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Mar 31 2019

When Its Time to Replace The Pipes in Your Home

Your homes plumbing system is made up of an intricate network of pipes. Pipes that supply fresh water, and pipes that remove waste. This network of plumbing pipes make daily life comfortable and helps us stay healthy. Unfortunately, things happen and at some point the pipes in your home may have to be replaced. Lets take a look at the lifespan of your plumbing pipes and what to do when its time to replace the pipes in your home.   

The Lifespan Of Your Pipes

Like we mentioned above, the plumbing in your home is made up of water supply lines and drain pipes. The material the pipe is made out of depends on its purpose. Over the decades, various materials have been used.  

Water Supply Lines

Water supply lines are typically made out of brass, copper, or galvanized steel. Brass plumbing pipes last about 80-100 years, copper plumbing pipes last about 70-80 years, and galvanized steel last about 80-100 years. When it comes to galvanized steel, they stopped using it in the 1960’s, so if you have galvanized steel plumbing pipes, it is probably getting on in age. Knowing how old your plumbing pipes are can help prepare you for eventual replacement.

Drain Pipes

Drain pipes are made out of either PVC or cast iron. They started using PVC in the 1970’s to cut down on cost, because PCV was easier to install, cheaper ,and more affordable to manufacture. PCV lasts about 25-40 years. Cast iron on the other hand lasts 80-100 years, and is still used in industrial, commercial, and even residential use. However, PVC is the most common material used in new construction today.  

Reasons for Pipe Failure

There are several reasons why your pipes could be causing problems. It could be old age, the result of the ground shifting, tree roots, or even a mistake during construction. When it comes to the age of your pipes, natural wear and tear can eventually take its toll and you will eventually have to replace the pipes in your home. Sediment buildup from mineral deposits in the water can cause your pipes to be more prone to leaks. For example, if you have cast iron drain pipes, sediment in the form of rust can cause a lot of corrosion and eventually lead to failure.   Some tips to protect your homes plumbing from premature failure include:  

  • Watch what goes down the drain. You know that things like grease, food particles, and hair can form massive clogs, but did you know that harsh chemicals can do their fair share of damage too? Chemicals found in a lot of cleaning agents and even drain cleaner can do a lot of damage to your drain pipes, so always proceed with caution.


  • When it comes to landscaping, always be mindful of the plants your choose and where you put them. Keep shrubs and trees away from your lateral line. And opt for slow growing plants. Since roots naturally grow toward moisture, it makes your plumbing pipes susceptible to root damage. Slow growing plants will take longer to reach your plumbing.


  • Be mindful of where you pipes are located during home renovation projects. Before you drill or nail into the wall, make sure there isn’t a water supply line right behind. Accidentally nicking a pipe could lead to excessive damage, not to mention a huge mess. In addition, don’t go digging up the ground, before you locate your lateral line. You could be taking on more than you bargained for.


Options for Replacement

Faulty water supply lines can do a lot of damage especially when they are about to go out. Waiting too long to make repairs can only cause more problems and lead to more repairs. Repiping can be and expensive project to undertake. Mold is of particular concern when leaking supply pipes. If left unchecked, you may have to undergo mold remediation, adding to the costs of repairs. This is why it is important to fix leaks right away, and if you have to replace the pipes in your home don't wait too long. Have a thorough plumbing inspection done at regular intervals and know what to look for. Some signs it might be time to replace the pipes in your home include: high water bill, unexplained puddles of water, water damage, the smell of mold, or the sound or rushing or dripping water. For drain lines there several options, replacing them or pipe relining. Replacing is a more expensive and invasive procedure. Trenchless sewer repair is a newer technique that allow a new pipe to be laid within an existing pipe, patching up any holes, leaks, or weaknesses. Trenchless sewer repair is a great option because it does not require and excavating and is more affordable. However, every situation is different so it is important to discuss with a plumber your options. If you notice repeated clogs, backflow issues, or unexplained puddles around the yard, you should contact your plumber right away. Video pipe inspection can help diagnose the problem accurately and quickly.   Questions about your pipes? Wondering if it is time to replace the pipes in your home? Contact Rooter Hero today!  

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