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New supply lines in bath

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  • New supply lines in bath

    Hello - It's been awhile since I posted, and I have another question. I have offered to help a good friend re-do her bathroom in a 50s era home she recently purchased. The bath has an ugly cobination of pink mosaic tile and peel and stick vinyl tile not to mention a hideous vanity.

    We want to rip out all of the existing tile, all the pink wall tile, and get rid of the pink tub, the white toilet, and the aging ugly vanity and replace wthem all with new fixtures.

    The plan is to keep the locations of all of the fixtures the same as they are now. When she bought the home, her inspector noted that she has galvanized supply lines.

    I figure if we're going to be ripping out tile and probably some of the walls, it might be worth it to go ahead and install new supply lines. I am considering using CPVC because it is easy to work with (I have worked with it in my own home).

    Considering we'll have the walls accessible, and we can get to the pipes through the crawlspace, how hard will it be to replace the old galvanized pipes with new CPVC?

    To add a twist to all of this, when the previous owner installed a laundry room, he used CPVC for the new plumbing, so there is CPVC running from the water heater to the laundry, and then it takes a long route around the crawlspace where it finally hooks into the galvanized. I was down there looking at all of this and thinking, why not rip all of the galvanized out and replace it with CPVC? Is that just a silly idea? I am thinking that the bath plumbing will be completely accessible, the laundry room already has CPVC, so there's the kithcen that needs it, and a newer second bath that might or might not (I haven't investigated it enough to determine if it has galvanized pipes or not).

    So what do you all think? Should she get a contractor to do it, or is this something a DIYer can do? My concerns are hooking up the new CPVC to the main water supply and making any transitions from CPVC to existing older pipes (if we don't replace all of them).

    Also, this house has cast iron drain lines. What are the chances they are in good shape? I know I won't mess with those, and if they need to be replaced, a plumber will be called. But I guess I am curious to know how long they should last. When we remove the toilet and tub, we'll certainly see what shape they are in, and I am hoping they won't need to be replaced. But I'd be interested in knowing what those of you with more experience think and know.

    Thanks, in advance, for all of your help.


  • #2
    i would say new lines....but i would use copper! in fact i have used copper

    and your 50's bathroom....i have the exact same upstairs in the house my wife and i bought last year!!!!


    • #3
      I highly recommend you hire a licened contractor to remove and install your new pipe. When a licened contractor installs plumbing, the work is 100% correct or your money back, plus it requiers a lot of tools and knowledge to get the job done right.


      • #4
        Just thought I'd update everyone and let them know that I helped my friend replumb her entire house. We removed ALL of the old galvanized plumbing, installed a new brass shut-off valve where the supply line comes in, and ran new CPVC pipe to all of her fixtures. It's been working like a charm the past two months.

        We're almost finished renovating the bathroom as well. It took us a few days last December to rip out all of the old tile (used a Hilti hammer drill for that!) and get all of the old drywall and other plumbing fixtures out. I've only been able to work on this during the weekends, but we're very close to completion.

        The new tile floor has been laid, the new tub installed, Durock installed for the tub surround, and new subway tile set on the Durock for the shower surround.

        This weekend, we'll be installing new drywall and beadboard, and maybe we'll even get around to installing the new pedestal sink and toilet.



        • #5
          Funny thing about all of this concern with old galvanized pipe is that it will most likely outlast any copper you might use to replace it with! (PVC or Pex not withstanding). I just got done remodeling a bathroom in a house built in 1937.....when I ripped out part of the wall to replace the believe it or not ORIGINAL shower manifold I saw it was of course also supplied with the original galvanized supply lines. I took the two risers out from where they were 90'd below the subfloor and noticed that they were in remarkably good shape inside.....hardly any corrosion, and the wall thickness of the pipe seemed to be very close to if not altogether original! Try THAT with copper after almost 70 years. They don't make it like they used to.
          By the way....I also have done work in this same area on other homes and buildings with all copper lines, many of which are less than 10 years old.....many problems with pinhole leaks due to electrolosis and corrosion related to the hard water conditions in the area. Interesting that none of these issues had affected the galvanized in the other house, which, also by the way, had also survived the Alaska 1964 earthquake! If it were my house, I'd leave the galvanized well enough will probably go another 100 years! [img]smile.gif[/img]

          [ 03-28-2004, 12:04 PM: Message edited by: David M. ]


          • #6
            David M - I am glad that you didn't have any problems with the galvanized plumbing in that house. In my friend's house, when we removed the plumbing, each pipe was so corroded that it was a wonder ANY water could get through it. Even though the supply line from the street to the house is still galvanized, the water pressure in the house has increased dramatically since we've replaced all of the galvanized plumbing.

            I've heard from several folks who have had no trouble with galvanized corroding, but I've heard from many more people who have. And I've heard horror stories of the pin-hole leaks that are possible with copper. But if I had a choice, I'd take new copper over new galvanized any day. That's just my opinion - worth the price paid.


            • #7
              Hi Bronson.
              I read a report somewhere from a firm that conducted wall thickness and durability tests on old galvanized and even copper lines, and compared them to the new lines being manufactured today. Because of several factors involved, in particular cost and environmental concerns, the old pipe was always much sturdier. As I noted in my last post, I have seen copper lines barely 5 to 10 years old already springing pinhole leaks from hard water or electrolosis or whatever (yes, type M), and the fact that your old galvanized, though corroded that it is, has lasted as long as it has is a testament nevertheless to it's strength....I seriously doubt copper, especially the copper manufactured today, would have held up half as long.
              I in no way suggest that the galvanized should stay in the condition you say it's in. If you plan on keeping the house for any length of time, I'd cap it all off. Pex is the way to go IMO for a re-plumb in such a situation (Aquapex for potable and Hepex for heating). Very easy to install and theoretically it will last forever (I believe Aquapex gives a warranty of 100 years on thier product when installed by certified plumbers). I would especially go with Pex if there seems to be a corrosion problem related to the local water quality or electrolosis. (EDIT: I suppose that after awhile it's possible for the manifolds to begin corroding but that's a much easier task to take on than tearing out holes in walls and ceilings to sweat in yet again another repair coupling on copper lines.) Anyway, I guess I was only trying to say that in situations where the old galvanized seems to be fine, then why fix something that is'nt broke with something that will probably have a shorter life span than the original! Thanks for your reply and good luck.

              [ 03-30-2004, 02:11 AM: Message edited by: David M. ]


              • #8
                Re: New supply lines in bath

                Has come across this site, someone can is useful, who will do repair, be asked by a question on a ceramic tile. Here I have a resource, come read.


                • #9
                  Re: New supply lines in bath

                  Has all this re-piping bein inspected ? Have considerations bein given to electrical grounding ?


                  • #10
                    Re: New supply lines in bath

                    apf, this post was originally from 2004! The work has been done. The people are gone from here.
                    I love my plumber

                    "My Hero"

                    Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!


                    • #11
                      Re: New supply lines in bath

                      Guess I should read the dates . Sometimes I quickly try to contribute than move on . You know how it is .