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For homeowners looking to upgrade or fix their plumbing systems, can they expect insurance to cover all costs?
An insurance company does not cover repiping because it is considered a preventive measure. They usually offer accidental damage insurance where the pipe is still in good condition but for some reason, it breaks.
Before asking when you should repipe a house, take note of the repiping process. Knowing the process will serve as your guide for your decision-making.
Repiping takes at least several days to a week to complete as the plumber needs to replace all the pipes. During this period, expect disruption from your water source.
You may not be able to use your fixtures that run with water. With this in mind, repiping requires scheduling ahead of time so everyone in the household can prepare.
Now, let us go back to the question, when should you repipe a house? You must repipe a house for several reasons. It can be because the house is old, which means that the pipe is maybe old as well.
Repiping is also necessary if you plan to remodel your house. If you are planning to sell your house, repiping may be necessary.
Old houses use pipes made from galvanized steel and copper. These materials are corrosive. If you own a house that was built in the 70s, you may need to consider repiping.
Although these materials can last for more than 75 years, various weather conditions, soil conditions, and exposure to chemicals may wear out the pipes.
It is not easy to spot a damaged pipe. But there are signs you must watch out for. One of the signs is the recurring plumbing problems. These problems might have been fixed in the past but it keeps coming back. It is more noticeable when it occurs in several areas of your house.
Another problem related to damaged pipes is the leaking pipes. When there is a leak, check if the water that comes out has discoloration. When you notice a rusty color, it is an indication that the pipes are corroded.
You must also check the other areas in your house if there is a leakage. If a couple of areas in your house has leakage, it is time for repiping.
Low water pressure is another sign that you need repiping. However, it is not automatic to assume that the problem comes from the plumbing system.
Low water pressure may be caused by the faulty pressure gauge of the water tank. If you have a water tank, check the pressure gauge before jumping to the conclusion that a pipe has been damaged.
If you hear a creaky sound from your pipe, it is an indication that the pipes are already old. It is time to repipe it when you hear the sound often.
Another indicator for deteriorating pipe is when the water that comes out from your fixtures smells and tastes bad. Most of the time, you can spot this problem in all of your fixtures. When you notice this problem, schedule a service call.
If you plan to sell your house and you want its price to appreciate, repiping can help you achieve it. Homebuyers want to buy houses in good condition. They do not want to buy a house that needs a lot of repairs.
Homeowners insurance cover pipe replacement for accidental damage. It means that the pipes are in good condition but it bursts for no reason.
Insurance companies also cover what they call dwelling coverage. The scope of its coverage is focused on the structure of your home. When your floor, walls, and carpets get damaged by a covered leak, it rests assured that the company covers the replacement or the cost of the repair.
Insurance companies also offer property coverage. Its scope is focused on your personal belongings and equipment. It includes electronics, appliances, and furniture. If a covered leak damages your personal stuff, you can expect that the insurance replaces your items or cover the repair cost.
On the other hand, the insurance company does not cover the damage due to the negligence of the homeowner. Negligence means that the homeowner does not conduct regular plumbing checkups that leads to the gradual deterioration of the pipe.
If an insurance company spotted rust on the pipe that causes the gradual deterioration, your insurance request for pipe replacement may be denied.
However, you can avoid this problem even you have old pipes sitting under your house. All you need to do is to have it inspected regularly for maintenance. Through regular maintenance, the plumber can give you advice on whether you need to repipe your plumbing system or not.
You must keep a record of the maintenance schedule and the reports that come with it. Do not forget to record the repairs so the insurance company can see the repair history.
Repiping costs vary as it depends on the size of the project and your location. You may pay $1500 for a simple project but it may increase up to $25000 or more.
Although the rate varies in different states, there is a common ground among plumbing services on their basis for the price.
They charge you for the cost of the pipes, contractor rate, permits required size of the house, and several fixtures.
Let’s dive into each of the charges to give you an idea of the coverage of each.
Today, the common pipes used in the plumbing system are PEX pipes and copper pipe. PEX pipes are less expensive than copper pipes but it is not advisable to be used outdoors. The average cost you will spend for PEX pipes is around $7500 or more.
It is the rate for a standard home, more or less depending on which state you live.
On the other hand, copper pipes can withstand extreme weather even when placed outdoors. This is the reason why plumbers suggest that you choose it for outdoor piping.
However, copper pipes cost over three times the cost of PEX pipes. You can expect a price tag of more than $20000 for the pipes.
Hiring an expert plumber is costly. It is because you are not only hiring an expert but also a licensed and insured plumber.
As an expert, you can expect a licensed plumber to deliver high-quality work. You can also expect that your piping project complies with the law implemented by your local authority.
The great thing about hiring an expert plumber is it guarantees that it is not a fly-by-night. Repiping takes at least 3 days to a week complete so you need a plumber that can complete the work on time. This explains why you need to hire one.
Expect a permit fee for this kind of project. Local authorities may require you to acquire a permit from the local planning or building department.
An inspection fee may be included as well. You must ask the contractor for all the fees before the project to avoid hidden charges. Acquiring a permit can be a hassle, but a licensed plumber can help you.
When a licensed plumber estimates the price of the project, you will be asked about your house size and the number of fixtures. This information is necessary to calculate the size and length of the pipes needed. It is necessary to provide information to get an accurate quote.
Pipe maintenance is one of the things that many homeowners neglect. They only realize its importance after the pipe bursts and damage their appliances.
Although you may need to spend a little extra, you can save more in the long run. If you have a budget for repiping, include it in your list of home projects. Take note to always record the plumbing service to serve as your future reference.