Many of the plumbing pipes in your home go unnoticed and it’s mainly because of two reasons. The first one being that if you don’t see any obvious problems you have no reason to look at your pipes, and secondly, your pipes are located either under your home, in walls, or under sinks keeping with the “out of sight, out of mind.” Even though you may not see your pipes on a daily basis, keeping up with the maintenance and care for them is important and can affect how your plumbing works. Most of your piping is designed to last for decades and while sometimes repairs can be made there are times where it is just time for a replacement altogether.

How Long Can You Expect Pipes to Last

With proper care and maintenance, it is easy to get your money’s worth out of all your plumbing pipes. Knowing the types of pipes you have and their expected lifespan can help you decide your maintenance schedule as well as when it is time to replace them. The lifespan of your pipes is of course dependant on the maintenance and care but also on the material in which they’re made of. Copper pipes tend to last 70-80 years, brass pipes will last around 80-100 years, while galvanized steel is the same lasting 80-100 years as well. Knowing the material and age of your pipes is important in factoring when it is time for a replacement unless other problems arise.

Cost of Replacing Piping

Having a professional plumber replace the piping of your home is important and can increase the price of the replacement but it is an investment that is well worth it. The cost of your pipe replacement is dependant on a few different factors. These include the types of pipes you are looking to use with your replacement as far as materials and also where and how much piping is needing to be replaced. Replacing a smaller section of pipes in your home like in a single area such as a bathroom will run anywhere between $800 and $1,000. If you are looking into replacing the entire piping in your house it will run a higher price tag. This type of pipe replacement can cost you anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000 depending on the size of the job and the material of pipes used.

Signs Your Pipes Need Replaced

We all hope for the best case scenario that if we see issues beginning to arise with our plumbing that it will be a simple and cost-effective fix. Sometimes that’s just not the case and plumbing pipes need a total replacement. It is important to know the signs to look out for so you can tell when it is time for your pipes to be replaced so you can be prepared for the process.


Sometimes the signs of replacement aren’t immediately obvious, but lucky for homeowners, cracks are not one of those signs. Having a crack in your pipes is pretty easy to find as you will see the water being leaked from the crack in the pipes. If the crack isn’t in an obvious spot or is hidden somewhere like under the floors or int he walls you will be able to see water damage beginning to form on the wall or wherever the location fo that cracked pipe is. It is best not to ignore any “wet” spots in your home that could be the result of a cracked pipe. Not only is this a clear indication of water damage that can be not just damaging but expensive to fix, it can also begin the process of mold and mildew growth posing a hazard for you and your family.


Pipes don’t always have to crack or bust to leak, but leaking is a sign that it is time to replace your pipes. Leaks can be a result of a simple loose connection in which case your plumber may be able to jsut fix the issue. If not, there could be more damage from the built up pressure of the leak making the pipes in worse shape and your plumber may suggest a replacement altogether.


If your pipes seem to always stay clogged up it may be as simple as telling family to watch what they put down the drain or it may be your pipes corroding from the inside out. Glavanized steel pipes are the most common material of piping known for corrosion and once that sets in it is only a matter of time before a replacement is needed to get your pipes flowing freely again.

Discolored Water

Whether you’re running a load of laundry, doing the dishes, taking a bath, or brushing your teeth you expect the water from your faucet to come out crystal clear. Sometimes the water that comes out is less than perfect and can have a yellow or brown color to it with sediment mixed in. Having water that is discolored in this way can be a temporary problem with the line especially if you have water throught the city and it is going through maintenance. After a quick call to your water supplier, if the problem is not with them or doesn’t resolve within a day or so it may be time to start investigating your pipes. Discolored water isn’t safe for drinking or using at all because it can be a sign of corrosion or rust in your pipes and it is time for a prompt replacement.

Old and Dangerous

Sometimes it’s best to just bite the bullet and replace pipes taht have become old or outdated before a major issue occurs. Some older homes may still be using lead plumbing pipes which can lead to elad poisoning anf be dangerous to you and your family. There are many health issues related directly to the exposure of lead and still today around 10 million homes have lead plumbing pipes. It is better to be safe than sorry by having your piping inspected to be sure they aren’t lead. With that being said, when you have your pipes inspected if they aren’t lead but they are old it is probably best to go ahead and have them replaced. PVC pipes are great for having an extremely long lifespan, but other materials have a lifespan and it may be getting near the end of thier lifespan depending on the age of your home. Even if you don’t have any idea the age of the plumbing pipes, a professional plumber can take a look at them and be able to tell you the material, the age, and even give an estimate of when you can expect they will need replaced.