Polybutylene Re-Piping Explained

water system repipe in rio rancho

What is a repipe?


A repipe is the process whereby all existing potable water piping in a residence is removed or capped off and brand new pipe is run in its place to all existing fixtures in the house.

Why would I need a repipe?


Here in New Mexico, repipes are performed to replace the old Polybutylene piping in a residence. Polybutylene piping becomes cracked and brittle with age and eventually develops leaks. These leaks will continue unless the pipe is completely replaced. Houses with Polybutylene piping are found mostly in Rio Rancho but there are a lot of houses with poly pipe in Albuquerque, especially on west side of the city.

repipe rio ranchoWhat is Polybutylene Piping?


Polybutylene piping is a grey plastic potable water piping developed in the 1970’s. At the time it was promoted as the “Pipe Of The Future”.  Low cost and ease of installation made it a very popular product.
In the 1980’s people began reporting leaks and close examination of the pipe revealed that the interior walls of the pipes and fittings were breaking down, cracking and leaking. Even though problems with the pipe were reported early on it continued to be installed for over 20 years.
Between 1978 and 1995 it was installed in up to 10 million homes nationwide.

repipe albuquerqueWhat is Polyethylene Piping?


Polyethylene piping is used in place of Polybutylene piping now.  Polyethylene piping is constructed from a flexible plastic with the use of petroleum byproducts. The pipe has a memory which allows it to shrink back to its original state. This means that even when frozen the pipe will never split and break. Polyethylene is a much cheaper alternative to copper piping both in material cost and installation. Most Polyethylene piping carries a 30 year manufacturer warranty.

What does the Repiping process involve?


A typical repipe takes about 3-5 days. The new pipe is run in parallel with your old system.
All repipes are run with Poly Ethylene Wirsbo Aquapex piping.
A repipe starts out at the city meter box at the front of your property. A trench is dug from the meter box up to the house. The pipe is fed underneath the footing and up into an inside wall through a small penetration in the concrete. From there it travels up into the roof space and then to all fixtures in the house. Water heater, sinks toilets etc.
Small amounts of drywall need to be cut out next to and above all fixtures so the pipe can be fed down from the roof space to the fixtures.
All the pipe in the roof space is insulated per code against freezing. All pipe in the walls is insulated for noise.
When the new pipe is in, the old lines are cut and removed or capped. The new lines are connected to the existing fixtures and water is usually back onto the house in less than a day.  

Do you pull permits and get inspections?


All Albuquerque Repipes, Rio Rancho repipes and surrounding areas have the required permits pulled and are inspected by the city on completion. Inspections mean that you can be assured that all work is done to meet and exceed code requirements.

repipe warranty 5 years

Do you warranty your work?


Yes! All repipes by Central Plumbing are fully warrantied for 5 years. The warranty covers all parts and labor for a period of 5 years from time your repipe is complete.  Wirsbo AquaPex piping is warrantied by the manufacturer for 30 years.

How much does a repipe cost?


The cost of a repipe varies and is influenced by factors such as: the square footage of your house, single story or two story and flat roof or pitched. We are happy to come out  to give you a free estimate and answer any questions you may have.