When to Replace Your Home’s Water Lines

My team at Rocketman Plumbing specializes in fast repairs done right. We handle plumbing, heating, and cooling to keep your home or business running comfortably. Today, I want to cover a subject that we are asked about quite frequently: when should you have your water lines to your house replumbed? Personally, I’m of the philosophy, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But there are exceptions to that which I will explain here.

What Kind of Pipes Do You Have for Your Water Line?

The most important factor to consider when deciding to replumb your water lines is, what kind of water lines do you have feeding your house? You most likely have one of three main types of piping material for your water lines: galvanized steel, copper, or polybutylene. 

Copper Pipes 

The length of time copper pipes will last depends on the acid content in the ground. Nothing lasts forever, but copper usually lasts a long time. Copper pipes can be repaired if they start to leak, but the repairs might only last 2-3 years before another leak occurs. And if your copper pipes have started to leak, they likely have buildup forming around the outside of the pipes. Moisture and acid content in the dirt where your copper pipes are located starts to deteriorate the pipes. 

As that happens, the inside diameter of the pipe gets smaller and smaller until it’s paper thin and then it starts blowing. When that happens, you’ll notice multiple water leaks occurring over and over again despite repairs. That’s a good indication that you need to replumb your home’s water line, especially if those pipes are under the slab foundation of your house because the repeated water leaks can also degrade your foundation. 

Galvanized Steel Pipes 

The biggest indicator that your galvanized steel pipes need to be replumbed is if every time you turn on a faucet, the water comes out with a brown, rusty color to start. That is caused by buildup on the inside of the pipe. It’s all rust. It doesn’t look good so if you’re getting rust coming out of your faucets, it’s probably time to replumb your house.

Polybutylene Pipes 

The third main type of water pipe is polybutylene. This came out between 1976 and 1995, but the pipes made with this material were defective. If you have this type of water pipe, you’ve probably dealt with several water leaks already. Your house should be replumbed if you have polybutylene pipes. 

A Warning About PVC Pipes

There’s one other type of pipe that has been used for the water lines from the meter to the house as well as for sprinkler systems, and that’s PVC pipe. It’s a pretty good pipe, for those two purposes, but it isn’t used as much nowadays. 

However, you can’t have this type of pipe anywhere under the foundation of your house. It’s not up to code. PVC is not made for hot water. When it gets hot and cold, hot and cold, it gets brittle and it breaks. So if you know you have PVC pipes for your water lines, you’ll want to replumb your house with a stronger pipe because this will break and create a water leak. And you’ll especially want to replumb in this case because it’s against the code to have PVC pipes at all under the foundation of your house.

Call Rocketman for Expert Home Replumbing 

If you’re worried about the plumbing of your water line, give us a call. We can come out to your house, assess what kind of pipes you have, and tell you what it will cost to replumb your house and have nice clean water again. 

As a side note, when we replumb a house, we use a new type of pipe called AquaPEX. With this new pipe material, we replumb your cold lines in blue and your hot lines in red so we never cross your hot and cold water lines. In my opinion, this is the best plumbing solution we’ve ever come up with. 

If you want to find out what it will take to replumb your house with the new AquaPEX pipes, call Rocketman Plumbing at 505-375-6602 to schedule an inspection and estimate.