home piping

Are you experiencing more plumbing problems than normal? Maybe you’ve noticed that your water is brown, or that pipe leaks in your home are becoming more and more frequent. While these could just be signs of a malfunctioning water heater, or tree roots that have spread into a small section of pipe, these could also be signs that you need to repipe your home. This can be an expensive endeavor, so you need to make sure that you know of the telltale signs and have a plumber on call who can get the job done right. Read on to discover four signs you’re overdue for a whole home repipe.

1. Your house is over 60 years old

If your house is 60 years old or older, then there’s a good chance that the pipes have never been replaced – and that it might be time to invest in a repiping. Depending on the material used for your pipes, your new installation can last anywhere from 25 to 100 years. Refer to the breakdown below for a general guideline on pipe life expectancy. Note that different types of pipes have different life expectancies, depending on the amount of pressure they are under.

Supply Pipes

  • Brass – 80-100 years
  • Copper – 70-80 years
  • Galvanized Steel – 80-100 years

Drain Lines

  • Cast iron – 80-100 years
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride) – 25-40 years

2. You’re experiencing lots of pipe leaks

Have you been hit with a lot of small pipe leaks in recent months? This could be a sign of normal wear and tear (or just plain bad luck), but it could also be a sign that your pipes are nearing the end of their lifespan and need to be replaced. Know that when properly installed, pipes shouldn’t be leaking, and a recently repaired pipe shouldn’t start leaking again in a similar place. Call your plumber today and have your home’s plumbing system thoroughly inspected.

3. You notice brown or rusty water

Brown or rusty water is never a good thing. It can, however, be the result of something other than a worn-out pipe. Rust could be coming from the water itself (if your water is rich in iron), from the water heater, or from a well, if you are on a well system. If your pipes are old, they’ll have a lot of buildup internally. This buildup gets caught in the water supply, resulting in your rusty or brown water.

4. Your pipes are made of lead or polybutylene

If you’re seriously considering purchasing a new home that you know it is from the early 1900s, make sure to check if the house has been repiped or not. Houses from this era were often built with lead pipes, which can leach lead into your water supply and cause serious health problems. If you have a house that was built in the 1970s to the 1990s, see if it was built with polybutylene pipes. These pipes don’t pose health risks, but they are notorious for their fragility and frequent breakage. It’s recommended you replace these pipes if they are present in your home.

So, there you have it – four signs that you’re overdue for a whole home repipe. If you ever suspect that a repiping is needed for your home, make sure to call a plumber you can trust. They can perform an inspection and advise you whether a full system repipe is essential, or if you can get away with replacing just a portion of damaged pipe.