What Does Kitchen Plumbing Involve?
Any kitchen amenity that uses water has plumbing attached to it. This includes, most obviously, kitchen sinks, as well as dishwashers, garbage disposals, and refrigerators (if using an ice cube maker or fresh water dispenser). Just about all plumbing projects require a permit. Plumbing inspectors are looking out for you – any potential problems or shoddy workmanship will be found by the inspector and corrected by your contractor – so consider your inspector a friend in the business.
A new plumbing installation involves shutting off your water for the duration of the project. Many homeowners plan plumbing work around a day trip or vacation so as not to be inconvenienced by this. After the water is shut off and the system is drained, the water supply must be tapped into and routed to where the appliances are located. For sinks and dishwashers, a drain line must also be installed. If you are moving plumbing away from the main “wet wall” (a main wall, often load bearing, in your home that stretches uninterrupted over several floors and houses all the plumbing lines), you will need to run it through either the floor or the ceiling to its destination. If you have a full basement and access to the floor joists, this is a relatively simple process. If not, it will be necessary to remove your floor covering and plywood subfloor, resulting in higher labor costs.
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Repairing a plumbing problem almost always involves the same first step as installing plumbing: shutting off and draining your water supply. For simple repairs, secondary shutoffs closer to the problem can be used, allowing the main supply to function while the local problem is worked on. Ask your contractor to estimate how long the water outage will last so you can plan accordingly. Many simple repairs can be completed in just a few hours. Common kitchen plumbing issues are caused by drain problems, leaky faucets, or leaky connections. DIY products such as plumbing snakes, drain guns, and liquid/chemical openers (Drano, ZEP Drain Opener) are available for drain problems. For recurring clogs or items lost down the drain, you may need a professional to take your drain apart. This is an easy job for a pro, as your sink trap is typically where most items end up and most clogs occur. It shouldn’t take more than an hour to complete.
Kitchen Plumbing Costs
The following prices are meant to serve as a general overview only. Actual costs vary widely from job to job and state to state.
- Expect simple plumbing repairs requiring up to 3 hours of labor to cost $100 to $300. More complex repairs can cost as much as $600 to $700.
- A plumbing job that involves moving the sink and other appliances along a wet wall costs $500 to $1,000 depending on the length of the move.
- Moving your plumbing away from a wet wall averages $1,000 to $2,000 if there is easy access; removing the floor covering and subfloor to relocate plumbing pipes can cost as much as $5,000.