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How Long Do Copper Pipes Last?

By August 17, 2023Plumbing
Old copper pipes.

Copper pipes are widely used in plumbing systems due to their durability and ability to withstand high pressure. These are pipes that are plumbing materials made from copper, a highly conductive metal. These pipes are commonly used to carry water supply and hot water throughout residential and commercial buildings. It is important to know how long do copper pipes last? They last about 50-70 years if they are maintained and installed properly but several factors are involved.

Copper pipes that may need replacing.

Copper Pipes

As mentioned above, copper pipes can last for several decades. This is typically between 50 and 70 years if properly installed and maintained. The lifespan of copper pipes can vary depending on factors such as water quality, installation techniques, and maintenance practices.

Pro’s and Con’s of Copper Pipes


  • Long lifespan
  • Resistance to corrosion
  • Excellent heat transfer properties
  • Environmentally friendly (since copper is a recyclable material)
  • Can withstand high pressure


  • Higher cost compared to other pipe materials
  • Susceptible to damage from freezing temperatures
  • May require professional installation due to soldering requirements
  • Can develop pinhole leaks over time in certain water conditions

When Do Copper Pipes Need Replacing?

In most cases, copper pipes do not need to be replaced unless they are corroded, damaged, or have reached the end of their lifespan. Regular maintenance and inspections can help identify any potential issues before they become major problems.

PVC pipe in a home is another type of plumbing pipe.

Additional Options For Pipes

Apart from copper pipes, there are several other types of pipes used in plumbing systems. Some common alternatives include:

  1. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) Pipes: These plastic pipes are lightweight, inexpensive, and resistant to corrosion. They are commonly used for drains and waste lines.
  2. PEX (Cross-linked Polyethylene) Pipes: These flexible plastic pipes are easy to install and can withstand high temperatures. They are often used for water supply lines and radiant heating systems.
  3. Galvanized Steel Pipes: These pipes are coated with zinc to resist corrosion. However, they can rust over time and may restrict water flow.
  4. CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride) Pipes: Similar to PVC pipes, CPVC pipes are suitable for both hot and cold water distribution. They are more heat-resistant than PVC pipes.

Here is a video about PEX and Copper pipes so you can see which one to use in the home.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know about copper pipes, it’s a great idea to take a look at other recommended maintenance. One of those is plumbing problems in old homes. If you have or plan to buy an old home, it is a good idea to find out some potential plumbing issues you may have.

Another area is how to make hot water last longer in the home. Sometimes people take too long of showers so it doesn’t last as long. However, many times it is a thermostat issue, an old water heater, or other broken parts.

Lastly, when it comes to choosing the right plumbing pipe for your home, it will be based on location, temperature, durability, and how cheap the material is.

When to Contact a Professional

It is recommended to contact a professional plumber when you are installing a new plumbing system or have repairs involving copper pipe connections or leaks. Also, if you need to replace old or damaged copper pipes or have issues with water pressure or flow. Lastly, if you have any plumbing work that requires specialized knowledge or expertise, you may need a professional.


Copper pipes are durable and long-lasting plumbing materials commonly used in residential and commercial buildings. Understanding the different types, pros, and cons, and when to contact a professional for assistance is important to ensure the proper functioning and maintenance of your plumbing system. Reach out to All Coast Home Inspections for a home inspection in Houston, TX

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