How Long Will My Galvanized Pipes Last? - Biard & Crockett

How Long Will My Galvanized Pipes Last?

Galvanized pipes have an average lifespan that ranges between 40 and 50 years. However, pipes that are well-built, well-installed, and well-maintained can easily exceed the typical lifespan. Read below to learn more about the life span of galvanized pipes.

Galvanized Pipes Are Rarely Used in Modern Construction

The heyday for galvanized steel plumbing was prior to the 1960’s. Towards the end of the decade, other materials came into favor and fewer and fewer homes were constructed using galvanized steel pipes. However, sometimes these pipes are still used when building new homes or replacing old plumbing.

If your home has galvanized pipes, it is important that you know how old they are. If the pipes are from the 1960’s or earlier, which is likely, they should be nearing the end of their functional lifespan. However, you might not be sure how old your pipes are. In this case, you can figure that they have been there since the house was built, so use the construction year to determine the age of the pipes.

Should you determine that your pipes are at least 40-years-old, you should schedule a consultation with a plumber. Do not automatically replace galvanized pipes due to their age. While these pipes have gone out of style, there is nothing inherently wrong with them. As long as they are holding up well, galvanized pipes will do their job without putting anyone at risk.

Proper and Regular Maintenance Is the Key to Extending Their Lifespan

The best way to help your galvanized pipes exceed their lifespan is to maintain them. Once your pipes hit the 40-year mark, it is a good idea to have an annual visit from a local plumber. The plumber will check the overall health of your pipes in a detailed inspection.

Some things that will be checked are the integrity of the pipes, looking for even the smallest leaks, as well as build up within the pipes and corrosion to the outside of the pipes. If it is possible to correct the problem, your plumber will offer that as a solution. However, the plumber might suggest that the pipes be replaced. At that point, you will need to discuss more modern options with your plumber.

Signs of Problems with Your Pipes

If you are receiving yearly maintenance from a professional plumber, they should notice the signs of problems before you do. However, it doesn’t hurt to be informed. Below are some common signs that there are problems with your galvanized pipes.

  • Low Water Pressure: As the insides of your galvanized pipes accumulate sediment, the space where water can be accommodated decreases. Since there is less water passing through the pipes at any given moment, the water pressure will be reduced.
  • Hard Water: When water has a high mineral content, it is considered hard water. This occurs when there is buildup in the pipes. Signs of hard water include foggy glassware after washing, mineral deposits on faucets and shower heads, and faded clothing or clothing that takes on a grayish hue.
  • Water Stains: Even if you do not see a leak or wetness, a water stain means that water has been leaking, and the only place this should be coming from is your pipes. This is a major problem, as a small leak can quickly become a bigger one.

Here at Biard & Crockett, we have more than 50 years of experience taking care of your plumbing needs in Southern California. If you are interested in evaluating the health of your galvanized pipes, give us a call; we would be glad to help.

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