Replacing galvanized pipes with pex tubing can last up to 50 years. Here’s how to recognize that it’s time for a replacement.

If you own an older home, chances are you have galvanized pipes running through your walls. These pipes were commonly used in construction before the 1960s, but over time they can become corroded and cause issues with water flow and quality.

Luckily, there is a solution for replacing galvanized pipes that is more efficient, cost-effective, and durable: PEX pipes. In this blog post, we will discuss why replacing galvanized pipes with PEX is a smart home improvement hack that can save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

Table of Contents:

Understanding the Need to Replace Galvanized Pipes

Galvanized pipes were all the rage in home construction up until the 1960s. And why not? They were sturdy, reliable, and got the job done. But like an old photo that fades over time, galvanized pipes too lose their charm, primarily due to corrosion. This can lead to multiple issues, from water discoloration to a reduction in water pressure and, in some cases, even leaks.

Now imagine this: You’re about to take a refreshing shower after a long day. You turn on the tap and instead of the clear, welcoming water you expected, you are greeted with a discolored stream that barely has any pressure. Or worse, you wake up one morning to find a pool of water on your floor thanks to a leak. Not the best way to start the day, right? And it’s not just about inconvenience.

These pipes rust over time, and this rust can contaminate your water, raising health concerns. It’s not a pretty picture, but it’s a reality many homeowners face with galvanized pipes. So, replacing them is less of a luxury and more of a necessity. You want to ensure your home’s water supply is not just efficient but also safe. So, wave goodbye to your old, rusty galvanized pipes and say hello to a healthier, more efficient alternative – PEX pipes.

What is PEX and Why Choose It?

Let’s unravel the mystery behind the PEX acronym. PEX stands for cross-linked polyethylene, a flexible plastic material that is steadily gaining popularity in the world of home plumbing. But what makes it stand out from the traditional galvanized pipes?

Firstly, PEX pipes exhibit a high resistance to common pipe foes such as scaling and chlorine. Unlike our old friend, the galvanized pipe, PEX does not corrode or suffer from pinhole leaks over time. This ensures your piping system remains robust and leak-free for years, if not decades.

Installation, too, is a breeze with PEX. Its flexibility means it can easily navigate around corners without the need for elbow joints, a feature rigid plastic or metal pipes can’t match. This attribute not only simplifies the installation process but also reduces the time and cost involved. So, you’re saving on labor and materials. Talk about a win-win!

When it comes to cost-effectiveness, PEX pipes come out on top again. They are generally more affordable than metal pipes, without compromising on quality or durability. The resilience of PEX pipes to varying temperatures further adds to their appeal. Whether you’re living in a hot desert or a freezing tundra, PEX pipes have got your back. This adaptability makes them a perfect fit for homes located in a variety of climates.

So, if you’re tired of dealing with discolored water, reduced water pressure, or leaks, consider saying yes to PEX. This modern plumbing solution combines reliability, cost-efficiency, and ease of installation, making it an excellent alternative to the outdated galvanized pipes.

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Tools Needed for Replacing Galvanized Pipes with PEX

Diving headfirst into a home improvement project like a whole house repipe is an exciting endeavor. But, just like any seasoned DIYer would tell you, having the right tools is half the battle won. It’s time to roll up your sleeves, and assemble your repipe toolkit to replace those galvanized pipes with PEX.

Begin with procuring a PEX cutter or, at the very least, a standard pipe cutter. These tools are essential for the safe removal of your old galvanized pipes and the precise cutting of your new PEX pipes. Accuracy is crucial here, as it ensures a secure fit and prevents future leaks.

Next, get your hands on a PEX crimp tool. This nifty device is used to join the PEX pipe and the fitting. It works by applying pressure on the crimp ring to create a watertight seal between the pipe and fitting. You wouldn’t want to forget this!

Then come the PEX fittings. These connect different sections of the PEX pipe and are indispensable in your plumbing project. These fittings come in different shapes, sizes, and types. So, make sure you get the right ones for your repipe project.

Lastly, have a bucket nearby to catch any water that may spill out when you’re removing the old pipes or installing the new ones. You wouldn’t want to turn your repipe project into a cleanup project, would you?

And, of course, safety first! Don’t forget to gear up with protective equipment. Gloves will shield your hands from any sharp edges, and safety glasses will keep your eyes safe from any flying debris or splashes.

So there you have it. You’re all set with the necessary tools for your PEX repipe project. Remember, being well-prepared will make the whole process smoother, efficient, and, dare we say it, enjoyable. Let’s get to work!

Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing Galvanized Pipes with PEX

Now that we’ve gathered our tools and understood why PEX is the superior choice, it’s time to take the plunge into our home improvement project. Buckle up, because we’re about to navigate the exciting process of replacing galvanized pipes with PEX.

