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Can Your Multi-Unit Residents Afford a Plumbing Pipe Failure?

by Tod Althoff | Jun 02, 2016 | Plumbing | 0 Comments


Can you and your residents afford a plumbing pipe failure? Depending on whether you manage an apartment complex, condo or co-op, your residents could be just as responsible for a plumbing pipe failure as the board members and owners, and those costs could dramatically increase, depending on the amount of water damage and whether you decide to repair or reline your pipes.

Water Damage Caused by Plumbing Pipe Failures

When a water supply line bursts or starts leaking, it can create a plethora of water damage in a relatively short amount of time. As the water leaks, it damages walls, ceiling and floors. If the leak isn't caught quickly and excess water removed, mold and mildew can develop, leading to potential health hazards as well as the need to hire a mold remediation service.

Cost of Pipe Replacement

Replacing risers is usually more expensive than relining because it involves cutting through walls to reach your pipes. On average, replacing plumbing risers can cost as much as $85 per square foot, and that does not include the cost to replace drywall, floors or special decorative finishes, which can add significantly to your total pipe replacement costs.

Cost of Pipe Relining

Relining your water pipes before they catastrophically fail can be a more affordable option. Relining does not involve cutting through walls. Instead, an epoxy coating or liner is used to restore the integrity of your pipes and prevent future deterioration. This can save thousands of dollars when compared to traditional pipe replacement services. High estimates for relining pipes range between $60 and $200 per square foot. The cost typically goes down for pipe diameters of less than six inches and for multi-unit residential buildings that need more than 100 linear feet relined.

Determining When to Repair or Reline

The pipes in your multi-unit buildings in Chicago can reasonably be expected to last between 20 and 70 years, depending on the type of pipe. As a Chicago property manager, it is imperative that you know the age of your plumbing system and review all regular maintenance reports. This will help you determine when you need to perform repairs and when you will need to either replace your plumbing system or reline your risers.

However, if your residents start complaining of low water pressure or discolored water, your situation may be more urgent. Low water pressure can be a sign that you have multiple small leaks in your system. Discolored water indicates the presence of rust or corrosion. In these instances, you should call a professional for an inspection of your system and repair options.

Planning for Future Plumbing Repairs

Here at Althoff Industries, we work closely with Nu Flow when the project may involve pipe coating or relining, and our engineers, plumbing system designers and technicians want you to be financially ready to handle any major plumbing problems.

When you think about current and future plumbing repairs, ask yourself these questions from our partners at Nu Flow Midwest:

  • Is any portion of your yearly budget earmarked for emergency plumbing repairs?
  • If you do have money set aside for emergency plumbing repairs, is it more than $100,000 a year?
  • Do you have a long-term pipe replacement or relining plan?
  • If the answer is yes, are you planning to replace or reline your pipes in sections or at one-time?

If your answers to these questions are no or you do not save $100,000 a year for plumbing repairs, how do you plan to finance emergency plumbing repairs and pipe replacement costs? Here at Althoff Industries, we can inspect your pipes and help you create short and long term repair and replacement plans.

To learn more about replacing or relining your water supply lines or to get a comprehensive pipe inspection so that you can plan for future repairs and replacements, call us at 800-225-2443.


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