Fact: leaky pipes are a common household plumbing problem and always appear unannounced (and at the worst time, too).
Unfortunately, what many homeowners don’t realize is that there are many factors that go into how long your plumbing pipes will last, including age, maintenance, and their material. That’s why it’s important to take a look at your pipes to understand their condition and prevent water damage from leaky pipes. Whether you’re new to home ownership, or you’re simply looking to gauge your existing plumbing system, you’ll want to consider your pipe age and material. View the chart below to determine how long each material typically lasts before they need to be replaced.
How long do different materials last?
- Brass – This material is commonly used in supply pipes and lasts anywhere from 40-70 years.
- Copper – Also used in supply pipes, copper is constantly under pressure. These pipes last 50+ years.
- Galvanized steel – This supply pipe material lasts 20-50 years.
- Cast Iron –This pipe material lasts 75-100 years, but is used mainly in drain lines.
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC ) – This plastic material lasts indefinitely.
- Lead – Lead pipes were used in the early 1900s and have a life expectancy of 100 years. However, this material can leach into your drinking water, causing a health hazard for your family. If you suspect that your home has lead pipes, it’s important to have them replaced regardless of age.
Since plumbing pipes cause water damage when they leak, it’s important to address plumbing problems early on. If you know that your plumbing is reaching the end of its lifespan, it might be time to have your home inspected. Although the pipes won’t need to be replaced, it’s important to make sure that your plumbing is properly maintained (especially in areas with hard plumbing).
Read more about the lifespan of plumbing pipes here. You can also reach our office directly by calling (865) 518-7008 to schedule an appointment. Visit our website to learn more about the plumbing services that we offer to Knoxville, TN and the surrounding areas.
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