The plumbing in your Boulder, Colorado, home is expected to last a long time, and for good reason. The pipes are embedded into your walls and ceilings, so replacing them would not only be messy and time-consuming, it would also be expensive.
However, there comes a time in every pipe's life when it simply needs to be retired. If you've been experiencing leaks or water damage, now is a good time to give your old pipes the boot. If you aren't sure about the age of your pipes, finding this information would be beneficial.
Knowing what material the pipe is made from is also important. Although lead pipes are no longer allowed to be installed in homes, many old houses still contain their original lead pipes. When they were put in - likely between the 1900s and 1980s - many people didn't know of the severe health effects they could have on residents.
Lead pipes are strong enough to last 100 years, so those still in use are likely holding strong, but they should be removed immediately.
Another type of pipe that you shouldn't keep in your home longer than you have to is Polybutylene. While these kinds of pipes won't cause any health problems, they are more fragile than your average pipe, and one break could cause devastating water damage.
When you are replacing or repairing your old pipes, you may be wondering what sort of options you have available to you. There are several choices homeowners and plumbers can make, depending on how the pipes are to be used and personal preference.
Supply pipes are typically made from either brass, copper or galvanized steel. All of these metals are long-lasting and sturdy. Brass and galvanized steel typically last between 80 and 100 years, while copper generally lasts between 70 and 80 years. It's important that supply lines are strong because they are under constant pressure. If one of these begins to leak, the water damage could be extensive.
Drain lines don't need to be as strong as they aren't under constant or high pressure. Cast iron is a popular choice that is also long-lasting, with a lifespan of between 80 and 100 years. Many plumbers may choose polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, though these generally only last between 25 and 40 years.
If you feel like you might be in over your head with pipe and plumbing concerns contact your local Roto-Rooter plumber today.
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