Whether you just bought a home, have lived in your home for years, or are just curious about the lifetime of the pipes in your home, it is a good question to be asked: when should the pipes in a home be replaced?
In older homes, pipes that need to be replaced start discoloring the water and lower the water pressure. However, you can easily prevent that from happening by knowing a little about the piping in your home.
Pipes in your home are made of different materials and serve different purposes depending on where they are located. Supply piping is usually made of brass, which can last 40-70 years, copper (50 years), or galvanized steel (20-50 years). Drain lines are made of cast iron (75-100 years), or polyvinyl chloride or PVC, which lasts indefinitely.
Keep in mind that if you know the pipes in your home are older than any of the numbers listed above, they might not need replacing. If the pipes were well-taken care of, they could last longer than average lifespans. Of course, if the pipes have been damaged or not taken care of, they might not last as long as predicted.
Keep an eye on exposed piping, look for warning signs that they need to be replaced. Check exposed pipes in the basement or crawl spaces for discoloration, flaking, stains, or anything irregular. Any leaks can also be a sign of trouble. If you see these signs, call a plumber to do an inspection.
Replacing pipes in a 1,500 square foot home with two bathrooms can cost anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 and calls for construction work, so you don't want to replace anything until it's necessary. Keep an eye out for signs of corrosion and take care of your piping, so it'll last as long as possible.
Written and published by Thompson Electric, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.
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