We all know pipes are integral to your plumbing. Without them, no water could enter or leave your home. Because they are such an important part of modern living, pipes are built to last. Copper pipes generally have a lifespan of 70-80 years, while brass and galvanized steel can last anywhere between 80-100 years.
However, there are several problems that could lead to early replacement. Below are the most common reasons for early pipe replacement.
Nowadays, the majority of pipes are made of copper because of its resistance to rust. While copper doesn’t degrade as easily as iron, it is still susceptible to the elements. Degradation of copper occurs when chlorine and formaldehyde particles in the air and soil react with the pipe.
The particles weaken the pipe by essentially eating through it. When chlorine is the cause of damage, it is referred to as pitted corrosion. When formaldehyde is the perpetrator, it is called formicary corrosion.
Lime scale is a mineral buildup that is caused by using hard water in your plumbing. Because hard water has more minerals than filtered water, the buildup occurs faster. Lime scale buildup restricts the flow of water through the pipe, decreasing its efficiency. If not caught early on, the lime scale will harden and be nearly impossible to remove without ruining the pipe.
Tree roots often grow into both the water and sewer mains of homes. Tree roots naturally seek out the nearest source of water, meaning that if you have trees in your yard, they’re almost guaranteed to eventually grow into one or both of your mains.
Tree roots can typically be cut out of the main. However, if left too long, the tree roots will become too entangled with the pipe to cut out. When this occurs, the only option left is to replace the pipes.
No one wants to hear that their pipes need to be replaced. It can be a costly, time-consuming endeavor. It makes much more sense to be aware of what leads to early replacement and attempt to prevent it from happening.
You should have your plumbing examined by a professional once a year. At those yearly visits, your plumber will check to ensure your pipes are working efficiently. Please contact us if you have any questions or need your pipes looked at!