For decades, copper has been the material of choice for commercial and residential plumbing systems throughout the Treasure Coast region of Florida. Despite its heat and high-pressure resistance, copper can fail sooner than expected in home plumbing. Copper piping earned a reputation for quality and durability. As a result of its strength and lightweight, it is often regarded as a hassle-free piping material.
In areas with mineral-rich water, like the Treasure Coast of Florida, copper may still corrode over time even if it is corrosion-resistant. In this article, we will discuss the process of re-piping your copper pipes with PEX and the process needed to repair your drywall afterward.
Why Do Copper Pipes Need to Be Replaced?
Pinhole leaks are common in copper piping. A pinhole leak occurs when corrosion causes tiny holes to develop in plumbing over time. This can cause costly damage to your home or office.
Pinhole leaks slowly develop when corrosive materials on the inside of the pipe wear through the metal, forming a leak.
Pinhole leaks are primarily caused by the composition of the water flowing through your plumbing system. There are a number of factors that can contribute to the corrosion of copper pipes, including hard water (high levels of dissolved calcium and magnesium) and water that is too basic (low pH) or too acidic (high pH).
The minerals in the water supply can wear out the inner linings of copper pipes when pushed at elevated pressure through fittings and elbows, where water changes directions quickly. However, water velocity and minerals aren’t the only factors at play. Copper piping can also be corroded by sand, sediment, and other grit in the water. Often, the solution is to re-pipe the home with PEX piping.
What is PEX Piping?
PEX, also known as cross-linked polyethylene, is one of these materials. PEX pipes are made from polyethylene with cross-linked bonds within their structure. When compared to uncross-linked polyethylene, cross-linked polyethylene has superior mechanical and thermal properties. For improved thermal stability, flexibility, and durability, PEX is typically enhanced with different additives.
In both new construction and remodeling projects, PEX is replacing copper and galvanized steel water supply lines. You've probably seen rolls of blue and red PEX pipe at your local home improvement store but did not know you can replace your damaged copper pipes with them.
Benefits of Re-Piping Copper with PEX Piping:
Beyond its obvious flexibility, PEX has multiple advantages for homeowners throughout the Treasure Coast, who need to remove and replace copper piping in their homes. Below are a few of the benefits to this method of re-piping.
Benefits of Repiping Copper Pipes:
- Repiping copper pipes and Installing PEX does not require soldering, as does copper and galvanized steel.
- Copper and steel pipes cannot expand, therefore they are prone to freeze-cracking. PEX alleviates this issue, due to its ability to expand.
- Unlike copper pipe which corrodes and can leak and contaminate your water supply, PEX does not corrode.
- Copper and other metal piping can be “noisy,” whereas water flows quietly through PEX, eliminating the hammer-like noise often heard in copper metal piping.
- When re-piping copper pipes, PEX can be connected to your existing supply lines.
Who Can Assist Me with Copper Re-Piping?
Copper re-piping should be done by a licensed re-piping company that employs re-piping specialists; these are not typical plumbers. They have specialized training and often charge on a “per-fixture” basis. However, there are other factors such as if they will be repairing drywall holes.
There are several steps involved in replacing copper pipes with PEX piping. First, the plumber checks the location of the pipes behind your walls with specialized equipment. After that, the main water supply is shut off and the plumbing system. Then, the plumber replaces the copper pipes with PEX pipes Once the plumbing system has been drained.
After the PEX plumbing system is installed, the plumber will secure it to the main water supply line. Since PEX is not conductive, the plumber will also check that your electrical systems are still grounded after installing PEX piping. In spite of the fact that replacing old copper pipes with PEX piping may seem pretty straightforward, we recommend enlisting the services of a professional plumber to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Replacing copper pipe plumbing generally costs between $2,500 and $20,000 to replace copper plumbing, depending on the number of fixtures, the size of your home, and whether drywall damage needs to be repaired.
Also, the cost to replace copper pipe can be much cheaper if your home has a crawlspace, due to the ability to easily access the majority of the piping. One point to note, if you choose to replace the piping with copper, the cost will also be significantly higher. Copper pipe is usually replaced with PEX piping or CPVC piping.
Repairing Drywall After Copper Pipe Re-Piping
Replacing copper plumbing often creates small rectangular holes in the drywall where the re-piping has taken place. Once the re-piping specialist completes their job, you will need a drywall repair specialist to fix the holes in your wall.
That’s where we come in. PatchMaster Serving the Treasure Coast offers a fast, professional solution for drywall repairs in your home or office. We service the communities of Fellsmere, Fort Pierce, Grant, Indialantic, Malabar, Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, Palm Bay, Satellite Beach, Sebastian, Vero Beach, and others. As your local drywall repair company, we have extensive knowledge and the skills to repair holes left by re-piping specialists.
PatchMaster’s process begins with our drywall technicians covering the floors, furniture, appliances and any other items that are in the vicinity of the repair, with plastic sheeting. This even includes the areas where our technicians need to walk. From there, they will work quickly and efficiently to patch the holes in your drywall and make your home whole again.
Finally, our technicians are skilled at paint matching and can paint the repair area or we can paint a full wall, corner to corner. Either way the goal is the same - to make your walls look new again!
Contact Your Local Drywall Repair Specialist
If you have drywall holes as the result of copper pipe re-piping, contact your local PatchMaster Serving Treasure Coast office to schedule a free estimate for drywall and sheetrock repair and painting services. We also offer professional popcorn ceiling removal, texture matching services, or small ding and dent repair. Call us today at (772) 247-5353 or (321) 342-1323 to experience a professional drywall repair experience like no other, with PatchMaster.
Drywall repair photos via ourcambridgeparkfamily.com/re-piping-part-2/, repair work was performed by PatchMaster Serving the Treasure Coast