How Long Does Your Home’s Plumbing Last and when to replace it?

Dealing with plumbing issues in your Conejo Valley home is never fun. If your home’s plumbing is relatively new, you might be able to get away with pipe repairs instead of a whole-house pipe replacement. However, plumbing isn’t meant to last forever. There will come a time when you need to do plumbing pipe replacement instead of plumbing repairs. That said, how long does plumbing last? And when should you consider replacing your home’s plumbing?

Before we highlight the common signs that it’s time to replace your home’s plumbing, let’s first look at how long you can expect plumbing pipes and fixtures to last.

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How Long Should Your Home’s Plumbing System Last?

How long does copper plumbing last? What’s my old home’s plumbing lifespan? Should I order pipe repair or replacement services? Here are our answers:

Types of Pipes

The lifespan of your home’s pipes depends mainly on the material and the nature of the water that passes through them.

So, how long does plumbing last? Here are the general lifespans of common residential pipe types:

  • Brass: 40 to 70 years
  • Copper: 50 or more years
  • PEX: At least 50 years
  • Galvanized steel: 20 to 50 years
  • Cast iron: 75 to 100 years
  • Polyvinyl chloride: Indefinitely

While lead pipes can last up to 100 years, they are highly toxic and can lead to adverse health effects if exposed for an extended period. If you still have lead pipes in your home, contact your local plumbing experts for a re-piping service.

Also, note that while most of these materials have long lifespans, you should consider pipe joints, fittings, and other components that hook up your home’s plumbing and fixtures. Poorly installed pipe joints can cause leaks, clogs, and other plumbing issues.

Type of Fixtures

Here’s how long you can expect your plumbing fixtures to last under typical conditions.

  • Water heaters - The model and fuel type determine how long a water heater will last
    • Gas storage tank water heaters last around ten years
    • Electric storage tank water heaters last about 11 years
    • Tankless water heaters can last for well over 20 years
  • Sewer Lines - The life of your sewer line depends on your pipe’s material.
    • Cast iron sewer lines last 75 to 100 years
    • Clay sewer line last 50 to 60 years
    • PVC pipes last up to 100 years
  • Garbage disposals - 12 years for the average household.
  • Toilet flappers – About four to five years
  • Water softeners - Water softeners can last 10 to 20 years, depending on the type and quality you buy

You can expect many years out of your home’s plumbing system and fixtures with correct usage, proper cleaning, and maintenance. Performing routine maintenance and inspections will considerably reduce the likelihood of any unforeseen issues developing.

When Should You Replace Your Home’s Plumbing?

Knowing when to replace your home’s plumbing fixtures and pipes can help you plan for future expenses and potentially avoid harmful plumbing leaks or breakages. If you’ve been calling for plumbing repairs more often, you might wonder whether your plumbing fixtures are on their last legs.

Here are five signs it’s time to upgrade or replace your plumbing:

» The Pipes Themselves

The different types of materials used to construct pipes affect how long the pipes in your home will last. If your home’s pipes are approaching their lifespan from when builders installed them in your home, it may be time to replace them.

» Discoloration of Water

If you have well water or live in a rural area, you may have brown water from time to time. However, if neither of these things applies to you, this is a good sign that you may need to replace your pipes. Consider replacing galvanized pipes with PVC pipes that do not corrode easily.

» Water Pressure Issues

Low water pressure indicates that your pipes may be on their way out. If your water pressure is lower than it used to be, this could mean that your pipes are leaking or you have a clog somewhere. If a drain cleaner cannot clear up the problem, you’ll need to call a professional for a plumbing system inspection.

» Noisy Pipes

Noisy water pipes indicate your plumbing system is compromised. It could simply be that your pipes weren’t fitted correctly, or they’ve come loose over time. If you experience noisy pipes only after you use hot water, the culprit is likely expanding copper pipework, and you may need to schedule a re-piping service to solve the noise issue.

» Water Heater Issues

Maybe your pipes are not the source of your problems, but your water heater is. The easiest way to know that your water heater needs replacing is if it is older than ten years old, though modern units can last up to 20 years. Here are five signs that you should consider replacing your water heater: .

  • The heating element keeps failing
  • The thermostat keeps breaking
  • Leaks or rust around the heater
  • The pilot light keeps going out
  • The circuit breaker keeps tripping

When Should You Replace Your Home’s Plumbing?

Knowing when to replace your home’s plumbing fixtures and pipes can help you plan for future expenses and potentially avoid harmful plumbing leaks or breakages. If you’ve been calling for plumbing repairs more often, you might wonder whether your plumbing fixtures are on their last legs.

Here are five signs it’s time to upgrade or replace your plumbing:

» The Pipes Themselves

The different types of materials used to construct pipes affect how long the pipes in your home will last. If your home’s pipes are approaching their lifespan from when builders installed them in your home, it may be time to replace them.

» Discoloration of Water

If you have well water or live in a rural area, you may have brown water from time to time. However, if neither of these things applies to you, this is a good sign that you may need to replace your pipes. Consider replacing galvanized pipes with PVC pipes that do not corrode easily.

