When you upgrade a Toronto water installation, most homeowners find that it ends up costing more than they expect. This is usually due to the need to do additional work at the time. Whether your water installation upgrade is related to a new water meter, extensions or renovations to the home or simply in response to a plumbing inspection that identified problem areas, here are some of the factors that could affect the price.

Pipe Replacement

Many Toronto homes still have galvanized steel or lead pipes carrying water into the building. This means the occupants end up ingesting lead if they drink the water, and the City is in the process of working to eradicate all lead pipes. Since 2011 the City has replaced 1,500 lead water service lines a year, but there are still others out there.

If you’re considering a Toronto water installation upgrade, ask your plumber to quote for the replacement of the property owner’s section of the pipe. This is the piece that runs from inside the home or from the water meter to the edge of the property line. If you have this replaced, you can apply to the City to get them to upgrade their section at the same time.

Drain Repair

A water installation upgrade could impact your drains if they are in a poor state of repair. What goes in must come out, and your new water supply is quite likely to be delivered with more pressure than it has been in the past, particularly if your water pipes are old and outdated, cracked or leaking. The last thing you need is to have the water backing up in the drains, so have your plumber check out the drains before you finalize the cost for your Toronto water installation work. That way, you’ll avoid any nasty last-minute surprises.

Water Meter Installation

If you’re busy with a water installation for a new home, you’ll need to fit a water meter at the same time to be in compliance with City bylaws. A radio communications network links your meter to the City for automatic recording of your usage. You’ll have to budget for the cost of the water meter as part of your project, because payment is required when you apply. Your new water service will only be activated after the meter is installed and the City’s water inspector has approved it.

Additional Equipment

During any Toronto water installation it’s also a good time to fit all other necessary equipment. This could include a sump pump and/or a backwater valve installation to prevent basement flooding, which most insurance companies require in order for your home to be adequately covered against water damage. If you’re doing a water installation upgrade and you don’t have these items already fitted, check your homeowner’s policy document to see if you need them. Most freestanding homes in the GTA are required to have one, and the City provides a rebate to help you pay for the equipment.

The most important aspect of a water installation or upgrade is to get a complete estimate before you begin. Ask your local plumber questions about all the factors that could affect the price, and avoid expensive surprises half-way through the project.