Rogelio Alvarez

By: Rogelio Alvarez on January 18th, 2024

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Should I Repair or Replace My Home’s Drain Pipes?


Every homeowner’s nightmare is when a drain starts to back up and release an unpleasant and overpowering stench accompanied by an overflow of sewage or wastewater. These kinds of nightmare scenarios require immediate attention and can result in a drain pipe repair or drain pipe replacement. Either option can be costly, so which one is better suited for your home?

At Monkey Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Air, our technicians aren’t afraid to go deep into crawlspaces to diagnose and address various problems associated with drain pipes. Whether it’s a minor leak or a pipe collapse, we’ve helped hundreds of homeowners across Los Angeles and the surrounding counties deal with drain pipe problems. 

A drain pipe repair and a drain pipe replacement are beneficial to a home experiencing drain pipe problems, but the difference between these options can be broken down further based on the following factors.

  • The overall extent of pipe damage
  • Age and condition of drain pipes
  • Drain pipe repair frequency 

By the end of this article, you will be able to weigh out both options to determine which one is best for your house. 


Common Drain Pipe Problems 

There are multiple reasons why a homeowner may call in to request a pipe drain inspection. Some of these issues are more major than others, but all can be addressed with a repair or complete drain pipe replacement. 

  • Blockages and clogs
  • Invasive roots 
  • Frequent leaks 
  • Presence of mold
  • Backups 
  • Sewage odor leaks
  • Corroded pipes 
  • Misaligned pipes 
  • Cracked pipes
  • Collapsed pipes 

These types of drain pipe issues require immediate attention or may cause further damage to a home. Until that specific issue is fixed, homeowners cannot drain anything down that section of drain pipes. 

It is recommended to contact a professional technician to come and inspect the issues so they can determine what repair options are available, whether it’s a simple drain pipe repair or drain pipe replacement. Depending on the issue, a technician may recommend a drain pipe repair first. 


Should I Repair My Home’s Drain Pipes?

Depending on the exact issue, a drain pipe repair may be a better option for some homeowners. Drain pipe repairs address the section of a home’s drains that are experiencing an issue instead of a house’s entire drain pipe system.

The most common drain pipe repairs include.

These are the most common types of drain pipe repairs, and in the following section, we’ll look at how they can be more beneficial than replacing an existing pipe layout. 


Advantages of Drain Pipe Repairs

  • Less invasive 
  • More cost-effective than full drain pipe replacement
  • It takes less time to complete 
  • Immediate solution 
  • Better suited for repairs requiring sectional repiping, drain snake, hydro-jetting, or epoxy liners

Drain pipe repairs generally take less time to complete and are priced lower than a full-house drain pipe replacement. A drain pipe repair can cost thousands of dollars, whereas a full-home drain replacement can cost tens of thousands. 

Homeowners should consider a drain pipe repair if they have a limited repair budget, can’t wait longer than a few days without a working drain pipe, or want to minimize the amount of invasive work required to perform certain repairs. 

For example, a cracked kitchen or bathroom drain pipe can be repaired with a repipe, epoxy liner, or pipe burst. Leaking pipes can be caused by corrosion or invasive roots but can have different repair options. The different drain pipe repair options give homeowners more freedom to choose from various repair possibilities that best suit their budget. 

Despite being cost-effective, there are some instances where investing in a drain pipe repair can come with a few disadvantages.


Disadvantages of Drain Pipe Repairs

  • It may be a temporary fix 
  • Address one section of drain pipes instead of all

Some drain pipe repairs can provide immediate fixes but are only temporary solutions. A blockage can reoccur if homeowners aren’t careful with what they flush down the toilet. A leaking pipe can be fixed with epoxy liner, but if another section of a home’s pipes is old and corroded, that area may experience a leak or, even worse, a pipe crack or collapse. 

Professional technicians inspect the current condition of a home’s pipes to determine what future repairs may be needed. Most homes in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas have cast iron drain pipes, which can become corroded over time and are more susceptible to leaks and cracks. 

A homeowner may pay for a drain pipe repair in their kitchen for one year and then, because of the condition of their cast iron pipes, may have to invest in another pipe repair for their restrooms the following year. Frequent drain pipe repairs can end up becoming expensive over time. To avoid constant disruptions to a home’s drain pipes, homeowners may consider replacing and repiping their house’s existing drain system. 


Should I Replace My Home’s Drain Pipes?

In some cases, technicians may recommend a full-drain pipe replacement instead of repair. Although these jobs require extra time and money to complete, they can ensure a home has little to zero issues with drain pipes for a very long time. 

A full-house drain pipe replacement may not be the best option for some drain issues, but it can offer homeowners some advantages, starting with knowing that any future problems are being prevented. 


Advantages of Drain Pipe Replacement

  • Long-term solution
  • Preventative care
  • Eliminates any other potential issues 
  • Updates existing drain pipe layout

Homeowners should consider a complete drain pipe replacement if their home’s drainage system was diagnosed with multiple issues or if the current pipe system is outdated and hazardous to keep as is. Full drain pipe replacement can replace a home’s old corroded cast iron pipes with ABS pipes, which are more flexible and corrosion-resistant.

By replacing a home’s current drain pipes with newer material, homeowners can immediately address any other possible issue. If a homeowner is planning on living in their current house for a long time, then a pipe replacement is an excellent investment to help prevent any other issues from occurring. 

Before committing to the long-term benefits of a full pipe replacement, there are a few disadvantages homeowners should be aware of. 


Disadvantages of Drain Pipe Replacement

  • Higher upfront costs
  • Requires longer completion time

Full drain pipe replacements can cost tens of thousands of dollars to complete. Homeowners may be unable to use sinks or restrooms while their drain pipes are being replaced. The high costs of drain pipe replacement, plus not being able to use a home’s drainage systems temporarily, may be off-putting for some homeowners. 

Drain pipe replacement projects can be more invasive than a sectional drain pipe repair. Technicians may need to dig into specific areas and remove concrete to access the drain pipes underneath a home. 

Every pipe issue is different, but one of the few scenarios where a drain pipe replacement is heavily recommended is if there’s an entire collapsed pipe system. Because the damage to the drain pipe is too extensive, technicians may not have any other choice than to replace the whole pipe system. 


Is a Drain Pipe Repair or Replacement Right for Me?

The only way to determine if a drain pipe repair or replacement is required is with an inspection from a certified technician. Now that you know the factors that affect whether a home needs a drain pipe repair or replacement, you can explore different repair options with a drain pipe technician. This can help you ensure you’re choosing the right drain pipe solution for your home. 

For over 15 years, we’ve performed hundreds of drain pipe repairs and replacements across homes all over Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Our technicians have seen which scenarios are best suited for a drain pipe repair or replacement. 

If you’re experiencing any issues with your home’s drain pipes, contact us using one of the buttons below. You can also book an appointment directly through our drain services online scheduler and have one of our certified technicians come and see what’s going on with your home’s drain pipes.