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Old 11-13-2010, 12:03 PM   #1
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Copper Life Expectancy


I'm doing a bath and I have the hot/cold water supply lines exposed. I'm wondering if I should replace them while I have easy access. The lines are 46 years old. They are 1/2 inch lines. Thanks for your thoughts on this matter.

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Old 11-13-2010, 01:11 PM   #2
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Copper Life Expectancy


I would seriously consider it although it might not be necessary at all. I know of two situations where it would likely be prudent:

1. on the east side of my state, they typically have very soft water. That tends to erode the pipes and since copper is relatively thin, it causes pinhole leaks eventually.

2. on the west side of my state, we typically have hard water. That causes mineral buildup within the pipes and eventually restricts water flow.

If you were doing some other work on your plumbing, you should have an idea how your pipes are fairing and be able to use that to help make a decision.

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Old 11-14-2010, 07:42 PM   #3
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Copper Life Expectancy


copper pipe has been in common use for about 75 years now. some say it has a life expectancy of 25-50 years (haven't found any conclusive data yet on that.) but if your place is 46 years old, then by that standard, its almost at the maximum service life.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:35 PM   #4
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Copper Life Expectancy


the copper that you have just might be better than new copper now.

if you are closing in that area. I would probably replace
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:36 PM   #5
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Copper Life Expectancy


Our home is 39 years old. The hot water line to the bathrooms under the concrete slab recently developed a slow leak. Web research indicates that copper lines supplying hot water will usually fail before the cold water lines.

HRG
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:03 PM   #6
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Copper Life Expectancy


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Our home is 39 years old. The hot water line to the bathrooms under the concrete slab recently developed a slow leak. Web research indicates that copper lines supplying hot water will usually fail before the cold water lines.
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HRG


While in the UK, it was noted to never have hot water set over 55oC as this would create huge scale issues in the copper pipes.

However i am seeing so many copper leaks here its unbelievable, in the UK its almost unheard of, likly water quality issue i think.
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Old 11-15-2010, 03:58 AM   #7
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While in the UK, it was noted to never have hot water set over 55oC as this would create huge scale issues in the copper pipes.

However i am seeing so many copper leaks here its unbelievable, in the UK its almost unheard of, likly water quality issue i think.
In our case I think it was caused by two "old" water heaters. Both heaters were replaced when they became so old that they started leaking. I believe rust had formed inside of the water heaters and were deposited inside of the copper hot water pipes under the slab. Rust coming from iron or steel on copper causes a dissimilar metals situation with water as the electrolyte. This formed pits in the copper resulting in a pin hole leak, with probably more to come.

Just my belief but will never know for sure as I won't break open the slab to find out.

HRG

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