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When Should You Replace Your Copper Pipes?

If you have copper pipes in your home, you might be wondering how long copper pipes usually last, and how to determine the right time to replace them.

Here’s what you need to know:

Copper pipes generally last between 50-70 years

The expected life span of copper pipes depends on several factors, but in general they can be expected to last at least 50 years.

Copper piping is fairly reliable and resistant to most forms of corrosion, but it doesn't last forever. It’s also possible that you will experience issues with your copper pipes long before they reach their expected life span.

Pinhole leaks are the most common copper pipe issue

Most pinhole leaks are small, but they can still do significant damage depending on where they are located in your home and how long they go undetected.

Pinhole leaks in copper pipes can be caused by a number of variables, including the type of copper, the quality of the installation, and the chemical composition of the water.

Even external electric currents can lead to premature corrosion through a process known as electrolysis.

Due to the number of factors involved in pinhole leaks developing, it can be difficult to determine exactly how they develop, but it is a very common issue in our area.

A pinhole leak doesn’t mean you have to replace everything

Replacing all the pipes in your home is a process called repiping. Although it’s not usually as invasive as most people envision, it’s still a big project.

If you have a pinhole leak, you can always replace that section of pipe and wait and see if other pinholes develop.

Some pinhole leaks are isolated events, but they can be a warning sign of more problems. If you do have a pinhole leak, you’ll want to be extra vigilant about watching for more due to the amount of damage they can inflict on your home.

Copper pipe issues warning signs

Here’s what you can watch for with your copper pipes:

  1. Water forming on the outside of the pipes.
  2. Green corrosion on the outside of the pipes.
  3. Spots on the ceiling or walls from water leaking.

These signs don’t automatically mean all your copper pipes are failing. Yet a simple awareness of some of the warning signs can help you catch leaks before they do major damage.

If you think you might have a leak or need any assistance, you can always reach us at 770.560.1792 or book online.