March 21,2024

How Long Do Different Types of Pipe Materials Last?

As a homeowner, it is important to be aware of the lifespan of the pipe materials installed on your property so that you know when it's time to update your plumbing system. In this post, Mr. Rooter Plumbing looks into the lifespan of different plumbing pipe materials.

Copper Pipes

The average lifespan of copper pipes ranges between 50 and 70 years. Copper is a very strong and resilient material. However, the longevity of copper pipes also depends on the type. There are three types of copper pipes:

  • K-Type: This is the thickest and most durable of the three types. It is commonly used in commercial plumbing systems, city water mains, and underground lines. K-type copper pipes can last more than 70 years.
  • L-Type: This is the most popular type of copper pipes used in many homes and office buildings. The average lifespan of L-type copper pipes is 50 years.
  • M-Type: This is the thinnest and least expensive of the three types of copper pipes. K-type pipes are commonly used for interior branch water lines. These pipes are not as long-lasting as their K-type and L-type counterparts.

PEX Pipes

PEX pipes (cross-linked polyethylene) have become quite popular in recent years. These pipes seem to be a preferred replacement for copper pipes and galvanized steel pipes for a number of reasons. These pipes boast incredible flexibility, making them an ideal option for use in tight spaces and around obstacles. They are easier to install, less expensive than copper pipes, and offer better corrosion resistance. In most cases, PEX pipes can last up to 50 years or more. If you're undertaking a repiping project in your home, PEX pipes can be a versatile choice for a wide range of plumbing applications. If you're not sure about the pipe materials to use for your plumbing project, reach out to a nearby plumber for professional guidance.

Galvanized Steel

The life expectancy of galvanized steel pipes ranges between 40 and 60 years. However, pipes that are properly installed and well-maintained by a qualified plumber can easily exceed 50 years. The biggest drawback of galvanized steel pipes is that they are susceptible to rust buildup on the inside. These pipes are more likely to rust towards the end of their lifespan, thereby narrowing the pipe diameter. They are also not ideal for hot water. If you have these pipes installed in your home and they're pushing close to 40 years, schedule a regular inspection with a trusted plumbing repair service.


PVC Pipes

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipes can last approximately 100 years if they don't get damaged. This explains why they are the most-used pipe materials in residential and commercial applications. PVC lasts longer than all other types of pipe materials, and it is naturally corrosion-resistant. PVC pipes are a versatile choice for pipe installation in new homes, repiping older homes, and other applications.

Cast Iron Pipes

Cast iron pipes were once widely used in plumbing and drainage systems in homes and commercial properties due to their durability. However, they are being phased out in favor of new materials, such as PEX pipes. Cast iron pipes are still used in industrial applications thanks to their ability to withstand a lot of pressure and weight. These pipes can last up to 80 years under the best conditions.

Need professional plumbing services? Reach out to Mr. Rooter Plumbing

When you're in need of quality plumbing services, choose a company that is well known for offering top-notch services. Mr. Rooter Plumbing has been providing a wide range of plumbing services for nearly 50 years. From pipe repair to repiping and sewer line replacement, we do it all. If you're looking for a professional plumbing service with a proven track record of serving customers with integrity, look no further than Mr. Rooter Plumbing.

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