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Old 01-28-2016, 12:28 PM
Location: Dayton OH
15 posts, read 12,102 times
Reputation: 15


Has anyone on here ever had to have a slab home re piped? If so, is it able to be done without tearing up the slab floor? I am looking at a remodel that would involve upgrading my plumbing lines, which are copper under the slab (apx 60 years old).
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Old 02-01-2016, 01:16 PM
24 posts, read 25,825 times
Reputation: 55
Short answer, No... unless you were to tunnel/ dig under the slab, there's just no way to access plumbing under/or in the slab without disturbing the concrete. If the slab was poured correctly (4-6 inches of concrete with metal embedded in it (-mesh screen or rebar reinforcement) you won't probably even be able to determine where the lines are run(too much metal for a metal detector to work). When thinking about water supply lines, you also need to consider replacing drain lines- 3"-4" cast iron was probably standard, it may be OK at the 60year point- but if you're going to the trouble, might as well look at drain lines as well.

If you're needing to service/ upgrade water lines in a slab, you really only have 2 options;

1- you can have the concrete diamond-saw-cut where necessary to replace the copper lines; this can be messy and will obviously need access to the various places where your water lines are run. Might be the best choice if you only need a small portion of the water lines replaced. You might be able to saw-cut access holes in each room with a water supply, dig out enough of the sub-base and force a replacement water line from one spot to another- perhaps use 1 spot to branch-off to other nearby rooms through the walls.

2. Another option would be to re-plumb the house using flexible tubing (PEX™ is one brand) run along the walls, and up through the attic, back down into the rooms where water is used. Issue in the Dayton area would be keeping the attic space warm enough and insulated to avoid freezing issues in the winter.... it can be done, but you may have to invest some additional $$ towards heating/insulation.

Flexible tubing (PEX™) is pretty standard in new construction, has multiple benefits when retro-fitting (easy to run, can use adapters to connect to copper/galvanized/PVC; can be run around corners, spliced or T'd easily; no corrosion or lime-scale buildup; allows individual shut-off valves for each line using a manifold; and is reasonably priced-) would be my choice for any remodeling.

Last edited by drummonn; 02-01-2016 at 01:25 PM..
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:58 PM
Location: Dayton OH
15 posts, read 12,102 times
Reputation: 15
Thank you, I have heard about using PEX in the attic but was not sure if it was permitted by code in Ohio. Sounds like the best option if/when it needs to be done.
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