Should You Replace Your Pipes When Renovating?

“Nothing ever lasts forever” – so sang Echo and the Bunnymen in their classic song of 1997. Twenty-five years later and it’s fair to say that they really knew what they were talking about. You only have to take a look at the cars we used to drive and the technology we’ve enjoyed and cast aside. And whilst Echo and the Bunnymen may well have been talking about a very different waterworks, at Superior Plumbing we enjoy the relevance to the of world plumbing.

As possibly the most reliable plumber in Perth, we feel we must stress that nothing lasts forever and this is especially true of the cast iron pipes in an old home.

So do you need to consider replacing your plumbing arteries when you’re doing a renovation? The short answer is yes, absolutely, you MUST consider it.

Why Consider Replacing The Pipes In Your Home?

If you’re renovating your bathroom, it’s a good idea to assess the condition of existing plumbing and pipes. Deteriorated pipes can cause water quality issues such as discoloration, taste and odor problems, corrosion or mineral deposits. Replacing old steel pipes with more modern materials like copper is an effective way to improve water quality and reduce the risk of leaks and blocked drains in Perth.

When it comes to plumbing, you typically have two options – retrofit or replace. Retrofitting involves making changes to existing plumbing systems without removing them completely. This could involve adding insulation, repairing leaks and replacing parts like valves, seals and taps. Replacing plumbing requires a complete overhaul of the system with new pipes, fixtures and fittings.

Is Retrofitting Plumbing Cheaper?

When it comes to cost, retrofitting is usually cheaper than replacing plumbing pipes. However, if you’re renovating your bathroom, it’s generally better to replace the pipes before or during the renovation rather than after when access may be significantly more limited. It’s also important to consider how long it will take you to replace the pipes.

As you might imagine, as a local plumber in Melville, we strongly recommend hiring a professional who can get the job done quickly and efficiently rather than trying to take on this task yourself.

Which Materials Are Best To Replace The Pipes?

If you are considering renovating your bathroom we would recommend assessing the condition of existing pipes and replacing them if necessary.

Below is a short list of the materials you may decide to use to replace your existing pipes:

  • PEX – good for water supply
  • PVC – commonly used for waste lines
  • Copper – durable, cuts well and minimises health risks
  • ABS – good for vents and drain lines
  • Flexi pipe – costly and used for final piping connections


Replacing old steel pipes with copper is highly recommended to improve water quality.

Polybutylene, lead or galvinised iron pipes can pose significant health risks and should always be examined by a pro. As Perth plumbers, we are always more than happy to advise you further on the risks you are exposed to and provide a plan to fix them.

Materials like PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) have revolutionized plumbing because they are strong, durable and resistant to corrosion. They can be used in both hot and cold-water systems, making them a popular choice for both residential and commercial properties. PEX pipes are also lightweight which makes them easy to install, even by inexperienced DIYers.

Another material that has gained popularity in recent years is copper piping. Copper is a good replacement for steel plumbing as it doesn’t corrode so much over time and it’s highly resistant to bacteria build-up. It’s also possible to get copper piping in a range of colors which can add some style to your renovation project or just make identifying the hot and cold water much, much easier.

The Reason You Are Renovating Could Be The Pipes

It’s fair to say that something has prompted you to renovate your bathroom – if it’s any of these reasons below then you will almost certainly want to replace the pipes, because they are the underlying reason for your renovation.


  1. If there’s any water dripping, this could be the sign of a leaky pipe.
  2. If one of the reasons why you are renovating your bathroom is because you have noticed cracks appearing in your sinks or toilets this could lead to discolouration and be a sign that there are leaks.
  3. Poor water pressure is another sign that the pipes need to be replaced. Simply changing the shower head on your shower will not be enough to get the pressure in your bathroom racing back.
  4. Does it take a long time for your water to run from cold to hot? Again, putting on fancy taps isn’t going to do much here. It’s the pipes. They need work.
  5. Use your nose. If you’re doing a reno because your bathroom has started to smell a bit it’s probably to do with what lurks beneath. The pipes will almost certainly need changing.

It’s not just about fixing up the finishings – of course new taps and showerheads make a cosmetic difference, but what you really want to address is the health of your supply and flow lines.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace My Pipes?

The cost of replacing plumbing pipes can vary depending on the size of your home, the type of piping material you choose and the skills of the plumber.

Before making any decisions, assess the cost and how long it will take you to replace the pipes. Doing so will help you make an informed decision when it comes to bathroom renovations. This is where we can really help you – give the Melville plumber a call and we will give you a good indication of what you are looking at.

In Perth, it is also worth noting, that depending on the bathroom renovation and plumbing requirements you may need to acquire a building permit before work commences.

Can You Future Proof Your Pipes?

Advances in plumbing technology means that you can future proof the plumbing and pipes in your home for many years into the future. As plumbers, it’s our job to be able to see around corners and that is as true when it comes to the state-of-the-art pipes and plumbing.

As with most areas of our lives, technology has allowed for the development of new materials that are stronger and more durable than those used in the past. Technology has also given plumbers new tools and methods to work with that make fixing leaks and repairing pipes much easier.

When it comes to tools, we now have access to things like hydrostatic pressure testers which allow them to troubleshoot leaks quickly and accurately. They can also use video cameras to inspect pipes and drains and other high-tech tools like pipe lasers to measure water pressure.

Modern technology has improved plumbing in many ways, from materials that are stronger and more durable than ever before, to tools that make it easier for plumbers to work with. So if you’re thinking about renovating your bathroom, you can rest assured that modern technology has made plumbing more reliable and efficient than ever before.

Time Is Money

If you’re doing the work yourself, it will likely take around 8-10 hours to replace all the plumbing pipes in your bathroom renovation. However, if you’re hiring a professional plumber, they will be able to do it much more quickly – usually within a few hours and reduce the risk of leaks. The cost of replacing the pipes will vary depending on the size of your home and the type of piping material you choose. If you’re not confident in your DIY skills, it may be better to hire a professional plumber who can get the job done quickly and efficiently.

Everything in life has a cycle and in renovating your bathroom, you are recognising that the aesthetic of the room is in need of a facelift. The reality is, the plumbing probably hasn’t been touched or refitted since you purchased the property or possibly since it was built. So in our opinion, it’s definitely worth taking a good look at what’s going on beneath the surface. Beauty is only skin deep and there’s no point in spending vast amounts of money on a plush new bathroom and vanity only for it to fall victim to leaky pipes or worse. Ultimately, the cost of leaving it until next time may prove too much.

If you have any questions regarding whether or not you should be looking to replace your pipes please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.