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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    3

    Question Do I need to cut out ceiling - plumbing questions

    I have a leak in my upstairs bathroom- after a burst pipe.
    They replaced one solder but they said there were still leaks when they turned on the water briefly again.

    They are telling me I need to replace the upstairs plumbing.
    Replacing copper with PEK.
    The previous owner told me he had the upstairs bathrooms replumbed when they bought the house.

    The plumbers are telling me I need to cut out my ceiling.
    Then they are telling me they will replace upstairs plumbing by running parallel lines through floor beams that run across the floor.
    What can Ido to have someone check to see where the leak actually is before they cut out the ceiling?
    How much is replacement of ceiling dry wall and texturizing going to cost? trough down dining room side, and trouble across living room side.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,482

    Default Re: Do I need to cut out ceiling - plumbing questions

    First, what caused the pipe to burst in the first place? Will replacement prevent future problems or will the pipe need insulation or other protections?

    To replace the pipe, access will have to be gained to the problem pipe. How much demolition of walls and ceilings will depend on how much pipe is going to be replaced. I personally would only replace the damaged copper with new copper. IMHO, pex is garbage and not worth the time or expense to install it. My suspicion is you have a lazy plumber who wants to make his life easier by running pex rather than doing the job right. Copper is a better product that will last longer with pex without the problems associated with pex.

    How much will all this cost? I recommend consulting with whomever is going to be doing the drywall repair. It will likely be cheaper and easier if the drywall repairman does the demolition rather than the plumber who doesn't care how much of a mess they make (i.e., more damage than necessary ).

    I'd also recommend consulting with several other plumbers for competitive bids, rather than relying on one who wants to immediately replace good pipe, just because he's lazy. It is likely that you will be able to find a general contractor who can do all the work himself, reducing overall costs and hassles.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Do I need to cut out ceiling - plumbing questions

    Thank you for your responses.

    A frozn pipe caused the leak. The heat was turned off.
    Replacement or fixing should prevent future problems.
    I will either drain pipes of water and turn off water, or keep heat on.

    How do I find the damages pipe without tearing up the ceiling.
    I thought about turning on each water valve, while keeping the others closed to the opstairs, and turning on the water - seeing if there is a leak; and repeating the process with each turn off valve - upstairs bathtub, toilet, sink, master bath sink, toilet, shower. Though time consuming that might isolated the damaged pipe where the leak is coming from. The plumbers fixed two solder breaks they could see in the bathroom space behind the tub.

    The recommendation about getting an estimate from a drywal person rather than a plumber is good and having him do the ceiling cut if necessary.

    Yes. I can get bids from several plumbers and plans-strategies.

    The insulation I see if pink. Hope its not asbestos insulation.
    The one plumber who wanted to replace plumbing by running parallen pek, said estimate "if there were no other forseen problems." That makes me think I might get stuck in the middle of a job with them making up complications and asking for more money.

    The idea of getting a bid from a general contractor is a good idea too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,482

    Default Re: Do I need to cut out ceiling - plumbing questions

    As a general contractor, I would assess your situation, then determine whether I could replace the pipes or need to bring in my plumber. Because I'm a general, I would probably do all the work myself, however if need be I've got top notch plumbers and drywall people at my disposal to take care of business.

    That being said, it is impossible to assess your issues over the internet, so I can't speak specifically to your problems, however, there should be some fairly obvious signs as to the general locations of the leaks, at the very least, the damaged drywall will have to be replaced anyway, so start with removal of the damage, which will expose the plumbing system for inspection and replacement. Once exposed, your contractor should be able to see most, if not all, of the pipe damage that needs repair and be able to give you an accurate bid.

    The way that I would handle this situation would be to contract for the removal of the damaged drywall. That's it! Once the damage is removed, then a supplemental bid and change order would be provided to take care of the actual damage and repair of the drywall. Until competent tradesmen can get in and actually see the problems, there's no way to assess an accurate scope of work or price.

    If I were in your shoes, I would be looking at a general contractor to do the work, rather than trying to find a plumber to blindly tear into your home and leave a mess for someone else to have to come in and clean up.

    Good luck, and please report back with how your project progresses.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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