Which Plumbing Pipes Cost The Most Money?

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We tend to take for granted the plumbing pipes in our homes (until and unless they break, of course). But if you’re building, adding onto or renovating a home — especially an older one — the type of pipe is something you may well have to consider.

Not all pipes are created equally, and they certainly don’t have the same price tag. In fact, costs range from about $0.40 to $8.00 per linear foot, depending on the type of pipe material. Metal pipes cost more than plastic ones as a general rule.

The cost to replace plumbing will depend on which type of pipe material you choose and the rate for installation in your area. Some pipes are easier to install than others. Bear in mind that installation may require the removal and replacement of any drywall or flooring, too.

Still, the bulk of your costs are likely to come from the pipes themselves. Your primary choices are:

  • Copper
  • PEX
  • CPVC
  • Galvanized Steel
  • Cast Iron

Let’s look at the pros and cons and the costs of each type of pipe.

Copper pipe

What it is: Copper is sort of the gold standard in pipes. Known for its durability, it can last as long as 100 years. Copper pipes are naturally resistant to bacteria and are less likely to break down if exposed to UV rays. Many brass pipes, which are not used as commonly, are also composed primarily of copper with slightly less durability.
Cost: $2-8 per linear foot

Pros:

  • Stands the test of time
  • Handles heat well
  • May increase home value

Cons:

  • More expensive than other types of pipes
  • May be subject to theft if materials are left unsupervised
  • Like any metal, can be subject to corrosion

CPVC pipe

What it is: Chlorinated polyvinylchloride (CPVC) piping is one of the oldest types of modern pipes, in use since at least the 1960s. It’s the cousin of PVC piping, made of very similar material but altered with chlorine to make it better able to withstand a wider range of temperatures, especially on the high end. This type of plastic pipe has thick walls that can be used for both cold and hot…

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