determining the final price is how easy the pipes are to access. Some pipes are in easy-to-reach places that require little demolition. For example, houses with crawl spaces often have the pipes exposed which makes it easy for plumbers to get under the house and work on them with very little effort. On the flipside, plumbing buried in a concrete slab is the most difficult plumbing to reach and replace. If a plumber has to go through a slab to get to the pipes the time and cost can rise rapidly.

According to Home Guide, the national average in the United States to repipe a house is $4,080. Depending on your knowledge level that number might seem high or low. Houses with easy-to-reach pipes can be done for as little as $1,500. Large homes with multiple floors and difficult-to-reach pipes can run as high as $15,000. Unfortunately, every home is different and the exact price is going to depend on a number of factors.

Consult a PLUMBING expert

Find a plumbing specialist in your area, and get free, no-commitment estimates for your project. 

The Factors That Can Greatly Influence Plumbing Costs

  • Location of the pipes
  • Number of stories
  • Type of pipe
  • Number of plumbing fixtures
  • Type of foundation
  • Age of the home
  • City water and sewage versus on the property facilities

Large homes with extensive lengths of pipe will cost a lot more than small homes with small runs of pipe. The different types of pipe can affect the cost too, something we will cover later. Using the list of factors you should be able to puzzle out where on the spectrum your home might fall. But an exact price can only be determined by a local licensed plumber.

Installation Costs Price
National Average $4,080
Minimum $1,500
Maximum $15,000
Price Per Square Foot $4.50
Price Per Linear Foot $0.40–$2
Price Per Fixture $500–$1800
Average Range $2,280–$5,120

Source: Home Guide

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Image By: Kyle Glenn, Unsplash

Additional Costs


One of the most common additional costs that come with plumbing jobs is drywall repair. In many cases, plumbers have to cut holes in your drywall to access the pipes in order to replace them. Sometimes plumbers will cover the cost of drywall repair or replacement but not always. If your plumber does not do drywall work, you will have to find a drywall contractor to come in and fix the spots damaged during the plumbing job – for an additional cost.


Similar to drywall, sometimes plumbers have to demolish tile in order to access pipes. This commonly happens in bathrooms with large fixtures like showers or tubs. Not all plumbers have the ability or desire to do tile work. If that is the case, you will have to hire a bathroom contractor to come in after the plumbers and patch the tile. Again, for an additional cost.


In some homes, the piping will run from the house to a place on the edge of the property. These pipes could be water lines that join up with city water or sewage that takes waste from the home to a large water main under the road. If these pipes have to be replaced on the property, it will require the lawn and landscaping to be torn up to get to the old buried pipe.

The plumbers will rebury the new pipe but they will not replace your landscaping. If you have an elaborate yard with nice grass and a lot of plants this could cost a lot of money to get it back to the way it was before. If you need to replace piping that runs under your property, factor in costs to potentially redo landscaping.

Clean-Up or Repair

Sometimes, replacing the plumbing in an old house can uncover other issues that will require immediate attention. Water damage is one of the most common finds during a repiping job. Water damage due to old pipes can be hiding in the walls, ceiling, and floors. Many times, plumbers will uncover and identify water damage, but the repairs will have to be done by a different contractor. This can add a lot to the cost of a repiping job if water damage is uncovered.

Another common issue found when replacing plumbing is mold. Mold will fester in dark, damp areas where old pipes might have been sweating or failing. Mold mitigation and cleanup can be hundreds and even thousands of dollars. If mold turns up, the cost of your plumbing job will become much more expensive.

Sadly, these issues often can be spotted unless you start digging around in the innards of the home and will have to be dealt with as they arise.

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How Often Does Plumbing Have To Be Replaced?

Pipes do have a shelf life. The new pipe is being designed to last up to 50 years or more. Old pipes sometime last as little as 10 years. How often the piping has to be replaced depends on the type of pipe and the condition of the piping. Piping in good condition can safely be left alone unless it is one of the alarming types that are prone to high rates of failure.

Brand new plumbing should last a minimum of 30 years, and some might last as long as 75 years, depending on the conditions that the plumbing exists in.

If you do not know how old your pipes are or when they were last replaced, it might be a good idea to ask a plumber for some advice. Catching old pipes before they cause problems is imperative to avoiding catastrophe.

Signs Of Plumbing That Might Be Going Bad

  • Murky water
  • Fluctuating water pressure
  • Leaking pipes
  • Frequent clogs or slow drainage
  • The appearance of mold or water damage

Can You Replace Plumbing Gradually?

Yes. If you cannot afford to replace all of your old pipes at once, you can do it gradually. In some houses, it is easy to do the job in phases. Plumbers often do plumbing section by section so breaking up the job into manageable pieces is often an option.

For example, you might get your downstairs repiped before you have the upstairs done. You can do the bathrooms but save the kitchen for later, or you can go room by room. It will depend on your plumber and the layout of your home but doing a job over time is definitely a possibility.

If you decide to repipe your home in phases, it might incur additional costs. Sending out a plumbing crew over multiple days can increase the number of trip fees that you get charged. Similarly, small jobs might not get as many discounts as large jobs. Being able to drop all of the material at once and get a lot of the preparation done in one big swing can save costs in the long run. That is something to be aware of.

installing plumbing system
Image Credit: Brett Jordan, Unsplash

Different Plumbing Costs In 2024

There are three main types of piping used this year. Each variation has its own pros and cons that should be discussed with your plumber. Some houses will be better suited for CPVP, while others might benefit from PEX. Then there is the cost factor that goes into it as well.

At the low end, CPVP and PEX piping are roughly the same price. The cost of CPVP and PEX runs around $0.50 per foot on average. However, PEX can be as high as $2 a foot which might make it more cost-prohibitive than CPVP.

The most expensive pipe is copper. Metal piping has not always been the most durable building material, which is why many builders have moved to PVP-based pipes. Copper is currently the pipe material that has the best track record, but it will cost you. Copper piping is based on market copper prices, and the copper market has been on the rise for many years. This has left copper piping at over $3 per foot in most markets.

Some building code requires metal pipe, and copper is the only metal pipe widely available right now.

Type of Pipe Cost Per Foot
CPVP $0.55
PEX $0.40–$2
Copper $2.50–$10

Source: Thumb Tack

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There is a lot to think about when deciding whether to replace your old plumbing. The final costs and the scope of the project are going to depend entirely on your individual home. Arming yourself with knowledge and knowing what to expect going into the estimate will help keep you calm and be able to plan for a large bill if necessary. Remember, as expensive as it may seem to replace old plumbing, replacing the plumbing after pipes fail is much more costly.

Featured Image Credit: Sigmund, Unsplash


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