One common mistake DIY homeowners make with their kitchen or bathroom remodeling projects is to overlook the plumbing while it’s exposed. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” as the mantra goes, and new plumbing only adds to the cost. Only when they notice ponding water under their brand-new kitchen cabinets or seeping through the new tile floors do these unfortunate homeowners realize their mistake.
The fact is, a kitchen or bathroom remodel is the perfecttime to make sure your plumbing is in good working order because those pipes are already exposed. You don’twant to have to dig behind those new walls to fix something you overlooked before. To protect your home against damage and your wallet against extra costs, here are a few plumbing “must-dos” when doing a kitchen or bath remodel.
Inspect for Leaks and Corrosion
At the very least, while your walls are open and your plumbing pipes exposed, do a careful inspection of pipes and joints to check for drips and leaks. For drain pipes, run the water for a time and see if you notice any moisture accumulating on the fittings. When in doubt, spend a little more money to hire a plumber to do a full inspection. If there are signs of wear or leakage, have those pipes replaced before finishing the remodel.
Replace Galvanized Pipes
If your home was built prior to 1960—or even as late as 1980—chances are your plumbing consists of galvanized steel pipes, which corrode and clog over time. If so, it’s only a matter of time before they fail—and if you connect a new sink or faucet to galvanized plumbing, you’re basically asking for leaks and damage. Don’t waste your money by leaving galvanized pipes in place—have them replaced during your kitchen or bath remodel. Not sure whether you have galvanized pipes? Try scratching the pipe in an inconspicuous spot with a screwdriver. If the scratch marks are silvery gray—or if a magnet sticks to the pipe—it’s galvanized steel and you should replace it.
Don’t Move Your Plumbing without Professional Help
If your new kitchen or bath design involves moving a sink or toilet to another part of the room, the plumbing will have to be reconfigured. Most do-it-yourselfers get in over their heads trying to accomplish this task on their own. Better to hire a plumber to help you do it right the first time than to having repair something you broke, or undo something you did incorrectly. You’ll save more money in the long run by calling the plumber first.
Don’t let bad plumbing ruin your new remodeling project before you’ve had time to enjoy it. Be proactive with your plumbing and call the plumber if necessary.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Palady, RMP is the President and co-owner of Budget Rooter Plumbing & Drain Cleaning. This family owned plumbing company has been serving their customers for more than 25 years, and makes customer service and quality of work their priority.
Jeff started working in the field at the age of fifteen under the tutelage of his father, who owned a Philadelphia-based plumbing and drain cleaning company. At the age of eighteen, Jeff and his mother decided to open their own shop in their home state of Delaware. For the first few years, Jeff was Budget Rooter’s only field technician, and was often out on calls until late at night while going to school to earn his Master’s License. As Budget Rooter grew, Jeff trained new technicians, researched and purchased the best equipment, and today he manages the operations of the company.
Known for being dedicated to Budget Rooter, Jeff is one of the first to arrive in the morning and is usually the last to leave. In his spare time, Jeff enjoys fishing, modifying his truck, and spending time with his wife and two sons.