Plumbing cost to replace all drain pipes

We recently called a plumber (seemingly a good one, recommended by lots of neighbors) to inspect water leaks in crawlspace. Turns out, bathroom drain is leaking and the drain pipes are all 50+ yr old (all corroded etc). They’re recommending to replace all drain pipes with plastic (ABS?), and clean out everything.

  • The quote is ~$12,000. Is this reasonable? I can call other plumbers to get more quotes, but each inspection costs $$$ too.
  • Is replacing drain pipes with plastic better than the traditional cast iron / galvanized steel pipes, etc?

Also, if you know of any trusted plumbers in the Peninsula / South Bay area, please let me know. :slight_smile:

Fix the leaks. No need to replace the whole system.

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Hmm. I’m a little prudent with these things - esp. with drain pipes, if it all breaks down, doesn’t that mean the house will be standing in poop…?? :poop: I left my :poop: in SF along with my heart. :slight_smile:

I’m actually scared that we’re only trying to replace the drain system only - isn’t the water supply line more easily breakable since it’s under constant water pressure?

OTOH, does the quote amount look reasonable?

It may be, but is it worth? I do not think so. IMO, the plumber trying to grab the money from you.

Of course the plumber wants the work.
Just monitor the system for leaks. A simple leak will not fill your house with poop. Supply lines are probably copper. Investigation required. Fixing supply lines can be difficult. Especially lines in walls. Price should be $2000 per fixture. How many in the crawl space. Pipe is cheap. Labor expensive. Get a breakdown on prices and timing. Get 3 bids. Are your drainlines cast iron or galvanized steel?

San Mateo county and SF don’t allow ABS . Cast iron only… Because of union coercion

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Yup what my plumber said before as well.

Depends. How big is your house? I did this a couple of years ago for significantly less.

Standard 3/2. The drain will be from the 2 bathrooms, 1 kitchen and laundry. Seems pretty excessive I think…

Very excessive. What city though?

Should be $6k but currently $10k. But nobody is working cheap these days. Wait for the next recession.

water supply is copper, drain pipes are cast iron usually, they do corrode after time so if your house was built in the 50s as mine was it is probably time to replace, idk about the price though but all our plumbing issues are with waste/drain pipes not supply lines so no it’s definitely not more breakable.

Kitchen, laundry drain wastes consists glycerol, fatty acids, triglyceride, fatty alcohol from detergent will attack metals since are corrosive. Human waste, baths plumbings are bio degradable and metal plumbings will tolerate longer.

That is why PVC will last longer ~75 years. Iron and galvanized lasts may be 40-50 years so your plumbing is at end of life. You can see the joints ready to break out with water evidence then it is time to replace all.
I will ask how many piping clips are needed to last you a few years? I had one section replaced for $1500 about 50 ft long.

@notabene How did you know to check your crawl space for sewer leaks? Is it because of foul smell or other indicators?
Also along the same lines how would one know if the house plumbing pipes are leaking? Is it just by monitoring water bills for 2 months?

Replacing whole system will cost you more than $12,000. Many plumbers fabricate reports for more money. I think it will be prudent to fix pipe leaks through a handyman.

:scream: Many technicians, mechanics and electricians do that too. AND many SWEs do that too :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

Crawl space - you probably can do it by yourself. Youtube my help you. No kidding.
I replaced section of drain pipe from the kitchen.
It took me 1 day, 3 trips to Home Depot and $150.
I used ABS.
In metall pipes rust “growing “ inside and occluding your pipes.
Your circumstances can be different.
Take a look by yourself first… if you need to dig - go to HD


Notabene is too fat, I’m too old. No can do.

No way… I believe in you… You can do it!!! :slight_smile:

The problem is the 3 trips to Home Depot. AKA hopeless Depot. Sometimes it pays to have a professional. Just make sure you hire a skinny plumber.

Ok, ok… i agree - 3 trips its too much (on average). For me it was acceptable.
It was my 1st project (bigger than replacement of washer in faucet).
I had time and inspiration… and saved a lot.
Again - it depends on circumstances…
And i still can fit in crawl space…