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Question DetailsAsked on 1/29/2014

What is the cost to replace polybutelene pipes in a home?

We have a contract on a home built in 1996. Home inspection shows polybutelene pipes and inspector recommends a plumbing inspection. As we discuss this situation with our realtor we would like to have an idea of what the cost would be to replace these pipes. 2300sqft home, 4 bed/ 2 1/2 bath.

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How does $3873.96, plus tax, sound ? Obviously, without a detailed takeoff in-place, one cannot give a good estimate, but commonly in the $3000-4000 plus or minus a thousand range - depends a lot on how your house was built. If it has a central utility core with all pipes running up the center of the house direct to the bathrooms, then a separate run to kitchen, or a ranch with open floor joists in crawlspace or basement, could be in that range. If pipes run all over the place, or every run is a home-run to where the pipes enter the house, could be a lot more - I have seen up to $10,000 range for copper replacement for your size homes after all drywall repair and repainting is done.

This type of question has been asked a number of times - click on the Home > Plumbing link right under your question and search for similar questions and their responses.

Obviously, if you are going to plan on doing this yourself after purchase and discount your offer by that amount, you need a firm bid good for a least a month AFTER closing to feel secure in your offer - preferably two and figure the higher. Personally, I would consider it a defect, make sure it is called out in the plumbers inspection report as an unacceptable risk, and put it in as a contingency that has to be replaced by the owner BEFORE closing. And specify what types of piping you are willing to accept from PVC/CPVC, copper, or cross-linked polyethylene, assuming legal in your area, and specify has to be done by licensed plumber HIMSELF (not an assistant working without him on site full time), and has to pass building department inspection if this requires a permit.

The discussions also address the pros and cons of each - if you don't specify, it is almost certain to end up PEX because of the easier installation cost, which might not be what you want.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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