Understand what material your water pipes are made of
Understanding what type of plumbing system you have in your home is just as important as making sure you have milk in the fridge! The reason being, is because the lifespan of your home plumbing system will depend on what type of pipes you have.
Over the next few decades, the United States of America is projected to spend as much as 1 trillion dollars in distribution pipe supply repairs. The age of water pipes only grow older, and the rate of pipe replacement will rise until 2035, due to the national investment of water mains that peaked in the boom years after World War II. The lifespan of those pipes are projected to be 75-100 years. However, age is only one factor of a potential pipe burst: deterioration of any particular pipe depends on the pressure. Each type of materials tend to have a different lifespan, some are more corrosive than others, and cycles of freezing can weaken pipes.
It is everyone’s nightmare to have a pipe leaking in your home. No one wants to deal with a leaking problem in their house, because it takes time and money to fix the problem! Here is a chart below, to determine what your home’s plumbing lifespan is, and help prevent leaks:
Copper: 50+ years
Galvanized Steel: 20-50 years
Polyvinyl Chloride(known as PVC): Indefinitely
Polybutylene is in a category of its own. Polybutylene is a gray, plastic plumbing material that was used between the 1970’s-1990’s. They are easy to break, and it’s commonly found in homes around the Mid-Atlantic states. If your home has polybutylene pipes, have a plumber inspect the system immediately! Chlorinated water causes these pipes to deteriorate from the inside out, which will ultimately result in the pipes to fail without notice.
Lead pipes were used in the early 1900’s, and they have a life expectancy of around 100 years. Unfortunately, they can leach lead into your drinking water which obviously is a health hazard! The lead pipes typically have a dull gray exterior, and the surface of the pipe can easily be scratched with a knife. If you believe your home has a lead pipe system, make sure you get the water tested. If the results show that the lead content is at 15 parts per billion (15 ppb) or more, call in a professional plumber to replace your pipe system!
A good thing to do, is to review the home inspection report you received when you bought your home-this will help you see what kind of pipes you have. It is always recommended to bring in a professional to do an inspection of your plumbing system. You can set an appointment with HEP Is On The Way, and we will send out a plumbing service expert to do an inspection for you!