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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Plumbing & Waterproofing > PEX Plumbing Pipes

PEX Plumbing Pipes Cost


How Much Do PEX Plumbing Pipes Cost?

 
low costSmall Home: $1,500-$2,500average costLarger Home: $5,000-$7,000+high costNew Home: $5,000-$21,000+
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Called PEX or XLPE, cross-linked polyethylene is flexible plastic tubing that is used for hot- and cold-water plumbing systems and for hot-water heating systems. With the price of copper[1] pipes fluctuating but generally increasing, PEX is considered a less expensive alternative. Because it's flexible and can be snaked through walls, PEX takes less time and labor to install, particularly when re-piping an existing house. Sizes range from 1/4" to 4" in diameter, but common residential sizes are 1/2", 3/4" and 1". The Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association provides an overview of PEX.

Typical costs:

  • Re-plumbing a house (installing new lines and abandoning the old ones) with PEX can cost $1,500-$8,000 or more. Re-plumbing costs are typically based on the number of fixtures, with each sink, bathtub, shower, toilet, dishwasher, water heater, etc. counting as one fixture. Total costs also depend on the size of the house, whether it's one story or two, if holes in the walls and ceilings are repaired and repainted or left open, if the fittings used are plastic or metal, and whether there's a basement, crawlspace or slab foundation. Re-piping a small 1-bathroom home with PEX might cost $1,500-$2,500; a 3-bedroom, 2-1/2-bathroom, two-story home might be $5,000-$7,000 or more. For example, Repipe1 in California will re-pipe a 2-bathroom home with PEX starting at $3,499, with the walls left paint-ready. Tony Prados of MasterServ[2] in the Southwest estimates that installing PEX in a 2-1/2-bath,room two-story house on a slab foundation (running the PEX through the attic) could cost $4,000-$5,000, with the walls left paint-ready.
  • Plumbing a new home using PEX for the water supply lines can cost $5,000-$21,000 or more depending on location, the size of the house and the number of fixtures, or typically about $2,000-$5,000 less than using copper pipes.
  • Average pipe prices at home improvement centers are $0.40-$0.50 a linear foot for PEX, $0.50-$0.60 for CPVC (rigid plastic pipe) and $1.50-$2.00 for thin-walled rigid copper, according to Buildipedia.com.
Related articles: PVC or CPVC Pipes, Replacing Copper Pipes, Re-Piping a House, Plumber

What should be included:
  • A company will typically inspect the house before submitting a bid. A PEX system can be laid out in the traditional trunk and branch arrangement (a large main line with smaller branches running off of it) or by using manifolds, which are central control centers for hot and cold water lines. Similar to an electric circuit panel, the hot and cold water lines feed into the manifold, with lines out of the manifold going directly to each fixture. A PEX system can use one central manifold (a "home run" system) or a main manifold plus several smaller remote manifolds throughout the house. ThisOldHouse.com provides a video overview[3] of PEX systems and manifolds, adding that piping a house with PEX is a difficult job best left to the professionals.
  • Re-plumbing a house with PEX typically takes one day and might require cutting eight to 20 or more holes in the wall.
  • PEX doesn't corrode or develop pinhole leaks like metal pipes, but it can break down after long exposure to UV light rays and can't be used outdoors. Critics of PEX say it doesn't have a sufficient track record in the United States to ensure there won't be future problems; proponents argue that PEX has been used for 30-40 years in Europe, and say there are more than 16 billion feet of PEX successfully in use worldwide.
Additional costs:
  • Re-piping a house usually requires a permit from the local planning or building department; fees vary, but typically cost $70-$400. This fee may be included in a re-plumbing contractor's bid or be an additional charge. The company may also charge $50-$150 to be present during required inspections by the local building or planning department.
  • Specialized tools are required to cut PEX tubing, install connections and check the tightness of crimped connections. These can cost $50-$200 each, depending on size and type; a basic PEX tool kit typically costs about $90-$150.
Shopping for pex plumbing pipes:
  • Get several estimates. Ask about the plumber's experience with PEX. Homewownernet.com explains how to hire a plumber[4] .
  • Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, or search for local contractors through the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association[5] . Make sure the company is properly bonded, insured and licensed[6] ; ask for and check references; and look for complaints with the Better Business Bureau[7] .
  • The written contract should include a detailed outline of the work required and materials to be used, whether the company will be doing all the work or subcontracting out part or all of the project, and the dates within which the project will be done.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Pex Main Line to the house
Amount: $1,300.00
Posted by: a user in Acworth, GA.Posted: January 8th, 2012 07:01AM
Our main line from the meter to the house burst (poly pipe). We had the line replaced with 60' of Pex installed(crawlspace)for a total cost of $1300.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.mongabay.com/commodities/prices/copper.php
  2.  911repipe.com
  3.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,1631516,00.html
  4.  www.homeownernet.com/plumbing-how-to/hire_plumber.html
  5.  www.phccweb.org/applications/ContractorReferral/search.cfm?navItemNumber=532
  6.  www.contractors-license.org/
  7.  www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business-Reviews/
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