First things first, ensure the main water supply to your house is turned off. This is a vital step in preventing a mini flood in your home. Once done, you’ll want to drain out any residual water from the existing pipes. Remember the bucket we mentioned in the tool kit? Now’s its time to shine.

Next up is the grand farewell to your old galvanized pipes. Equip yourself with the pipe cutter and carefully cut out the sections of galvanized pipes you plan to replace. Remember to leave ample room to attach the PEX fittings later on.

With the old pipes out of the way, it’s time to usher in the new era of PEX. Here’s where the PEX crimp tool comes into play. Use it to attach the PEX pipe to the fitting. Ensure you apply the right amount of pressure to create a watertight seal. This is crucial to prevent future leaks.

Once you’re satisfied with the secure attachment of the PEX pipe, take a moment to admire your handiwork. Then, proceed to repeat this process until you’ve replaced all the necessary galvanized pipes.

Finally, the moment of truth. Turn the water back on. Yes, it’s going to be a little nerve-wracking, but trust in your hard work. Check for any leaks. If everything looks good, congratulations! You’ve successfully replaced your galvanized pipes with PEX. If you do spot a leak, don’t panic. Simply tighten the joints and recheck. With a little patience, you’ll be a repiping master in no time.

Embrace the process and remember, every step is a learning experience. Here’s to a more efficient and safer water system for your home!

Hiring a Professional vs. DIY

Deciding to tackle a whole house repipe on your own can be quite the adventure, a test of your mettle, if you will. And for those who love the thrill of DIY, it’s a great way to save some cash while learning a new skill. You’ll find yourself with a sense of accomplishment and the knowledge that you single-handedly improved your home’s plumbing system.

But what if plumbing isn’t your forte? What if the idea of replacing pipes sends shivers down your spine, or if the mere thought of wielding a pipe cutter leaves you in a cold sweat? Maybe your home is a sprawling mansion with an intricate network of pipes that would leave even a seasoned DIYer dizzy. Or perhaps, your schedule is packed to the brim, leaving little room for a time-consuming project like this. If you find yourself nodding to any of these scenarios, then bringing in a professional might be the better route for you.

A licensed plumber comes equipped with years of experience and a wealth of knowledge. They can seamlessly navigate through the complexities of a plumbing system, ensuring the job gets done efficiently and accurately. And should any surprise issues pop up during the process – as they often do in home improvement projects – a pro will know how to tackle them without breaking a sweat.

So, take a moment to weigh the pros and cons. Would you prefer the satisfaction and savings that come with DIY, or the assurance and efficiency that a professional offers? Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer. It’s all about what works best for you.

The Long-Term Benefits of PEX Pipes

Choosing PEX pipes isn’t just about resolving current issues with your plumbing. It’s about securing peace of mind and convenience for years to come. The remarkable resilience of PEX piping means fewer worries about leaks or breakages, saving you significant time and money on maintenance in the future. Imagine a life with less of those unexpected, inconvenient plumbing repairs. Sounds good, right?

Moreover, PEX isn’t just a solution, it’s an upgrade. The enhanced water quality and pressure it offers can transform your daily routines, from quicker, more satisfying showers to more efficient laundry and dishwashing cycles. This makes for a noticeable improvement in the quality of life at home.

And let’s not forget the monetary perks. The increased durability and demand of PEX can potentially bolster the market value of your home. It’s a noteworthy selling point for potential buyers who are keen on modern, efficient plumbing systems. Think of it as an investment that pays for itself over time.

As an added bonus, PEX’s resistance to freezing comes as a boon for those in colder climates. Burst pipes due to freezing will be a concern of the past. So, you can sit back and enjoy those snowy days without any plumbing worries.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of replacing all galvanized pipes?

When using PEX as the galvanized pipe replacement, a whole house galvanized pipe replacement can cost between $15,000 and $20,000. PEX needs less deconstruction of your home, lowering the overall cost compared to alternative materials such as a copper repipe.

Should I use PEX instead of galvanized pipes?

If you want fast flowing, clean water with no leaks caused by corroded galvanized piping, you must replace the galvanized piping with a modern plumbing system such as PEX tubing or copper pipe. Some homeowners prefer partial repiping and repairs over a full galvanized replumb.

Does replacing galvanized pipes raise the value of a home?

One frequently asked question among homeowners is, “Does repiping a house add value?” The response is a resounding “yes” for a variety of reasons. For starters, prospective buyers are frequently wary of older properties with obsolete plumbing systems.

Is drinking water from ancient galvanized pipes safe?

Galvanized steel will gradually rust and pose a hazard to drinking water, making it unsafe to drink in the long run. The issue isn’t with the zinc coating, but with lead and cadmium, two heavy elements that can occur in zinc due to the galvanizing process.


In a nutshell, opting for PEX isn’t just about overcoming the issues of today, but it’s about investing in a worry-free, efficient future. Embrace the PEX upgrade, and say hello to enhanced convenience, cost-saving, and an overall improved home living experience.

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