Most people in Saginaw, TX, (and elsewhere) tend to take their plumbing systems for granted. They turn on their faucet, and water pours from it before draining away. That’s how the system is designed to work. However, at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth, our plumbing service pros sometimes field questions like this: “how long will my pipes last?” It’s a good question because it’s an important one. Most things don’t last forever and while pipes can last for a long time, there does come a point when seams begin to leak, corrosion sets in, or pipes simply collapse because of wear and tear. Here, we’ll explore questions like how long plumbing systems last and others associated with plumbing system replacement.
How Long Do Pipes Last?
Determining how long plumbing system pipes are likely to last is largely dependent on the type of material the pipes are constructed from. Some materials can last as long as 70 years–possibly longer. Other materials such as lead, for instance, should be replaced right away because of the health risks associated with lead pipes. Here’s an overview of plumbing system materials and their typical spans:
Copper pipes remain popular often. Many plumbing service professionals recommend copper because it’s designed to last between 70 – 80 years. If your home was recently constructed and has copper pipes, you likely don’t need to worry about a plumbing system replacement for decades. On the other hand, if your home is an older one, it makes sense to invite your plumbing service to visit for an inspection. Over time, copper can suffer corrosion. This corrosion can contaminate your water.
Brass is an alloy of zinc and copper. It may be used for pipes and, even though it’s less commonly found in homes than copper, it is likely to last between 80-100 years. The problem with brass is that it may contain traces of lead. Lead is not recommended for plumbing system pipes.
Older homes still contain cast iron pipes. Highly durable, cast iron may last anywhere from 80 – 100 years. After that point, however, they become vulnerable to corrosion.
Galvanized steel is a popular plumbing system material. It features steel that has been dipped into zinc, which forms a protective layer that helps to guard against corrosion. Galvanized steel pipes can have a lifespan of up to 100 years too. While they aren’t especially popular in new constructions, you might find that yours still function fine even if your plumbing system dates to the 1960s. If you’re concerned, have your plumbing technician perform an inspection.
PVC pipes when first manufactured had a lifespan of about 40 – 45 years. However, later examples of PVC were made to last upwards of 70 years. PVC pipes lack the durability that metal pipes like a copper boast, but they aren’t prone to corrosion either. Many homeowners opt for PVC today.
Polybutylene is not used as frequently in plumbing system construction as it was during the late 20th century. That’s because it’s considerably less durable than PVC or metal pipes. Polybutylene pipes can begin to break down in just 10 years. If you have polybutylene pipes, you should definitely have your plumbing service check them out.
Lead pipes may be long-lasting, but they should be replaced right away because of their toxicity. Lead pipes could last 100 years but they’re unsafe for use. Only very old homes may still have them.
How Do I Know When to Replace My Plumbing System?
Some property owners choose to replace their pipes as their pipes are near the end of their suggested span. Others may wait for signs of a problem first. Replacing major home systems like plumbing, the roof, or HVAC are pricey projects, but just consider the damage that a ruptured pipe could do to your home.
It’s a good idea to seriously consider a plumbing system replacement if your plumbing service turns up evidence of corrosion or if you’ve already begun to experience minor leaks. This is a personal decision, but your plumbing service can provide you with a detailed report of your plumbing system’s condition. Having this information can help you make your decision.
What Are Some Signs That a Plumbing System Replacement Is Needed?
As mentioned, a leak is a sign that problems are beginning to happen. Of course, a leak can occur at any time–even with a newer plumbing system. However, if you know that your pipes are close to the end of their expected lifespan and leaks have begun, it’s a good indication that a replacement is warranted. Here are some other signs that you should consider replacing your pipes:
Water Has an Odor
Over time, a buildup of minerals and bacteria can lead to odors in your pipes. Often, drain cleaning can help you keep your drain odor-free. However, if your freshwater supply has begun to smell, you should have our Saginaw, TX, plumbing service inspect it. You definitely want to make sure that your freshwater is safe for drinking.
Water Is Discolored
If your water has become discolored, you may have a corrosion problem. That is the most common reason for discolored water. Again, it’s a good idea to have our plumbing professionals inspect your plumbing system.
Drain cleaning typically keeps drains working properly. However, after decades of use, the mineral buildup in pipes can be so severe that drain cleaning won’t solve the problem. Old pipes suffering corrosion are often the cause of slow drains. At this point, it’s likely only a matter of time before one of those old pipes springs a leak.
