How long do copper water lines last?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jod78, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. jod78

    jod78 New Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    What's the avg. lifespan of copper lines? I'm talking about all indoor lines, nothing underground.
  2. geniescience

    geniescience Homeowner

    Nov 27, 2005
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold
    decades or centuries. Check back again in two hundred years. :D

    A lot depends on the water. The longest lasting installations have not yet reached their lifespan. The oldest copper is less than 100 years old, AFAIK.

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  4. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    average life span

    if the home is grounded properly
    and the copper isnt being used for
    a back up ground for the home......

    odds are you will get between 45 to 100 years
    of L copper.....
  5. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

    Dec 2, 2005
    Plumbing Designer
    SW Florida
    25 years is pushing it down here! So many houses down here are/have been getting repiped for cpvc.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    Depends a lot on the water chemistry and the soil (for supplies). When used for drains, depends on what you put down them.
  7. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Aug 17, 2004
    Bothell, Washington
    Here is a copper waste line to a toilet.
    The homeowners didn't flush at night, trying to save water.
    Look what happened to the bottom of the pipe. The home was built in 1965
  8. Randyj

    Randyj Master Plumber

    Nov 25, 2006
    10 years ago I had to replace copper water lines to two buildings adjacent to each other. One had been a garage, the other a cafe. That was around 1998. All of the pipe under concrete was pitted and had several leaks. These buildings were constructed around 1965. I've also seen the same problem with galvanized water lines installed in the 1950's and 1960's that are not under concrete. The area is full of coal and iron deposits, lots of sandstone and red clay.
  9. lee polowczuk

    lee polowczuk New Member

    May 30, 2007
    A couple of years ago, my parents house developed some pin hole leaks in a few pipes.

    House built in 1968. Pennsylvania well water
  10. sinkholed

    sinkholed New Member

    Jun 11, 2007
    Wow...great question & eye-opening answers. Making me think maybe I should replace the copper supply lines in the bathrooms I'm redoing (house is 34 years old).
  11. construct30

    construct30 New Member

    Jun 16, 2007
    NorthWest PA
    I read somewhere that some of the new copper pipe has a lot more impurities in it than the old pipe did, so it goes bad quicker. Also do not over do it with the flux, it keeps the green layer from growing inside the pipe and that is what helps to protect the pipe from electrolysis. Some plumbers are in the habit of dipping the pipe into the flux can, use a brush. You have to get a nice layer on the pipe and fitting, but don't go overboard.

    The electrical codes require the copper pipes to be grounded, but it is bad for the pipe, but very necessary. Use PEX pipe it will last about as long if properly installed, the electricians will stay away from it.

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