According to a 2017 statistic from the World Health Organization, 71% of the global population used a safely-managed drinking water service. That is, potable water that comes from a piping system. This is where the debate on epoxy pipe lining vs repiping comes in.
Your home or building’s pipe system plays an integral and often overlooked role in delivering an everyday need. That’s why it’s of utmost importance to regularly inspect your piping system and make any necessary repairs to avoid extremities. It may even prevent any health issues due to leaching or lead contamination from faulty pipes.
When there’s a pipe issue, whether it be pipe corrosion or a slab leak, many homeowners turn to an epoxy-based solution or a total repiping.
In this article, we’ll compare epoxy coating/lining and repiping so you know what the best course of action for your property is. We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of both approaches so that you’re better prepared to make a decision.
The Opening Statements on Epoxy Pipe Lining vs Repiping
An epoxy lining, more appropriately known as an epoxy coating, uses a plastic resin (the formula depends on its application) to repair hot and cold water supply pipes, sprinkler lines, HVAC piping, and more.
Repiping, on the other hand, is a pipe replacement. It is possible that some homes and commercial buildings will require a full replacement of all the water pipes in the plumbing system.
Regardless of which method needs to be taken, it’s important to know the warning signs of any pipe issues. Here are just some of the signs that you may need to repair, repipe, or consider epoxy coating:
- Your building or home has old pipes. Old plumbing systems are mostly made of galvanized steel or copper pipes. These only last 40 to 50 years, so depending on when your home was built, it may be time for an upgrade or repair.
- Your water is discolored. Water coming from faulty pipes can appear rusty or have a noticeable change in color. It can also carry an unpleasant odor.
- Your water pressure has decreased. A sudden drop in your water pressure can be due to an old or faulty pipe system. It’s a sign that they’re not moving through your pipes as quickly or efficiently as they should.
- You’re noticing leaks. Your home or building may be experiencing slab or pinhole leaks due to the faulty or old pipe system.
- The building uses polybutylene pipes. This pipe material often leads to more issues. If you know your home or building uses polybutylene pipes and you suspect a problem in your pipe system, call a professional plumber to do an inspection.
Pros and Cons of Epoxy Lining/Coating
Epoxy coating is rapidly becoming every homeowner’s go-to solution. And with good reason. Epoxy grants tons of benefits without having to break the bank. To get a better understanding of the overall process, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the epoxy method.
Pros of Epoxy Coating
- Cost-efficient: Compared to repiping, the epoxy coating can cost up to 50% less.
- No displacement: You won’t have to leave while the pipe repair is made. Most of the time, your water service is restored within a couple of hours, with minimal invasion or noise. The trenchless lining process means there’s no extensive digging, but you still get new pipes.
- Eco-friendly and safe: There’s no need to worry about leaching or chemicals in your water. Once the epoxy coating cures, it delivers safe potable water that’s also healthier for the environment.
- Durable: The application will last longer than traditional pipe materials. Testing engineers estimate epoxy lasts around 100 years.
- May increase home value: Knowing the pipe restoration makes the home leak-resistant for many years to come may help increase the value of your home, should you ever decide to sell.
Cons of Epoxy Coating
- Susceptible to delamination: This means the epoxy material fractures into layers and can sometimes (though very rarely) fail.
- Permanent solution: After the epoxy coating has been applied, it’s permanent. If you change your mind, you have to repipe.
- Reduction in pipe diameter: After the coating cures, the pipe will be a bit smaller in diameter. This may affect water flow or pressure.
Pros and Cons of Repiping
Repiping, while not as popular, is still a viable option. It’s a more traditional route that plenty of home or building owners consider. In order to know if it’s the best decision for your property, let’s review the pros and cons.
Pros of Repiping
- Improved plumbing system and water pressure: With brand new pipes and connections, you won’t have to worry about leaks, and you’ll have better water pressure since there’s no build-up in the pipes.
- No more outdated pipe material: Older buildings often have pipes with a lot of corrosion, causing water supply issues and pinhole leaks. With a total repipe, you’re receiving an updated and new system.
- May increase resale value: Similar to epoxy coating, knowing there aren’t likely to be any plumbing issues for a while may increase the value of your home if you decide to sell.
Cons of Repiping
- Invasive: Because of the labor requirements, the process takes much longer and is more destructive. As a result, you may have to stay elsewhere until the work is completed. It’s much more disruptive than epoxy lining/coating, and your water might not be turned back on the same day.
- More expensive: Repiping will cost more overall, and you’ll have the additional costs of remediation. You’ll need to repaint, repair your landscaping, and pay any expenses associated with damage to walls, floors, and other structures.
- May have to upgrade/repair/replace sooner than you’d like: Though many newer pipe materials do last 50+ years, the fact is that they aren’t as strong or durable as an epoxy coating. This may have you reaching for the phone sooner than you’d like.
Costs, Time, and Longevity of Epoxy Pipe Lining vs. Repiping
At this point, you may know which option you want to discuss with a plumber between epoxy pipe lining vs repiping. But, you’re not quite sure because you need to know how much it will cost, how long it will take, and how long it will last.
Though costs vary depending on the building’s size, epoxy pipe coating for the typical residential home costs an average of $1,800 to $2,400 and is often backed with a warranty.
Repiping a single fixture like a tub or toilet will cost anywhere from $600 to $2,000, but if you want to completely replace your piping system, you can expect to pay anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000.
These costs don’t include remediation, such as replacing drywall for pipes located in the walls.
The epoxy coating process takes a few hours—from sandblasting the existing pipes, applying the material, and allowing it to cure. Occupants can remain on-site for the whole project.
Repiping, on the other hand, can take days to weeks. Ultimately, it depends on the extent of the job and the amount of demolition required. As a result, occupants are displaced for the duration.
Depending on the replacement pipe material, you can expect the plumbing system to last 40 to 75 years. A lot of this depends on how well the system is maintained, how often it is inspected, and how quickly any necessary repairs are made.
Epoxy, however, is estimated to last much longer and withstand harsh materials. They’re not as susceptible to corrosion while other pipe materials, such as copper, are.
Ready to Start?
Epoxy is an affordable alternative to traditional repiping. With its minimally invasive process, long-lasting results, and longevity, it’s no wonder why most homeowners are opting for epoxy lining/coating.
If you want to find out if epoxy is right for your situation, call us today. We’ll schedule one of our plumbers to inspect your property and determine the best course of action.
Protect your potable water by contacting us today. We have financing available and provide 24/7 emergency services.