In your home, when you turn on a sink tap, what do you expect to happen? You expect to see fresh water flow from the faucet, of course. This is just a given of everyday modern life, and you probably are surprised that we even asked the question.
But we’re professional plumbers, and it’s our job to help residential customers understand how their plumbing works—and that nothing can be taken for granted. The pipeline that brings water from the municipal system into your home’s plumbing may be in danger of corroding or breaking without you realizing it. The main threat is a pipeline that’s old and made from a material that’s long been outdated.
The Aging Water Pipes of America
We want to warn you about your home’s water line because there’s a good chance that it’s too old. A 2010 report from the National Association of Water Companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that almost half of the residential water lines in homes are in bad shape due to age. The average age of a broken water line pipe is 47 years, and many water lines are older than this. Find out the age of your water line: if it’s closing in on 45–50 years, consider calling plumbers to replace it.
The Changing Materials of Water Lines
Water lines have evolved over the years to more durable and corrosion-resistant materials. Right now, copper lines are the most common. But if your home was built before 1980, you may have a water line constructed from clay or galvanized steel. Both are materials that weaken over time, leading to breaks or corrosion. Contact plumbing professionals to find out if you have outdated water line material. If you do, the plumbers will help you with the installation of a new, more durable water line.