The plumbing system of a house is made up of many components. But when you hear the word “plumbing,” what comes to mind first? We’d bet it is pipes. Without pipes, a house doesn’t have a plumbing system of any kind.
Unfortunately, homeowners often take their pipes for granted, imagining that the piping will be able to last for as long as they live in the house. But almost all homes at some point will need repiping services. This can be limited, such as removing a single leaking section or accommodating a new type of appliance. Or it can be extensive, such as whole-house repiping, where plumbers remove all the pipes and swap them for newer materials, such as copper and plastics.
How Old Is Your House?
The age of a home is one of the main determinants in when it needs to be repiped. A home that was built before 1970 likely contains out-of-date metals such as galvanized steel. It was only after 1970 that copper replaced most of these metals, as well as durable and corrosion-resistant plastics like PEX and CPVC. If your house is built before 1970, we recommend you have a plumber take a look to see if there are places that need to be repiped.
For a home built before World War II, it’s almost certain that it needs extensive repiping. Unless the home has already had repiping done, it will have pipe materials such as cast iron, galvanized steel, and even clay making up its plumbing system. The home has likely already suffered from numerous leaks and other plumbing issues, and whole-house repiping is probably the best solution. It’s a big step, but it will also make an enormous difference in the future of the house.
How Frequent Are Plumbing Problems?
If your house isn’t in the age range where repiping is probably a necessity, a good measure of its plumbing health is how often it needs repairs. You should arrange to have leak detection done in your home every few years to give plumbers a chance to locate hidden water leaks. If plumbers find the leaks are extensive, you should consider having repiping done. You most likely won’t need to have whole-house repiping, but the plumbers may find patches of corrosion along your copper pipes. (Yes, copper can corrode. It’s resistant to most forms of corrosion, but not all of them.)
Never ask for amateurs to handle repiping a house, no matter the size of the job. Only professionals can have the work done fast and accurately. Even with a whole-house repiping job, professional plumbers will ensure there is as little disruption to home life as possible and little trace of the work is left behind.