Because it likely lies out of sight, hidden behind walls and ceilings, it can be easy to forget about your home’s plumbing network. However, plumbing is crucial for numerous daily activities, including showering, cleaning the dishes, and running your washer. When they’re sturdy and up to date, your plumbing pipes successfully send water throughout your home and keep operations running smoothly. 

However, old plumbing pipes can lead to significant issues. Cracks and leaks in your plumbing network can jeopardize your home’s water supply and cause foundational water damage. Also, more severe problems like rusting and bacteria buildup can lead to health complications. While straightforward repairs can fix some minor issues, replacement makes the better and ultimately more cost-effective option for old plumbing pipes.

Whether you have plumbing damage or typical wear and tear, the experts at Works Plumbing can assess and replace your pipes. We offer efficient and reliable plumbing services to restore your system and ensure you have quality water flow. If replacement is not the solution, San Francisco’s plumbing repair professionals have you covered. 

How Long Do My Plumbing Pipes Last?

You might think that residential plumbing systems last a lifetime, but that’s typically not the case. However, with proper care and regular maintenance, your plumbing pipes can survive decades before requiring a replacement. 

The exact lifespan of plumbing pipes depends on several factors, including usage, treatment, and type of material. The following are general lifespans for common plumbing piping materials:

  • Galvanized pipes: 20 to 50 years
  • Brass: 40 to 70 years
  • Copper: 50+ years
  • Cast iron: 75 to 100 years
  • Polyvinyl chloride: 100 years to indefinitely 

While these refer to typical lifespans for the pipes themselves, other fixtures in your plumbing network, such as pipe joints and fittings, may require repair or replacement sooner.

Signs That You Need New Plumbing Pipes

You must know several signs indicating a need for new plumbing pipes. Look for the following to help you determine if you need professional pipe replacement: 


Cracks in your plumbing pipes are usually simple to spot. A crack will result in water dripping from your pipe as it passes through the plumbing system. With visible pipes, you’ll likely see a crack and notice water seeping from it. 

If your pipes hide behind a barrier, you should still be able to identify a crack. Keep an eye out for wet spots on the floor or the wall where the lines reside. If you notice any puddling or your surfaces dampening, call a professional immediately, as water buildup can damage your home’s surfaces and, eventually, the foundation.


While cracks in your pipes lead to leaks, they are not the only culprit. Factors such as outdated fixtures and old plumbing pipes can cause poor connections within your plumbing system, causing water to leak continuously as it flows throughout your home. 

If you notice a leak in your plumbing system, have the experts at Work Plumbing locate the issue. While some problems that cause leaks only require repairs, others indicate that your pipes are past their prime.

Low Water Pressure

Several aspects of your home’s systems can affect water pressure, including your plumbing pipes. The insides of old pipes can deteriorate and slow the flow of water, resulting in low water pressure from your sinks and showers.

If you have low water pressure for a day or two, the issue may be some stranded debris or an incident throughout your neighborhood. If your low water pressure persists for a longer period, have professionals examine your plumbing pipes.

Slow Drainage

Just as old plumbing pipes can affect the water coming out of faucets and showers, it can also affect the water draining back into the system. Outdated pipes can cause the entire flow of water to slow down and back up, leading to slow drainage. Slow drainage may even indicate that nearby tree roots have grown into your pipes, which could eventually cause them to collapse completely.


Corrosion can lead to low water pressure but can also cause more significant clogging in your pipes. Plumbing pipes, particularly galvanized steel pipes, may begin to corrode from the inside and halt the free flow of water throughout the system. While clogging issues can also stem from debris and particulars that enter your drains, it’s best to be safe and check for any corrosion.

Yellow or Brown Tinted Water

One of the most noticeable signs that you need pipe replacement stems from discoloration in your water. You want your showers and faucets, especially when it comes to drinking water, to release clear water at all times. If your water has a yellow or brown tint, you’ll likely spot it immediately. 

While the discoloration could be a local water supply problem, it could also be a consequence of old plumbing pipes that can corrode or rust. Avoid drinking your water if you notice any tint, and call a professional plumber at Works Plumbing to inspect your pipes.

Strange Odor

The water in your home should be near, if not wholly, odorless. If you notice any strange smell coming from your water, avoid drinking it, showering, or using it to wash dishes or clothes. An odor could result from bacteria buildup or mold growth within your plumbing pipes and could jeopardize your health.

Why Replacing Your Plumbing Pipes Is Crucial

Old plumbing pipes can cause various issues that affect much more than your daily routine. While poor drainage, lack of water pressure, clogging, and other problems stemming from outdated pipes make everyday activities more difficult and bothersome, some come with far more serious consequences. 

For one, failing to replace outdated pipes can be an expensive mistake. Old pipes that leak can lead to significant water damage that affects your floor, walls, and foundation. The cost of repairing water damage will be far greater than the expense of replacing your plumbing pipes. 

Further, old plumbing pipes can adversely affect your and your family’s health. The longer you keep your pipes, the more susceptible they become to corrosion, rusting, and bacteria and mold buildup. The risk of drinking, showering, and using that water for daily chores steadily increases, so be sure to have a professional plumber occasionally inspect your pipes. 

Extending the Life of Your Plumbing Pipes

Regular plumbing maintenance can extend the lifespan of your pipes and make it less likely that you’ll need replacement. If you have a relatively new plumbing system, it may be acceptable to receive routine maintenance once every two years. However, we recommend that all homeowners schedule yearly check-ups and maintenance for their plumbing pipes to yield the best results. 

Why Choose Works Plumbing for Your Pipe Replacement

Works Plumbing believes in quality, efficiency, and affordable service. As a family-owned and operated business, we understand that no one wants to break the bank on their plumbing needs. We constantly evaluate and update our costs to offer you a fair and honest value for our service.

Working in the plumbing industry since 2000, Works Plumbing has the necessary knowledge and experience to safely and accurately evaluate and replace your pipes. We’ll get to work on your system right away so that your home’s plumbing can return to its smooth operation. We employ a team of trained professional plumbers who know every step necessary to deliver quality pipe replacement.

At Works Plumbing, we also know the importance of communication. Throughout the pipe replacement process, we’ll make sure you’re comfortable and in the loop about what we’re doing. We’ll give you an accurate timeline and summary of the job, so you won’t wonder when your replacement will finish.

24/7 Emergency Service

Work Plumbing knows that maintaining quality running water in your home is vital. Situations that affect your water may suddenly arise, requiring professional assistance as soon as possible. In case you can’t schedule an appointment, we provide 24/7 emergency services.

Because we consider you a priority, our team is available to solve your plumbing issues at any time of the day. If your old plumbing pipes collapse without warning, we’ll arrive in a hurry and quickly replace them.

Call Works Plumbing Today

The water in your home is essential to your daily life for many reasons. You constantly count on your water for drinking, showering, washing the dishes, and doing laundry. When that water suffers from low pressure or clogging, seeps into your surfaces, or becomes unsafe for everyday use, common activities suddenly become challenges.

Many issues with your home’s water flow stem from a common culprit: old plumbing pipes. Fortunately, that means they also have a common, quick, and straightforward solution. Professional pipe replacement by the experts at Works Plumbing can restore your plumbing system and ensure you have safe water whenever needed.

At Works Plumbing, we specialize in high-quality, efficient plumbing services, including plumbing pipe replacement. Our experts will inspect your pipes and determine the best and most cost-effective solution. When it comes to your home’s plumbing, trust the experienced team at Works Plumbing.

Contact us today to learn the challenges of old house plumbing. Call Work Plumbing at (650) 761-9164

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