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Old Pipe Materials and When to Repipe Your House

sunny-plumber-vanOne of the biggest plumbing jobs you might need to schedule for your home is repiping. Old plumbing pipes wear down, and outdated materials are at a high risk of causing problems around your house, leaking to create damage, or even introducing toxins into your drinking water. Depending on the age of your house, you may only need sections repiped. Or you may need a whole-house repiping.

We’re going to explain old pipe materials in more depth so you’ll get a sense of what sort of repiping your home needs—as well as if it needs it.

Cast Iron

You may have cast iron pipes in your house if the house was built before 1970. This pipe material was used extensively from the 1930s through the 1950s for home construction. It started to decline in use as galvanized steel increased, but because of its durability and long lifespans, iron remained in use for water and sewer lines for another decade.

Unfortunately, most iron pipes will now be at the end of their lifespans and starting to corrode. Watch for discoloration in your home’s water or trouble with the sewer line—these are warnings that the cast iron pipes are going bad. We still recommend replacing these pipes even if you don’t see problems.


You’ve heard about the problems with lead pipes because concern over their health hazards is a common news story. Even if you don’t have lead pipes in your household plumbing, you may have lead soldering. The use of lead pipes and soldering was banned in 1986, so if you have a home older than this, call plumbers to see if there are lead pipes and solders that need replacement.

Galvanized Steel

Steel is galvanized if it’s dipped in a zinc solution. The zinc coating is designed to help resist rust and other types of corrosion. Galvanized steel started to become the primary material used in residential plumbing during the 1960s—and at the time seemed like an ideal replacement for lead and iron.

But these pipes are susceptible to rusting from the inside because of long exposure to chemicals in water. If you find gray pipes in your home that you can scratch with a coin, those are galvanized steel and it’s time to have them replaced.


As plastic pipes become more popular in the 1970s and ‘80s, plastic resin polybutylene pipes were one of the most common types. They were installed between 1978 and 1995 as a copper substitute. Unfortunately, these pipes have proven to be defective over the long-term and are prone to breaking—sometimes without warning. These pipes are a dull gray color, and if you notice them in your home, please have them replaced (either with copper or plastic).

When you think it’s time for repiping in North Las Vegas, NV, we’re the plumbing experts to call. Although repiping is a major undertaking—especially whole-house repiping—we have the best-trained plumbers with the finest equipment to ensure the work goes fast and causes minimal disruption to your house and your regular routines.

Schedule plumbing services today with The Sunny Plumber Las Vegas. Bright and Shiny and won’t show our Hiney.

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