How Much Does Installing or Replacing Plumbing Pipes Cost?

Lawrence Bonk
Written by Lawrence Bonk
Updated January 11, 2022
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The average cost to install plumbing pipes throughout an entire home is $1,500 to $15,000

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 If you want to shower, do laundry, cook, and use the bathroom, you need to have plumbing pipes. The cost to hire a professional plumber to install pipes throughout an entire home is $1,500 to $15,000, with an average of $600 to $1,600 per fixture.

Pipe Installation Cost Breakdown

A primary cost factor will be labor, as hiring a plumber costs $45 to $480 per hour, with an average cost of $330 per hour. Replumbing an entire home is a time-consuming process and extremely labor-intensive. Count on two days to a full week of labor. Other factors that impact the overall cost of plumbing a home include the type of pipes, the number of fixtures that need a connection, and how far the lines run from the water main.

Pipes

Generally speaking, there are three main types of piping used in modern installations, each with its own cost ranges, advantages, and disadvantages. 

Chlorinated Polyvinylchloride Piping (CPVC): CPVC costs about $0.50 to $1 per linear foot. It's a rigid, time-tested pipe used since the 1960s, but is prone to leaks due to improper fittings, lower-quality manufacturing processes, and/or incorrect installation. However, it does not corrode and can be an inexpensive alternative to copper when used correctly. It lasts anywhere from 50 to 75 years. 

Polyethylene (PEX) Piping: PEX Pipe runs between $0.40 and $2 per linear foot. PEX is a flexible tubing, made from crosslinked HDPE (high-density polyethylene) polymer and is great for small sections of repair or full replacements. It does not corrode, leak, or burst like other pipes. It's also great for in-floor heating and new construction, and can be coupled to any other material type. One major consideration when it comes to PEX? It may not integrate with every pre-existing system, so be sure to inquire with your pro. PEX tubes last anywhere from 80 to 100 years. 

Copper Piping: Copper pipes cost $2 to $8 per linear foot for the materials alone, depending on the diameter of the tube, and can have a higher installation cost than PEX or CPVC. It’s more expensive than plastic, but has decades of successful use in homes across the country and is accepted by all building codes. Copper piping is recyclable, UV resistant, and does not leach harmful bacteria. It is also reliable in natural disasters.  However, it can freeze, burst, and corrode, so that’s something to consider. Copper pipes last 50 to 100 years.

Fixtures

New water pipe installation projects are bid by the fixture, like a bathtub, sink, or toilet. Expect to pay anywhere from $600 to $1,600 per fixture. Each fixture has a point value that impacts the cost, depending on how many water lines it has. For instance, toilets, dishwashers, and refrigerators are just 0.5 points because they only have one water line. Most bathrooms are 2.5 points, as a plumber tallies the water lines associated with the toilet, bathtub, and sink. Half baths with fewer fixtures cost around 60% of the full bathroom price.

Labor

As mentioned, plumbing a house is labor-intensive and these costs add up. Count on at least 28 hours of labor to plumb an average-sized home with two bathrooms. That puts the average labor cost at $9,240, with the low end being $1,260 and the maximum price coming in at $13,440. Of course, these costs rise with the size of your home, as larger homes typically include more fixtures.

What Factors Influence the Cost to Install Plumbing Pipes?

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It’s not just pipes, labor, and fixtures—there are some other factors to consider when pricing out the cost for plumbing pipes.

Removing Old Pipes

If your home has old, hazardous piping materials such as lead, galvanized steel, or polybutylene, you will likely need to remove these old materials before installing new plumbing. These costs factor into your estimate, but you should expect to pay between $2,500 to $15,000 to replace polybutylene or lead pipes with a modern variant. 

There is also excavation to consider, as a plumber will remove drywall or part of the ceiling to reach corroded pipes. Repairing a ceiling costs $300 to $1,000 and repairing drywall costs $300 to $800.

Replacing or Installing a Water Line

You may need a brand new water line to connect your home to the main line. Water main replacement costs range between $800 and $4,800, though new homes requiring a water line tend to run to higher. Expect to pay between $2,300 to $6,500 for this task, as your pro will create a new gravel bed and conduct any necessary excavation before dropping the line. Your cost will also increase the further away your home is from the main city line.

Plumbing Inspection

If you have an old home and you are not sure if you need a full pipe replacement, you can hire a pro to conduct a full inspection. There are hundreds of feet of plumbing pipe running throughout and under a home, so a pro employs something called a plumbing or sewer scope. 

This inspection costs between $251 and $1,199, with an average price of $699. It sounds expensive for an inspection, but the process could actually save you money. For instance, the camera could reveal that only a small portion of your pipes need replacement. Replacing small sections of piping will run anywhere from $352 to $1,835 with an average of $1,077. That’s a lot less than a full setup.

How Much Does It Cost to Install or Replace Plumbing Pipes Near You?

Material costs and labor vary by location, so it’s important to speak with a local plumber to get an accurate quote. Plumbing a home will cost more in populated urban areas than in suburban locations, though remote and rural areas may feature an increased price range if homes are far away from the water main. Here are some price estimates for several locations throughout the U.S.

LocationAverage Price
Minneapolis$1,130
Seattle$2,090
Dallas$970
Long Island, NY$960
Chicago$1,430

FAQs About Installing or Replacing Plumbing Pipes

How do I find a reputable contractor to install or replace plumbing pipes?

Plumbing or replumbing a home is a serious investment, so you should take your time before deciding on a pro. Research the technician via the company’s official website and ask friends and neighbors for advice. You should also check on the contractor’s insurance and licensure, making sure both are up to date. Perform a quick check with the Better Business Bureau to suss out any red flags and, finally, give them a call to get a feel for their professionalism.

Can I plumb a home by myself?

This isn’t handyperson work; you want to hire a professional, licensed plumber to do the job. They'll work with you to determine which material will work and the best approach to installation. Plumbers carry liability insurance and professional work is covered by homeowners’ insurance. You are risking thousands of dollars in water damages by going the DIY route, not to mention health hazards down the line.

How can I tell if I need my pipes replaced?

Besides opting for a professional inspection, there are some other tell-tale signs that your home needs a replumbing job. Keep an eye out for leaks and perform spot-checks on exposed areas of piping. Check the tubing for stains, flaking, and discoloration, all of which are signs of corrosion. The taste and color of your water is also a good indicator. If your water is brown or yellow and tastes rusty, a full pipe replacement is in your future.

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