Replace Old Iron Pipes with PEX
LESLIE: Paula in Virginia’s got a freezing farmhouse. What can we do for you?
PAULA: And the farmhouse is truly freezing. We have – we have to replace the pipes; they’re galvanized iron. And we have to replace them between the kitchen and the bathroom. Now, what would be the best material to use to replace them, number one? And right now the pipes are in such an area that maybe an eight-year-old, 50-pound child would be able to get to them. (Tom and Leslie laugh)
LESLIE: Well, if your house is 100 years old we’re talking child labor laws. (chuckling)
TOM: You know what would be a good option for you right now is a material that’s gaining a lot of popularity called PEX; P-E-X. It stands for cross-linked polyethylene piping. And one of the reasons it’s nice is that it’s a lot easier to work with. It can actually be snaked.
LESLIE: Well, it’s flexible.
TOM: It’s flexible so it can be snaked inside of wall and floor spaces that you can’t get some of the …
LESLIE: Similar to how electrical wiring is.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. So I would look into PEX and talk with plumbers that are using PEX piping. That would probably be a great choice for you in this particular situation. You can always use copper but then you’re going to probably have a lot more destruction before you get to the construction because you’ll have to tear open floors and walls and things like that to get access to these pipes. But I’ll tell you, with the age of that house, that piping, you can’t do this – you can’t do this too soon. Because that plumbing is going to continue to rust and eventually you’re going to get a leak in that space. Then you’ll have no choice about having to get in. You’ll have to do it right quick.
PAULA: Well, that’s what happened this year. It …
TOM: Oh, too late, Tom. (laughing)
PAULA: Yeah. No, we were able to patch the leak but that’s when we found out how hard it was to get to the pipes and how bad they were. So, it’s going to be more than a weekend project. (laughing)
LESLIE: Oh, yeah.
TOM: Yeah, that’s for sure. That’s for sure.
Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.