The pipes in your home are something you probably take for granted. And in most cases, that’s okay – your pipes are normally designed to last for decades, so there’s hardly any cause to be too worried about them. But nothing’s perfect – eventually, corrosion, rust, and decay will start to take over your pipes. If you live in an old home (think 75 – 100 years old), it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your plumbing system – you never know when you might need pipe replacement!
What is the average lifespan of a plumbing system?
The lifespan of your pipes depends largely on the type of material used to make the pipes:
- 80 – 100 years for brass and galvanized steel
- 70 – 80 years for copper
- 80 – 100 years for cast iron
- 25 – 40 years for PVC
If your pipes are older than this, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be worried about them – if you’ve kept your pipes well maintained, they may last much longer (and on the other hand, pipes that have not been well maintained, or that have hard water running through them, may fail even sooner!).
Note: if you have lead or polybutylene pipes, you’ll want to have them replaced right away. Lead pipes can last about 80-100 years, but the dangers of lead are no secret. Polybutylene pipes, on the other hand, pose no health risks but are in constant, imminent danger of catastrophic failure! Learn more about polybutylene replacement>>
Signs That You Need Pipe Replacement
If your pipes are more than 60 years old, you should make it a point to check them annually for any exposed pipes or signs of trouble, including discoloration, stains, dimpling, pimples, or flaking. You should also be on the lookout for leaks – even small, easily reparable leaks can be signs of pipe failure down the road. Finally, look at the color of water that comes out when you fill your bathtub, especially after a vacation when the water in your pipes has been sitting for a while. If it comes out brown or yellow, this is a sign of rust, which points to decay in your pipes.
The Best Time to Replace Your Pipes
Pipe replacement is a huge investment, but if you play your cards right it can be manageable. There are a lot of ways you can mitigate the cost and hassle of pipe replacement:
Replace what’s exposed – the biggest hassle of pipe replacement comes when you have to tear out walls to get to the pipes behind them. But if you have a crawlspace, utility room, or basement with exposed pipes, it can save you big time if you start by replacing just those pipes. Depending on the layout of your home, this may give plumbers easy access to most of your plumbing system.
Replace when you renovate – if you’re planning on doing any major remodels, you can use this as a great opportunity to have your pipes inspected and replaced, if necessary. This can help you save big time and can make the job much cleaner.
Use PEX piping – if you have inside supply lines that definitely require replacement, it might be easiest to replace them with polyethylene (PEX) tubing. Unlike solid copper pipes, PEX tubing can be threaded into your walls much like electrical wires.
If you need pipe replacement (or you think you’ll need it soon!), don’t wait – call Magnolia Plumbing today!
Why call Magnolia Plumbing for pipe repair or replacement?
Headquartered in Washington, DC, Magnolia Plumbing provides Northern Virginia, Maryland, and DC area homes and businesses with affordable plumbing, heating and air conditioning, underground utility, drain and camera, and construction-related services. Magnolia Plumbing has proudly provided services since 1950.
Currently using over 200 GPS-enabled vehicles and friendly trained technicians, no job is too small or too large for Magnolia. With Magnolia Plumbing you can expect a quick estimate and swift response to your problem. Let Magnolia Plumbing find a solution for you today. For added piece of mind, consider one of our maintenance contracts.
At Magnolia Plumbing, we are constantly “striving for perfection.” Our aim is to provide a superior customer service experience. Our technicians and staff are ready to provide you the customer service experience you deserve and expect. Give us a call today!
We offer pipe repair and replacement in:
Adelphi, Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Ashburn, Beltsville, Berwyn Heights,Bethesda, Bowie, Capitol Heights, Chantilly, Chevy Chase, Clinton, College Park, Columbia, Davidsonville, Edgewater, Ellicott City, Fairfax, Falls Church, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Glen Burnie, Glen Echo, Great Falls,Greenbelt, Hanover, Herndon, Hyattsville, Landover, Lanham, Laurel, Leesburg, Manassas, McLean, Millersville, Mitchellville, Montgomery Village, Mount Airy, Poolesville, Potomac, Reston, Rockville, Severn, Silver Spring, Springfield, Sterling, Takoma Park, Tysons Corner, Upper Marlboro, Waldorf, Washington, DC, White Oak