How to Replace Polybutylene Piping with PEX | Ask This Old House

25November 2019

Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey travels to Richmond, Virginia to help a homeowner replace her polybutylene piping with conventional PEX

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Time: 6-7 hours

Cost: $5,000 and up

Skill Level: Professional

1. Start by identifying and locating the pipes in the wall. Your contractor should devise ways to remove the pipes while minimally disrupting the space.
2. Cut access holes where necessary to remove the pipes.
3. Shut the water off to the house and open all the faucets in the house to remove any water remaining in the pipes.
4. Cut and remove all the polybutylene piping from the house.
5. Run new PEX piping through all the locations where the polybutylene used to be.
6. Connect the pipes using PEX fittings and the expansion tool.
7. Turn the water back on.

Polybutylene pipes are no longer to code and need to be replaced by a licensed professional. Richard was assisted by Capital Mechanical (

The tools and materials required to replace the pipes, including the PEX lines, fittings, and the expansion tool, can all be found at home centers and plumbing supply houses. The PEX piping for this project was supplied by Uponor (

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we're ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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Keywords: Ask This Old House, Richard Trethewey, plumbing, pipes, polybutylene, PEX

Watch the full episode:

How to Replace Polybutylene Piping with PEX | Ask This Old House

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