Re-pipe the plumbing in a townhouse

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Posted by: from Brandon
3/14/2013 at 1:35:30 PM

I have a townhouse with 2 bathrooms upstairs and a half bath downstairs. I want to re-pipe the whole plumbing.

Can I make holes in my ceiling and uncommon walls?

I have two common walls and I won't be touching those walls. My kitchen is in the rear of the house and my main water connection is in the front of the house.

What I plan to do is put a pipe from main connection through the wall and go to the ceiling and go to the other wall. For bathroom upstairs I want to put pipe from attic and for kitchen go through ceiling and take it outside the kitchen on the outer wall and then connect it to the sink.

Is my idea feasible and according to construction laws of the townhouse? Please let me know.

Thanks in advance.

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Gary in Kansas City
Date/Time3/14/2013 at 2:13:16 PM

Well, I assume this is all water lines and not drain lines....correct? If so, you can run the water lines without disrupting your neighbours. You will likely need a permit and DIY permits are easier to get than contactors in most cases.

Use Pex. Buy the $150 pex crimper and you'll save 70% over copper. Don't use CPVC. You will have a ton of holes here and there and plan on patching walls and repainting. I would definately leave this up to a Pro.

You didn't say why you needed to do this. You didn't say how old your townhome is. You may very well have a much simpler issue if it's because of water pressure.

Gary Brenner

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Date/Time3/14/2013 at 2:18:21 PM

It is hard to say with out seeing.

Les Renfro

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Sheela in Brandon
Date/Time3/14/2013 at 2:26:21 PM

Hi Gary,

Thanks for your quick response. My town house was built in 2000 and yes, you are right about the water lines. The reason I want to change everything is because I had first leak in the wall and after fixing that I got second leak in the slab with 10 days.

I talked to many plumbers and everybody told me to get everything changed because it is all copper and once leaks start they keep coming back. fixing the leak in the slab was going to cost me $1500. The plumbers I talked with told they were going to do it in the manner I told in my description.

Do I need to get the permit in Florida? If so do you have website links on more information.

Thanks again.

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Date/Time3/14/2013 at 2:46:17 PM

I'm assuming that your only running new water lines and not sewer.

In north carolina we have done this several time to get rid of the old gray water lines that cause so many problems. There are several companys that will do it all for you from start to finish. I would recomend to at least have plumber do the water line if you wanted to to the rest.

Would also recomend just to be nice call your HOA rep to inform them of what and how your planing to do it. That way if a nabor calls about noise or is worried about the common walls you will have cut it off a head of time.

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Terrell from Handyman Solutions, LLC in Moore
Date/Time3/14/2013 at 3:41:22 PM

Absolutely you can do this. You'll need to locate your main feed manifold in the wall or possibly at the water heater. Tap into this with new piping and then route to all water sources.

You'll want to be sure and create a "super heat trap" to prevent freezing. To do so you can use an armiflex insulation over the pipe and then wrap that in a vinyl back insulation, this is only necessary in attic and or exterior walls, no need for this on interior walls.

Hope this helps and best of luck.

Handyman Solutions LLC

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Michael from BuildPlus LLC in Mount Dora
Date/Time3/14/2013 at 3:50:07 PM

Putting holes in ceiling and uncommon walls shouldnt be a issue. I would check your townhome documents/ HOA, and make sure there wont be any issues.

I am not sure if they will allow you to run pipes on the exteior of the building, even if its in the back.

I strongly urge you to higher a licensed plumber, some will include the drywall repairs in their bids, make sure they have the proper insurances, pull the proper permits, and get the required inspections. Get at least 3 bids.

Good Luck!

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Date/Time3/14/2013 at 7:19:17 PM

To start there is knothing wrong with what you are suggesting! But I would use pex piping instead of copper, it is very easy for a non or semi experienced person to run it. It cheaper then copper and much easer to install through walls etc, without making massive damage and so on.

Hope that can help you out.

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Date/Time3/14/2013 at 7:36:58 PM

What I suggest is speaking to the Home Association department of your townhouse and see what they can offer you. Most home association will have a problem with making holes and trying to repipe your house on your own. Most HOA require a licensed bonded and insured contractor to do the work. Someone with experience and knowledge to get the job done professionally. It is difficult to say according to your plans without seeing the project.

I would not suggest you tackle this on your own unless you have experience in repiping homes. it is very easy to cause damage and this is not only your property, but your neighbors can be effected as well.

Good luck,


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