longevity of plumbing systems

How Long Does Plumbing Last?

There are certain items in your home that you simply cannot compromise on.  One of the main things that need to always be in working order is your home’s plumbing.

Over the years, small problems may arise with your plumbing, such as a leaky faucet or low water pressure. These minor issues may seem insignificant and annoying. However, they can be the first step toward major plumbing issues in the future. And if left unchecked, these issues could also wreak havoc on your home’s foundation and utility bills.

Small issues aside, your plumbing system should last a long time if installed properly and maintained well. But how long does plumbing last, you may ask. The amount of time that plumbing will last depends on several factors, such as plumbing installation quality, type of materials, and maintenance.

Keep reading below to learn how long plumbing should last and how to make your plumbing last as long as possible!

Installation Affects Plumbing Longevity

First and foremost, your plumbing must be properly installed with good quality materials and fixtures. Otherwise it will start to break down or have issues within 5-10 years. Sometimes building contractors make easy mistakes and that can turn into major plumbing issues years in the future.

To avoid this, it’s important to hire a construction plumber to manage the installation of your plumbing system. Getting help from a construction plumber can save you thousands of dollars in repairs in the future. Even if you don’t hire a construction plumbing company to install your plumbing system, you should still reach out to a plumbing construction company or specialist to inspect your new plumbing before signing off with your construction company.

Plumbing Material Lifespan

When it comes to materials for your plumbing, you absolutely cannot compromise on quality. Choosing great fixtures and a knowledgeable plumbing company to install them is only part of the process.

You must choose good quality materials for your pipes. Your pipes will host the majority of the water and waste, so they need to be strong enough to withstand years of heavy usage. There are a few main types of pipe materials to know of:

Galvanized Steel:

Galvanized steel was a very popular material for plumbing pipes in the 1900s. The pipes are coated with zinc to prevent them from rusting, though they are unfortunately still prone to rust. In good conditions, galvanized steel pipes can last as long as 100 years.

Cast Iron:

Cast Iron pipes are very strong and were once very popular for plumbing because they can also last up to 100 years. However, cast iron pipes are also prone to rusting and that rust can be dangerous to drink.

Copper Pipes:

Copper pipes last a very long time. In good conditions, copper pipes can last as long as 80 years. However, they are prone to corroding in high-moisture conditions, which can affect your water quality.

Lead Pipes:

Lead pipes have been known to last up to 70 years but have been linked to lead poisoning and several terrible health conditions. If you have lead pipes, you should make arrangements to replace your pipes as soon as possible.

PVC Pipes:

PVC pipes are growing in popularity and in good conditions, can last up to 70 years. They also cost less than their cast iron, copper, and galvanized steel alternatives.


Polybutylene is a very low-cost, low-quality material for plumbing. These became popular in the 70’s due to their low price tag, but need to be replaced every 10 or so years.

Plumbing Maintenance Will Extend Plumbing Lifespan

It’s very important to take care of your plumbing system. Your plumbing system, depending on the factors above, have the chance to last for decades if kept clean and well-maintained. To make sure your plumbing system lasts for years, you should do the following:

Fix Leaks And Drips Immediately

Leaky faucets and running toilets are often signs of larger issues starting to form. To avoid back-ups, burst pipes, and high utility bills, you should keep an eye out for any leaks and drips and fix them as soon as possible.

Keep An Eye On Water Pressure And Drains

Your plumbing system relies on a careful balance of water pressure to function properly. If you notice a drop in water pressure, do not ignore it. It could mean leaking or cracked pipes, a potential backup or flood, and other issues.

If your home isn’t draining properly either, that could mean your drains are clogging and should be fixed immediately.

Flushing Your Water Heater

Minerals and other sediments can build up in your water heater and cause your water heater to break down, fail, and even corrode and flood your house. Make sure to flush your water heater on a regular basis. Many homeowners flush their water heater or reach out to a plumber to do it once per year.

Regular Inspections

Preventative maintenance is key for keeping small issues from turning into large problems. Having a plumbing inspection every 1-5 years can help you spot issues forming in your pipes, fixtures, drains and other components of the plumbing system and solve them before they turn into expensive, hard-to-fix plumbing disasters.

535 Plumbing

From plumbing construction and installations to inspections and of course, plumbing repairs, 535 Plumbing is your one-stop shop for all of your plumbing needs on Oahu. At 535 Plumbing, we like to think of ourselves as your neighbors and friends, not your contractor. We genuinely want to work with you to solve any issue you may have, treating you like family instead of work. Contact us today for all of your plumbing needs.