When Should You Replace or Repair Your Pipes?

Older pipes can decay and cause rust and mineral deposits, reducing their lifespan.


, cast iron and galvanized steel pipes last between 80 and 100 years, while copper pipes last 70 to 80 years and PVC pipes can last up to 40 years if properly cared for. Leaks are a common plumbing issue that can point to a much bigger problem with the pipes. If you notice frequent pipe leaks, it's best to consult a plumbing professional to decide if replacing them is the best option.

Sometimes a small leak can be fixed or patched up, but other times a visible leak is just a symptom of a larger leak deep in the pipe. Low water pressure during showers or when using the sink can also be an indication of a problem with the pipes. Clogged pipes, leaks or holes that reduce water pressure can all cause this issue. Leaky pipes can also damage the foundation and structure of your home, leading to wood decay and mold growth. At first, you might want to try a common drain cleaner and see if it alleviates the problem. If not, it's best to call in a trained professional.

Even if you're careful to keep the drains clean and the water flowing freely, you'll eventually have to replace the pipes. It's also important to get competitive quotes from refinishing specialists if you decide to go down this route. Metal pipes have a different load than the load that collects water, which causes deformation. As pipes decay, pieces of rusty metal break off, flow into the water supply and color the water. If a sufficiently severe blockage occurs, the pressure in the pipes could increase and cause them to rupture or even explode. Tests can reveal how much lead is in each pipe, and if it's above the level recommended by the federal government, you should stop using water right away.

Hard water and salt also leave deposits of their minerals as they pass through pipes, which clog and cause corrosion. Part of the drainage system is underground, and sometimes roots can pierce a drain pipe and cause a blockage. Check all pipes for discolored, peeling, dimples, bumps or anything else that seems out of the ordinary. Replacing outdated faucets is an inexpensive way to improve plumbing, save water and renew space. If you're faced with blockages in drains, leaky pipes or leaky fittings, these problems can lead to more serious issues.

If you have your plumber online fast and every time you call your plumber for an easy repair, you end up having to repair more than you expected, it might be time to consider replacing your plumbing pipes.

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