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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How Often Should Bathroom Water Supply Lines Be Replaced?

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Water piping tube installed externally along the bathroom wall to supply water for a heater. You should replace most supply lines after the warranty expires

Plumbing is something most of us don’t think about much. As long as there are no noticeable leaks and the water flows when the taps are turned on, who cares about the pipes? But supply line damage will occur eventually – if not from an accident, then simply from the passage of time.
Different plumbing materials have different expected lifespans. Every expert plumber in Bath, ME, agrees that you should replace most supply lines after the warranty expires. Once they inspect the plumbing, they’ll have an excellent idea of what’s there, the condition of the pipes, and how soon they should be replaced to avoid a supply line leak.

What Are the Different Types of Water Supply Lines?

Many different materials are used to transport freshwater, including

  • Copper
  • Galvanized steel
  • Lead
  • PVC
  • PEX
  • CPVC

Each material type has a different length of warranty. Also, different manufacturers also have different warranties, so it can be confusing.

What Causes Supply Line Damage?
In most cases, it’s just normal degradation that comes from aging. Plastics use organic materials that will harden over time. Metals are prone to corruption from corrosive elements in the water. Lead may last the longest, but it’s extremely toxic to humans and must be removed immediately upon discovery.

When Should They Be Replaced?
Galvanized steel also should be replaced quickly. They aren’t toxic, but they will rust and clog and cause a bathroom leak. They typically aren’t used anymore.
PVC and CPVC are the most popular choice today. They’re very durable for the price and can be warrantied up to 30 years, again depending on the manufacturer. CPVC is used for hot water lines, while PVC is used for both hot and cold lines.
PEX is a popular material for cheaper construction. Older PEX had a major manufacturing defect and should be replaced immediately. Newer PEX can be ok, but it should be inspected regularly.
If you have your lines inspected every decade, you can avoid most supply line damage from aging. This can save you many thousands of dollars in damage.

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