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How Long Should the Pipes in My Home Last?

rusty-pipe-burstWe’re glad you’re asking this question, because it means you realize the pipes that make up your home’s plumbing system won’t last forever. Too often, people make the assumption that plumbing pipes are invincible, and they’ll never need replacements. This is untrue: the best pipe materials have great longevity, but none of them will last forever.

However, it’s a bit trickier to answer the question “How long will the pipes last?” because it depends on the kinds of pipes in your home and when your home was built. Let’s take a closer look at some of the different possibilities and what they mean for your future plumbing needs.

The Shortcut

Okay, we’ll give you the shortcut to the best answer upfront: call for a professional plumber to come to your house and inspect the plumbing. A professional will be able to tell the age and condition of your pipes and how much longer you can expect them to last. This is a great first step to take because it allows the plumber to not only determine if your pipes need to be upgraded, it also gives them an opportunity to find where there are current leaks or issues that might have escaped your attention. Maybe you need some of those old pipes replaced now—and you’ll be glad you found out sooner rather than later when huge leaks are causing water damage.

Galvanized Steel

If your house was built pre-1970, you probably have galvanized steel pipes in many places—if not for most of the plumbing. Galvanized steel is steel dipped in a zinc solution to stop corrosion. This steel can last about 20 to 50 years—and that means they’re almost certainly ready to be replaced. Steel pipes are more likely to corrode, even with the zinc solution, and create leaks as well as toxicity in freshwater.

Copper

This is the most common metal used today for plumbing pipes, and it has been in common use from the 1970s onwards. Copper pipes will usually last for more than 50 years. You’re probably good if you have copper pipes, but it never hurts to have an inspection.

You’ll find the experts to fix and upgrade your plumbing in Winter Park, FL at MPI. We have more than 40 years of experience helping locals enjoy the best in plumbing repairs, installations, and maintenance. Everyone here is dedicated to honesty and integrity in our service.

Plastic Pipes (PVC, CPVC, PEX)

With plastic pipes, which cannot corrode, it’s hard to give a range of age. Technically, they could last “indefinitely,” which doesn’t mean they won’t ever need to be replaced, but just that age is not the primary reason they’ll need to be replaced. However, there is a plastic called polybutylene that was used in the ‘70s through the ‘90s that is more fragile and likely to break. If you have polybutylene pipes, we recommend replacing them.

Partial and Whole-House Repiping

If you need pipe replacements, it will depend on the age of your house if you’ll require whole-repiping or only targeted replacements (such as to take out any remaining galvanized steel or polybutylene). Our plumbers can handle any size of task and have it done quickly and with minimal disruption to your life. Arrange for pipe inspections today to see if you need pipe replacements and how much.

Ask us to help you with your repiping needs! Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. has proudly served Central Florida since 1975.

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