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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Plumbing & Waterproofing > PVC or CPVC Pipes

PVC or CPVC Pipes Cost


How Much Do PVC or CPVC Pipes Cost?

 
low costSmall Home (5-10 Fixtures): $1,500-$1,800average costLarge Home (12-15 Fixtures): $5,000-$6,000+high costNew Home: $6,000-$22,000+
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PVC is a rigid plastic pipe made of polyvinyl chloride; it can be used with cold but not hot water, and for residential use PVC is primarily installed as drain/sewer or irrigation/sprinkler pipes rather than as an incoming water distribution system. CPVC is a rigid plastic pipe made of chlorinated polyvinyl chloride; it is typically used for residential hot-and-cold-water distribution/supply systems. Both PVC and CPVC are lightweight and relatively easy to install, but CPVC is typically stronger and more flexible. They are both relatively inexpensive compared to copper pipes, with CPVC typically slightly more expensive than PVC.

Typical costs:

  • 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 the holes in the walls and ceilings are repaired and repainted or just left open, and whether there's a basement, crawlspace or slab foundation (with a slab foundation, new pipes must be run through the attic and down to the fixtures). Re-piping a small 1-bathroom home (five to 10 fixtures) might cost $1,500-$1,800, and a large 3-bedroom, 2-1/2-bathroom, two-story home (12-15 fixtures) might cost $5,000-$6,000 or more. For example, Pete Rodriguez of Atlantic Re-Plumbing[1] in Virginia says re-plumbing a typical a 2-1/2-bathroom house with 12-13 fixtures using CPVC would cost about $3,700, including repairing and repainting any holes in the dry wall.
  • Plumbing a new home using CPVC for the water supply lines and PVC for the drains can cost $6,000-$22,000 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 (flexible plastic tubing), $0.50-$0.60 for CPVC and $1.50-$2.00 a linear foot for thin-walled rigid copper, according to Buildipedia.com.
Related articles: PEX Plumbing Pipes, Replacing Copper Pipes, Re-Piping a House, Plumber

What should be included:
  • For a re-plumbing project, a company representative will typically do a thorough inspection of the house before submitting a bid. Depending on the number of fixtures and the number of workers on the crew, re-piping a house takes one to five working days and can require cutting eight to 20 or more holes in the wall. Typically the new pipes will be installed first, the water supply transferred to the new system and then the old pipes will be drained and abandoned in place. Usually the re-plumbing contractor will leave the water on at night and the homeowners can continue living in the house during the re-piping.
  • Cuts made in PVC and CPVC pipe should be clean and as square as possible, without burrs that might create snags. The Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association describes the special solvent cements and primers[2] that must be used with rigid plastic pipes. FineHomeBuilding.com provides a primer on PVC pipe and ThisOldHouse.com posts a video[3] on working with PVC pipes and fittings. Although rigid plastic pipes are relatively easy to work with compared to copper, most experts recommend against re-piping a house on a do-it-yourself basis because it's a large project where a single error can cause a damaging and expensive leak.
Additional costs:
  • Always check with the local building or planning department for any restrictions or guidelines on the residential use of PVC and CPVC pipes.
  • Re-piping a house typically 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 department.
Shopping for pvc or cpvc pipes:
  • Prices can vary significantly, so get several estimates. Ask about experience with the PVC and CPVC pipe. Homewownernet.com explains how to hire a plumber[4] .
  • Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, or search for local plumbing 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 any complaints filed 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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External Resources:
  1.  atlanticreplumbing.com/CopperGalvanized/CopperRepipe/tabid/531/Default.aspx
  2.  /www.ppfahome.org/cements/index.aspx
  3.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0,,20051881,00.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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