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The ABC’s of Plumbing – Repiping

Because plumbing systems don’t last forever and issues with pipes can arise over time, repiping is often necessary at some point in the life of a plumbing system. A key factor in determining whether repiping is necessary is the age and type of pipe material. For supply lines, these materials include:

  • Brass 80-100 year lifespan
  • Copper 70-80 year lifespan
  • Galvanized Steel 80-100 year lifespan

Drain lines are usually made of one of the following materials:

  • Cast iron 80-100 year lifespan
  • PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) 24-40 year lifespan

The symptoms of damaged or deteriorating pipes include:

  • Low or inconsistent water pressure
  • Rust colored water
  • Leaks (higher than usual water bills can be a sign of a water leak)
  • Water hammer or other plumbing noises

If your home has PEX piping, it can be more prone to failure than other materials, and should be replaced.

To determine if repiping is necessary a qualified plumber should inspect the supply and drain lines to determine what materials are used, the age of the pipes and the presence of any leaks or defects. For drain lines, a video camera is often used to get a more complete look at the condition of the pipes.

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