What kind of price should I expect for this job? (replacement of galvanized pipe)

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Texas Brit, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. Texas Brit

    Texas Brit New Member

    Jul 20, 2011
    Howdy --

    I posted about a week ago with pictures of water damage caused by a leak in my old galvanized water pipe. I subsequently located the source of the leak at the elbow joint just before the water line enters the house through the concrete foundation.

    I am now ready to call in a plumber to replace the line from the street to the house (about 35 feet), the vertical segment of pipe that rises through the foundation to the attic (about 10 feet) and a short segment (about two or three feet) in the attic that runs away from the street and deeper into the house. I am assuming that some type of plastic will be used (PVC, CPVC).

    I would be most grateful if the good folks on this forum could give me a rough idea of the degree of difficulty of this job, how long it would take, and roughly how much I should expect to pay.

    As you can see from the first three photos below, i have completely excavated the line from my water meter to the house.

    The fourth picture shows the elbow joint where the pipe makes the turn at the top of the front wall and runs into the attic.

    The fifth picture shows a short run of pipe that makes a turn at an elbow joint where the pipe then starts to run parallel to the front wall of the house. (the wall is painted yellow and the ceiling white).

    I am assuming that it will be far easier for the plumber to hook up the new plastic pipe to the existing galvanized pipe at this second joint because there is a lot more space to work there than at the joint at the top of the front wall (because of the slope of the roof).

    Many thanks in advance for your help!





  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Sep 1, 2004
    Yakima WA
    First, let me say you are starting out right by replacing the galvanized supply pipe. There are a couple of choices for this pipe, but I would let the plumber decide what he prefers. It might be PVC or copper, but it would not be CPVC. Now for the bad news. You really should consider replacing all of the galvanized pipe. There's not exact life span for galvanized pipe, it does depend on the water quality, but 40 years is a ballpark. Inside the house, you can not use PVC for water supply (drains yes) CPVC would be legal, but it would need to be sized larger that the galvanized it is replacing as the inside is smaller. Copper would be a good choice, and many are using PEX. The question about price is like me asking you on line how much it would cost to fix my car, or paint my house. Not seeing the job and what all it would require makes this an impossible question to answer on line. Not only that, local labor prices vary widely from place to place. Having dug the supply line trench will save you some money, but that's only part of the job. It's always wise to get at least 3 estimates from local contractors who can see and measure the job site. Also, check around with friend and neighbors who may have used a local company and see what they can tell you about their work. Just be sure you deal with a licensed company and not a handyman that is a jack of all trades and works for cheap. Cheap is nice, but it usually comes at a price.
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  4. kreemoweet

    kreemoweet In the Trades

    Sep 7, 2009
    Seattle. WA
    1) There is high likelihood that leaving any of that nasty old steel pipe in place will cause later bitter regret.
    2) There simply is no such thing as a "standard" cost for plumbing work, that someone not proposing to do the job can give you.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Personally, I would use copper for a run that short.
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