Grand Lake Plumbing
Grand Lake Plumbing Grand County CO
Tuesday, 23 January 2024 15:28

When Should Pipes Be Replaced?

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Understanding the Lifespan of Different Pipe Materials and Symptoms of Deterioration

Pipe replacement 

At Grand Lake Plumbing & Heating, we frequently encounter plumbing systems that have outlived their usefulness. In some cases serious water damage has occurred because early warning signs were ignored. This post will help you recognize the warning signs that could indicate it's time to replace your pipes. We'll also cover the lifespan of different pipe materials and issues with older plumbing systems that might need urgent attention.

Lifespan of Common Plumbing Materials

The type of material used in your home's plumbing system is often determined when it was built.

Copper Pipes: Commonly used in Colorado starting in the 1960s, they typically last between 50 to 70 years. Known for their durability, they're less prone to corrosion.

Galvanized Steel: Most commonly used prior to the 1960s, these can last 20 to 50 years but are more prone to corrosion over time. The shift towards copper was largely due to its durability, resistance to corrosion, and ease of installation when compared to galvanized steel.

PVC Pipes: PVC began to be used for plumbing in the late 1950s and 1960s. Initially, it was primarily used for drain, waste, and vent (DWV) piping. Its popularity increased over time due to its durability, resistance to corrosion, and ease of installation. By the 1970s, it had become widely accepted for use in residential plumbing systems, particularly for sewage lines and exterior applications. Widely used due to their longevity, they can last indefinitely unless physically damaged.

PEX Tubing: PEX plumbing systems were introduced to the U.S. market in the 1980s. They gained significant popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s. PEX is known for its flexibility, ease of installation, and resistance to scale and chlorine, making it a preferred choice for interior water supply lines in many new homes and renovation projects. PEX can last more than 50 years.

What Problems Can Occur If Old Or Damaged Pipes Are Not Replaced?

Damaged plumbing can cause a range of issues, from unhealthy drinking water caused by contaminants in old pipes, to unhealthy mold and mildew from water leaks. Water leaks also create an inviting environment for rodents and insects.

Undetected plumbing damage can be very costly, driving your water bills up and causing structural damage to the house.

What Are the Signs It's Time to Replace Your Pipes?

Water Discoloration or Rust

Brown or yellow water suggests corrosion within your pipes, particularly in steel pipes.


Frequent leaks can be a sign of systemic failure and requires prompt attention to prevent catastrophic failure.

Low Water Pressure

Could be due to blockages or breaks in the pipes.

Visible Corrosion

On exposed pipes, visible rust or warping is a clear sign of pipe deterioration where replacement is needed.

Older Pipe Materials and Potential Risks

Lead Pipes

Used in older homes, lead pipes pose a significant health risk and should be replaced immediately.

Polybutylene Pipes

Prone to breaking and leaks, they are no longer used in new installations.

Clay Sewer Pipes

Susceptible to root intrusion and cracks, this pipe material requires regular inspections to prevent damage.

Regular plumbing system maintenance and inspections are key to ensuring the longevity of your plumbing system. If you're living in an older home in the Grand Lake County area or notice any of the signs mentioned above, it might be time to consider replacing your pipes. At Grand lake Plumbing & Heating, we're committed to providing you with expert guidance and solutions for all your home plumbing needs. Call usfor all your home plumbing needs.

Read 162 times Last modified on Tuesday, 23 January 2024 15:39
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    – L.M. 10/25/16
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