Basic Plumbing Concerns during a Kitchen Remodel

Little gives a house a whole new look like a remodeled kitchen. But unlike the other rooms in your house (save the bathroom), there are a lot of electrical and plumbing issues to work around.

Whether you are doing the remodel yourself, or have hired professionals like the Plumbing Detectives, a Sydney plumber, you will want to watch out for a few things.

Old Pipes

If you are renovating an older home, don’t be surprised if you find some old fixture and pipes once you start work. Though every may seem fine to you, it’s not a good idea to turn a blind eye to out-of-date plumbing materials when you find them.

Copper and modern PVC plastics are both considered safe and can be left alone. If you see pipes in any other material, you should talk to a plumber to see if they are lead or steel. Neither is used anymore but lead is a much bigger health hazard and definitely will need to be removed immediately. Steel can rust, compromising your water quality as well. Even so, if it’s in good shape, you may not need to have it removed.

Location of Pipes

Where the pipes are running under the floor or behind the cabinets can be very important, and should be considered as much as where you want the final fixtures to go. Having your new sink moved over to that window sounds like a lovely idea until you realize that the pipes have to run through an under-insulated exterior wall to make it work. It’s certainly doable but you should take extra steps to insulate the pipes or they can be frozen come winter.


It’s possible to find wet areas that were previously unseen once you start ripping up flooring or removing cabinetry. Small leaks that only drip periodically, and dry up again before water soaks through do happen. You run the risk of developing mold in these cases so repair any pipes or seal up any leaks that you come across even if they seem minor.

Electrical Outlets

Having handy outlets and lights around the kitchen is important, but you need to take care with their placement when near the sink. Check with your local building codes to see if there is a minimum distance you have to have between an outlet (or even just a switch) and the water source.

Not only that, you may have further conditions that outlets within a certain distance (or possibly anywhere in a kitchen) need to include ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). These act like a secondary fuse to cut the circuit as soon as water shorts out the current a s prevention against injury should the outlet get wet. They are not complicated to install and work much like a standard outlet receptacle.

Next time you’re doing a remodel, keep all these things in mind. They can be just as important as choosing a tile color or an appliance style. A little planning for your plumbing can keep your new kitchen safe from problems for years to come.

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