Plumbing System Inspections
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth specializes in plumbing system inspections for customers in and near Saginaw, TX. We inspect plumbing systems as a matter of course. Our plumbers are certified and are often called to inspect both old and new plumbing systems for home buyers and homeowners. We know exactly what to look for when the plumbing system is getting older. Signs of corrosion are signs that a plumbing system replacement may be needed sooner rather than later.
When you contact our plumbing service to schedule an inspection, we’ll bring everything needed to tackle the job. Then, we can provide you with a detailed report of your plumbing system. Reports look different for everyone. Some homeowners, for instance, may have already replaced part of their plumbing system. Others may need an entire plumbing system replacement. Some homeowners prefer to replace their system partially over time, replacing the pipes in the worst condition first.
What’s Involved in a Plumbing System Replacement?
First, it’s worth noting that repiping a house is not your typical DIY job. This is a job for a professional plumbing service like Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth. Your plumbing system is a major feature of your home. Installing new plumbing is actually an investment in your home’s value. It’s crucial to entrust this job to a highly trained plumber like those employed by our reputable Saginaw, TX, plumbing service.
Replacing an old plumbing system is a big job. It entails replacing the hot and cold water supply lines as well as drainage pipes. In fact, this might be one of the biggest renovations that many property owners will ever undertake. That’s why it’s essential to contract with an experienced and professional plumbing service that’s licensed and insured.
First Step in the Plumbing System Replacement Process
Our plumbing service will first inspect your home’s plumbing system and provide an estimate for its replacement. We can also provide a quote for a partial plumbing system replacement if you prefer to complete the job slowly over time. Keep in mind that the quote is also going to reflect the type of materials you choose for your plumbing system replacement. Copper is an expensive option. PVC is less expensive. Consequently, your estimate will vary. We can provide you with an estimate for different materials so you can compare their costs.
Remember that a new plumbing system is an asset. You can actually boost your home’s value with this type of renovation. Consequently, if you do choose copper pipes, that investment can have a positive impact on your home’s value.
Repiping Your House
Depending on the size of your home, your plumbing system replacement might take a few days or an entire week. Our plumbing service will be able to provide a more accurate time frame for the job after making our inspection. Because our plumbing service is experienced, we’re often able to reduce many of the inconveniences associated with this type of plumbing renovation. For instance, we’ll do our best to ensure that your evening routines are not affected.
During the day as we work, we’ll need to turn off the water supply as we go about replacing your home’s pipes section by section. Our plumbing service has all the tools and equipment needed to perform this type of job. Our tools allow us to pinpoint where the pipes in walls are located. Once we’ve installed the new pipes, other technicians can visit to patch up any drywall or plaster that was necessarily disturbed in order to access your old pipes and replace them.
Our plumbing service takes great care to protect your surfaces like flooring and furnishings during this process. However, it is necessary to cut into walls in order to access the plumbing system. That’s one of the reasons why this is such a major renovation for homeowners. Even so, once the job is complete, you’ll likely not have to replace your plumbing system again.
What About Other Features of the Plumbing System?
Many of our Saginaw, TX, customers opt to change many of their plumbing fixtures during a plumbing system replacement. That’s entirely up to them. However, if you have older faucets that leak or are interested in installing water-conserving features like showerheads and toilets, this is certainly a convenient time to make all of your changes at once.
When considering other elements of your plumbing system like toilets and your water heater, you’ll want to reflect on their age. If they’re older, they might be nearing the end of their span. In that case, it makes sense to replace them as you have your home repiped. Naturally, this involves expense, too, but we can include these features in our cost estimate if you choose.
A leaky toilet can be just as frustrating as a leaky pipe. Our plumbing service technicians can inspect other plumbing system features in order to help you determine what needs replacing vs what can be repaired. During our inspection, simply let us know about any issues you’re experiencing with your plumbing fixtures or appliances. We can include them in our inspection.
Get to Know Our Saginaw, TX, Plumbing Service
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth has an outstanding reputation in Saginaw, TX, for our expertise and fair, upfront pricing. We specialize in plumbing system replacements, of course, as well as all manner of plumbing repairs and maintenance. Our plumbers routinely provide services such as leak repair, water heater maintenance, and replacement, drain cleaning, and more.
Our plumbing pros will arrive in a van that’s filled with the most commonly needed plumbing parts. We also have all the specialized tools needed to perform our services safely and efficiently. That’s why it’s never advisable to contract with an unlicensed operator for plumbing service. Our technicians are certified plumbers. We screen them carefully to ensure they have the skills and backgrounds needed to provide the top-notch service we’re known for.
If you’re considering a plumbing system replacement or need any type of plumbing system repair, contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Fort Worth today. We can visit your home to provide you with the affordable solutions you’re looking for.