» Water Pressure Issues

Low water pressure indicates that your pipes may be on their way out. If your water pressure is lower than it used to be, this could mean that your pipes are leaking or you have a clog somewhere. If a drain cleaner cannot clear up the problem, you’ll need to call a professional for a plumbing system inspection.

» Noisy Pipes

Noisy water pipes indicate your plumbing system is compromised. It could simply be that your pipes weren’t fitted correctly, or they’ve come loose over time. If you experience noisy pipes only after you use hot water, the culprit is likely expanding copper pipework, and you may need to schedule a re-piping service to solve the noise issue.

» Water Heater Issues

Maybe your pipes are not the source of your problems, but your water heater is. The easiest way to know that your water heater needs replacing is if it is older than ten years old, though modern units can last up to 20 years. Here are five signs that you should consider replacing your water heater:

  • The heating element keeps failing
  • The thermostat keeps breaking
  • Leaks or rust around the heater
  • The pilot light keeps going out
  • The circuit breaker keeps tripping

Benefits to Getting Plumbing Maintenance

Regular plumbing maintenance should be a routine if you want to keep your home’s plumbing in top shape. Plumbing inspections are a great way to check whether or not your home needs pipe repair and replacement services.

Some of the benefits of regular plumbing maintenance include the following:

  • Improved water quality
  • Reduced water bills
  • Better water pressure
  • Improved home value
  • Extend the lifespan of your plumbing system
  • Better air quality
  • Better health for your family
  • Prevent plumbing emergencies

We recommend you have your plumbing inspected as part of a complete home inspection once a year. If you have a newer home with newer plumbing systems, you can get away with not having your plumbing inspected for the first three to five years, but owners of older houses should never overlook an annual inspection.

Conejo Valley’s Trusted Plumbing Professionals

While some plumbing issues require a whole house pipe replacement, most need professional repair work, and they’ll work like new ones again. In either case, our experienced, licensed plumbers at Conejo Valley Home Services Plumbing & Rooter have the tools and expertise necessary to solve your plumbing issues.

If you’re ready to update your home’s plumbing and reduce the risk of water damage, contact the expert team at Conejo Valley Home Services Plumbing & Rooter by calling (805) 499-0448 today!

Amber HauptmanAmber Hauptman
18:56 10 May 24
Parker was awesome! He was very informative and answered our million questions! Looking forward to working with him again soon! Thank you Parker!!!
Marlowe SchneidkrautMarlowe Schneidkraut
15:43 29 Jun 23
Easy to set up an appointment. Came on time and called ahead when they were enroute. Work was done promptly and professionally. Technician kept working area clean and cleaned up after service.
Pat PerrinePat Perrine
02:40 15 Jun 23
Professional and on time. Diagnosed the problem and gave several alternatives for repair.
Bob AbrahamBob Abraham
15:19 11 May 23
By far the best and most reliable company I've ever used. I've had nothing but good experiences with their plumbing services as well as their Air Conditioning Service. Professional in every sense of the way. Would absolutely recommend them to anyone who wants honest reasonably priced services. Thank you so much.
Thomas StevensThomas Stevens
01:12 05 Apr 23
Very professional and incredibly responsive. We were without hot water and they took care of our situation incredibly quickly. It was not a simple process and they put in overtime to get us done. Very happy and will certainly use them again.
Rebecca ZemlynRebecca Zemlyn
01:41 24 Mar 23
Wonderful experience today with the 65 point plumbing inspection. Gave me peace of mind & I know they will be back to take care of any issues. Loyal customer for heating & air services. Now, with the introduction of plumbing, I know where to go for honest, quality service. True professionals!
Lisa CallLisa Call
04:08 19 Feb 23
These guys are great! They were prompt, courteous and knowledgeable. And they are careful to not leave a mess (and they even use shoe covers to walk around in your house)! What more could you ask for? A great experience and I will use them again!
Linn GriffinLinn Griffin
04:30 08 Feb 23
Conejo Valley replaced our A/C and furnace in 2014, and just replaced our 20 year old tank water heater today. We switched from tank to tankless and were very impressed with the work. The technicians were very knowledgeable and organized; for us, the installation took only 3 hours as the space was pretty easy to access. I highly recommend Conejo Valley! The office called as soon as they left to check on how the installation went. Great customer service. To the technicians, thanks for your hard work!
Terry HunsakerTerry Hunsaker
03:16 07 Feb 23
Exceptional service from making an appointment with Nancy to Nick repairing leak under kitchen sink. Extremely professional, arrived on time, wear booties (not necessary for me), offered to wear a mask, respectful and neat. Reasonable fair pricing which turned out to be nothing major. I will use them again if needed. Thank you.
Fred GARDERESFred GARDERES
17:29 22 Jan 23
Our 20 year old furnace broke down for good over the Christmas break. And it got wet and cold…This team was able to come and quote a new heating system and have it installed, in under 6 days!They were on time, very respectful, and kept us posted continuously throughout the project.We would definitely use them again, and we strongly recommend them!
Michael MartinezMichael Martinez
00:42 07 Jan 23
Art did an excellent job. He stayed late on a rainy day to ensure my drain was working. He talked me thru the entire process and took the extra time to locate the issue and fix it as best he could. He got our drain working and gave us the long term solution and cost. I’d definitely use this company and specifically Art again.
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