We are accustomed to thinking about the plumbing pipes in our home plumbing system as basically indestructible. Unless there’s some kind of catastrophic damage to the house itself, the pipes will work for as long as the house stands.
Of course, this isn’t true—no kind of metal or material that undergoes any sort of stress will last forever. But because most of the pipes in a house are hidden from sight, it’s simply easy not to think of them, and therefore not to think about them aging, corroded, or decaying.
However, if you live in an older home, you may have pipes that have reached the point where they need to be replaced with new material. This is a job called repiping, and it’s one that our professional plumbers can handle for you.
Read over our guide below for when you may need new pipes, and then contact us for piping services in Clovis, NM.
How Long Do Pipes Last in a House?
Depending on what material your home's pipes are made out of, they can last anywhere from 30-100 years with proper maintenance.
If you live in a house built during the last 20 years, your pipes are probably in good shape—especially if you arrange for regular professional maintenance from them. However, a condition called pitting corrosion can still affect new copper pipes, so make sure that you never ignore signs that you have leaks. Call plumbers right away, and they’ll find the leaks and handle the pipe replacements to solve the problem.
If your home was built in the 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s, you will still need to keep a close watch for standard leaks. However, there are additional concerns homes of this age will have, which are the presence of lead and polybutylene pipes.
- Lead pipes: Lead in drinking water is a major health hazard, and it is particularly damaging for young children, who can suffer from mental development problems due to lead poisoning.
- Polybutylene pipes: Often referred to as poly This is a pipe material that was used from the late 1970s until the mid-1990s (and occasionally pops up in amateur plumbing work). Poly pipes wear away fast when in contact with oxidants in the public water system. These pipes rapidly become frail and easily break.
If you have either lead or polybutylene pipes in your plumbing system, arrange to have them replaced right away. Ask professional plumbers to look into whether you have these materials in your house.
If your home is more than 50 or 60 years old, then we recommend you have annual checks done on the piping to look for signs of corrosion. Pipes in homes this old are often made from galvanized steel, brass, or cast iron. These metals can last sometimes up to a hundred years—but that’s only under ideal circumstances. Problems like hard water and poor maintenance can cause them to decay and corrode earlier.
If you see signs of flaking, discoloration, and dimpling on exposed pipes (such as those in the basement or crawlspaces), have a professional plumber in as soon as possible. The plumber can determine if you need pipe replacements and how extensive.