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How Often Should I Replace My Water Pipes?

Here’s a Replacement Breakdown for all Many of the Common Pipes Found in the home

If you’ve been in your house for a while or you recently bought an older home, you may be wondering when it’ll be time to replace some pipes in your home’s plumbing system. If you know it’s been a while since the pipes have been updated, use this trusty guide to get a feel for when you may need some plumbing replacements.

How Long Should My Water Pipes Last?

Below are estimations for the lifespan of common plumbing materials in the home:

Supply Pipes

These are constantly under pressure and as a result, take on the most damage and wear and tear. If your water supply pipes are older, you may experience some leaking. The good news is unless your home is very old, you shouldn’t expect to have to replace any supply pipes. Here are the expected lifespans for common supply pipes:

  • Copper Pipes: 70-80 years
  • Brass Pipes: 80-100 years
  • Galvanized Steel Pipes: 80-100 years

Faucet Lines


If you’re having faucet issues, these can usually be repaired. If they seem to be needing constant attention, then it may be time to replace them. Most of the time, people update faucet lines periodically mainly for cosmetic reasons:

  • Bathroom renovations
  • An upgrade in new bathroom technology
  • Water efficiency
  • Ease of use

Machine Supply Hoses

Washing machine leaks are among the most common damage-causing leaks in the home. The rule of thumb is to replace your washing machine supply hoses every three years. You also should check the hoses for:

  • Damage: If you can see obvious cracks, kinks or unraveling, you need a new hose
  • Water: If the hose is leaking or is rusting, turn off your water supply and call a local plumbing professional
  • Bubbles: If the hose is bubbling, something is causing unneeded pressure. If that bubble bursts, you’ll have a flood on your hands

Drain Lines

Over many years, your drain lines could be in need of replacing. One thing to look out for here is damage from tree roots or any significant weather damage. Here are the expected lifespans for the two most common drain lines:

  • Plastic PVC Pipes: 25-40 years
  • Cast Iron Pipes: 80-100 years

Toilet Pipes

Here’s a list of typical lifespans for different parts of a toilet:

  • Wax Seals: 20-30 years
  • Levers, flappers, valves, and fittings: 4-5 years
  • Handle: There’s no suggested time, but it may need replacing if water is running on its own or the toilet won’t completely flush

Water Heater

Typically, traditional water heaters should be replaced every 10-15 years. Energy-efficient tankless water heaters also called “on demand” units, need to be replaced every 20 years or so. You should start looking for a new water heater if you notice the following:

  • The heater is rusting or leaking
  • The valve is sticking or thermostat is broken
  • Problems with the pilot light or circuit breaker

Indirectly related to pipes, having garbage disposal replacement or repair can also be a factor here. Garbage disposals can last in the neighborhood of 15 years.

Central Indiana’s Trusted Plumbing Professionals

No matter the job, you can rest easy knowing Johnson Heating & Cooling is a call or click away. Your trusted hometown pros, the experts at Johnson have been serving Central Indiana since 1968 and provide 24-hour service for the plumbing problems that need immediate attention.

Call us today at 317-820-2722 or contact us for any water pipe replacement or repair needs!