Copper pipes are robust plumbing parts and generally come with a 50 year manufacturer’s warranty. In areas where there is a high mineral content in the potable water supply (hard water), copper pipes will begin to corrode after four decades of use. Additionally scales form inside the pipes, narrowing the pipe opening so much that the stream at the tap becomes weak. If the entire pipe system is staring to corrode and leak or if there is scale formation throughout the entire system than re piping is probably the best option.
Signs that Your Pipe System Needs Replacement
- Dropping water faucet pressure,
- Rust colored water coming out of the tap (this means corrosion),
- Leaking pipes, slab leaks, or foundation leaks (An isolated leak can be repaired, whereas recurring leaks necessitate pipe replacement.),
- A rising water bill (indicating hidden pipe leaks),
- Water running out even when faucets are closed.
Should I Repair or Replace My Plumbing Pipes
Make this decision with our plumber. Generally, if you have one pipe leak, it can be repaired. Two pipe leaks can be repaired, but if they are in the same area we might recommend replacing a section of pipe. If you have multiple or recurrent pipe leaks and the plumbing repair costs are rising, we will recommend total pipe replacement. Your plumber will look at the age and composition of your pipes. Copper pipes that are close to 50 years old are more likely to have major corrosion. Galvanized or polybutylene plumbing pipes leak, break, and clog much more readily. If your plumbing pipes are narrowed because of hard water related scale formation and tap pressure is critically low, especially in upper level bathrooms, then we will generally recommend total pipe replacement.
The Advantages of Repiping
- No more rusty corrosion related water coming from the taps,
- Good water pressure from all taps including upper levels,
- No more water temperature fluctuations when using multiple taps simultaneously,
- Increase in the assessed value of your home,
- Elevation in your property’s value,
Copper Piping Versus PEX Piping
You and your plumber must decide whether to install copper piping or PEX piping. PEX is a type of polyethylene piping that is resistant to scale formation and corrosion. Certain types of PEX also expand and hold up well in freezing. Some people complain that polyethylene pipes slightly alter the taste of water. Copper pipes come with a 50 year manufacturer’s warranty and do not alter water’s taste. They are prone to more rapid corrosion and scaling, in areas where the water is hard, and for that reason we may recommend installing PEX piping in some areas.
For more information or to get an onsite quote call our office at 410-967-6547