The plumbing in your home doesn’t last forever. What the pipes are made of is a good indication of how long they will last, but eventually all tubing will corrode, rust and decay until it simply must be replaced.
So what kind do you have and how long will it last? If you have a home inspection it should tell you what kind of pipes you have and if you know the age of your home you will have a rough estimate about how well your pipes are hanging in there. Well-maintained pipes will last longer than pipes that have a little bit rougher of a life – like those that have to deal with hard water.
In general, supply pipes made of Brass last 80-100 years, Copper last 75-80 years and Galvanized Steal last 80-100 years. Drain lines made of PVC last 25-40 years while ones made of Cast Iron will last 80-100 years.
No matter how old (or young) your pipes are you need to keep an eye on them, but there are two types of water supply pipes that should be removed from your home immediately if you have them:
Lead Pipes – used in the early 1900s have a long and healthy life expectancy of 100 years, but they pose a serious health risk because they can leak lead into your drinking water.
Polybutylene Pipes – used from 1970s through the 1990s are not hazardous to your health but they are extremely prone to breakage so just save yourself the flood and replace them.
Since replacing pipes often comes with the added challenge of tearing out walls and in some cases floors do it whenever you have the opportunity to renovate. If you are renovating the bathroom or kitchen, go ahead and spend the extra money to replace the pipes then. Other than that, replace exposed pipes when you can. Pipes that are in basements and crawlspaces are fairly straightforward to replace because a plumber can easily access them.
If would like to know what kind of condition the pipes are in your home and receive an estimate on what it would cost to replace them, give Carmine’s a call today at 203-791-8089.