When Should You Replace Your Plumbing?

Your plumbing is durable, but it won’t last forever. Use this guide from Ace Plumbing to determine whether — and when — to make a replacement

The team at Ace Plumbing hopes your home stands for a long time. It ought to, but you should also know that not everything in your home is going to last as long as its frame and walls. Your plumbing — especially your pipes and fixtures — will need repairs from time to time, but you should also know when it’s time for home plumbing replacement.


If you have a newer home, you’re not likely to have much to worry about. However, the older your home is, the more likely that you’re having, or will have, problems. Not all pipe ages the same way or at the same rate. Pipes’ lifespans range from 25 to 40 years for PVC, all the way to a century for cast iron, brass, or steel. At the other end of the spectrum, the polybutylene piping that was in common use a couple of decades back can be especially trouble-prone (it’s brittle and breaks easily). But it’s not just material that matters.

Quality of installation makes a difference, as does the purpose of the pipe. Supply pipes are under constant pressure, while the kinds of things we put down our drains can lead to challenges with those pipes too even if they’re not in constant use. If you have questions about the materials and methods used, if you haven’t been diligent about drain cleaning and plumbing maintenance, or if you’re noticing issues with plumbing leaks and water quality, it’s time to contact a plumber.

Wear and Damage

Some of your plumbing is hidden away, but if you have a basement or crawl space, there are parts of your plumbing that you can see (and should check). If you see a leaky pipe — or the evidence left behind by a leak, like mold, mildew, rot, or persistent dampness — you should call us. Likewise, if the pipes or joints show signs of damage — including discoloration, rust, dimpling, or corrosion — replacement may be in order.

Natural Forces

Don’t forget that your plumbing isn’t just all the pipes and fixtures in your home. Your water mains and sewer system can have problems of their own even if your indoor plumbing is in peak condition. Root intrusion, corrosion, clogs, and seismic activity can all take their toll. Some of these things can be repaired if caught early with a visual check or video inspection, but others will require replacement.


A home remodel can be a time of great stress and expense, but it’s also a time of renewal and opportunity. That goes double for a kitchen or bathroom remodel. This is a great time to address any plumbing issues you have, especially if you’re going down to the studs. Replacing pipes and fixtures isn’t just for esthetics; done right by a master plumber, those replacements could outlive you!

Repair or Replace?

This isn’t always a straightforward question. The good news is that just because there’s a problem doesn’t mean you’re destined for a full plumbing replacement. A qualified Sacramento plumber can troubleshoot many common plumbing issues, and the fixes are often less complex or expensive than you’d think. However, it’s always best to have someone experienced on the case, and that’s what you’ll get with a call to Ace Plumbing. Contact us today for all your plumbing emergencies!