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How Long Do Copper Pipes Last?

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New copper pipe can last from 20 to 50+ years.
New copper pipe can last from 20 to 50+ years.

One of the most crucial decisions when selecting the right repiping material for your home is considering the expected lifespan of the pipes.

Copper piping is a popular choice for home repiping, but how long can you expect it to last?

In this article, we will discuss whether copper is a good choice for your repiping needs, the longevity of copper pipes, factors that can affect their lifespan, and whether PEX or copper offers a longer-lasting solution.

Is Copper a Good Repiping Material?

Copper is a strong choice for repiping your home, and it's no surprise that it has been a preferred material in the plumbing industry for decades.

Copper is not only durable but also resistant to corrosion, non-toxicity, efficient heat transfer, and versatility. Its smooth interior surface allows for excellent water flow, reducing the risk of blockages and maintaining water quality. Copper pipes can also withstand high water pressures without compromising their structural integrity.

is copper a good choice for a repipe?
Is copper a good choice for a repipe?

Copper is a reliable and time-tested material that offers homeowners peace of mind. It provides a robust solution for upgrading your plumbing system and ensures your home's water supply remains safe and dependable for years to come.

Here at Repipe Specialists, we exclusively use high-quality Grade L copper piping for our whole home copper repipes. This American-made copper piping is known for its strength and durability. For more information, you can read our article on the different types of copper piping.


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How Long Do Copper Pipes Last?

Copper pipes are renowned for their remarkable longevity. When installed and maintained properly, copper pipes can last for 50 years, and often even longer.

Copper's resilience is a result of its inherent corrosion resistance, which prevents rust and other forms of deterioration that frequently affect materials like galvanized steel pipes.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to ensure that installation is performed by experienced professionals and that your water chemistry is compatible with copper to maximize its lifespan.


What Shortens Copper Pipes Lifespan?

While the lifespan of copper pipes can be remarkably long, various factors can influence their longevity.

One of the primary factors that can shorten the lifespan of copper pipes is water chemistry. Water with high acidity or alkalinity can lead to corrosion in copper pipes over time.

Elevated mineral content in the water can contribute to increased corrosion in copper piping, eventually leading to pinhole leaks. For more detailed information on the causes of copper pinhole leaks, you can refer to our article the causes of copper pinhole leaks.

Additionally, physical damage, such as impacts or freezing, can harm copper pipes and reduce their lifespan. In comparison to the freeze resistance of PEX, copper piping doesn't have the same flexibility to expand. It's essential to insulate pipes in areas prone to freezing and protect them from mechanical damage.


Copper vs PEX: What Lasts Longer?

Both copper and PEX are robust options for your home repipe, with their lifespan depending on external factors like water chemistry and location. For a detailed breakdown of the pros and cons of both materials, you can read our article on Should I Repipe My House With Copper Piping or PEX Tubing.

Similar to copper, PEX tubing typically has a lifespan of 50 years or more, influenced by factors such as water quality and usage. Unlike copper, PEX cannot be exposed to UV rays, which significantly shortens its expected lifespan. If your home is prone to rodent infestation, copper may be a more durable solution.

Although there are several advantages to repiping with copper, PEX is rapidly emerging as the preferred material for home repipes. Copper's susceptibility to corrosion from highly acidic or alkaline water can significantly reduce its lifespan, whereas this is much less of an issue for PEX tubing. For more information about the difference between acidic and alkaline water, read our article on Does Hard Water Damage My Plumbing System.

If you prefer to avoid plastic piping, need to install plumbing in areas exposed to UV light, or have experienced issues with other plastic pipes like polybutylene and CPVC in the past, copper remains a reliable option for repiping your home.

If you are still unsure whether to use copper or PEX for your home repipe, feel free to contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our local repipe consultants.


Get a Quote for Your Home Repipe

Here at Repipe Specialists, we've fully replaced the plumbing in over 75,000 homes since 1991 using both copper piping and PEX tubing. We continually get positive customer feedback from customers about their overall home repipe experiences. We often exceed their expectations on:

  • Speed: Our repipe crews typically complete a repipe in a day, returning on another day for wall patching.
  • Convenience: Through our One-Stop Repipe™ Process, we handle everything from permits, to wall patching, to inspections.
  • Cleanliness: Our crews are trained to protect your home while working (we cover all surfaces with protective sheeting), and to clean up fully at the end of each day.
  • Peace of Mind: Repipe Specialists is a fully licensed plumber in every state we operate in, and we back all of our repipes with a lifetime warranty.
  • Financing programs: To help take the sting out of unplanned repipe expenses, we offer several financing programs.
  • Price: As a specialist that performs hundreds of repipes a week, we can deliver high-quality repipes at a lower cost vs generalist plumbers. We have an article that covers repipe cost factors in detail. Our quotes typically range from $4,500 to $15,000 depending on the size and complexity of your project.

Schedule a free in-home consult, and one of our local repipe consultants will explain all your repipe options and provide you with a written, fixed-price quote.


About Repipe Specialists

Expert Repiping at an Affordable Cost

Since our founding in 1991, we've been completing residential and multi-family building repipes to the highest standard.

With over 75,000 repipes completed, we've perfected our  One Stop Repipe™ process: providing you with a high quality and convenient repipe experience while offering significant savings compared to traditional plumbers - plus, our work is guaranteed for life.

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