Since you don’t typically see much of your home’s pipes, you tend to not think about them unless there’s a problem. Do you know how old your pipes are? Do you know how much longer they have until they’ll need to be replaced? Here’s how to determine pipe age for your home’s plumbing, along with some signs that they’re close to failing.


When you bought your home, there was likely a professional inspection to let you know the condition of the various elements in the structure, including pipe age. If you can find that inspection report, it should include a rundown of your pipes: what kind they are, when they were installed, and what state of repair they were in when you bought the house.

If you can’t find the report, you can call your plumber to perform an inspection and tell you approximately how old your pipes are and how long you can expect them to last. Generally, copper pipes last up to 50 years. PVC and bronze pipes both last between 40 and 70 years. Galvanized-steel pipes have a shorter life span and can exhibit problems after only 20 years.

Signs of Pipe Wear

Even if you can’t determine exact pipe age, you can tell if your pipes are approaching the point where they need to be replaced. First, look at the pipes that are visible. Do they show signs of rust or corrosion? Is the metal flaking? If the pipes look worn outside, they likely look even worse inside. Likewise, if the water that comes out of your faucet is discolored, it could mean the pipes are rusting, and that rust is making its way into your water supply.

Leaks are another sign of aging pipes. If there are water stains on the walls or ceilings, wet spots on the lawn that won’t go away, or your water bills are simply rising seemingly without cause, then you likely have leaks somewhere and should call your plumber.

For help determining pipe age, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. Indianapolis trusts us for all its home-comfort needs.