Throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, home flippers are still going strong, despite 2022’s skyrocketing interest rates. But if you’ve recently invested in a fixer-upper, whether to sell it or settle down in it, you want to make sure that your renovations are high quality. That means not just focusing on the latest aesthetic upgrades, but your plumbing code, too. Many older homes may be hiding dangerous plumbing issues like galvanized pipes, requiring extensive pipe repair or even whole-home pipe replacement.
A home repiping project may sound like more than you bargained for, but in the long run, it could be the best option. With the right repipe specialist on your side, you can make the best decision for your new renovation and make the most of your investment.
What is Galvanized Plumbing?
Before about 1960, many homes in the Dallas area were built with galvanized pipes, which are steel pipes coated with zinc. The original idea was that these steel, zinc-coated pipes would ward off exterior corrosion and rust and be an ideal alternative to lead pipes. Unfortunately, we learned that plumbing systems made of galvanized steel corroded on the inside after years of exposure to water.
The rust and other contaminants caked on the inside of these pipes can cause a host of problems. At best, you may notice low water pressure and discolored water. At worst, you’ll have to deal with widespread leaks and lead-contaminated water.
Although Dallas and Fort Worth banned lead service lines in 1986, some remained unreplaced until quite recently. That means any homes with galvanized pipes could have hidden lead remaining in their home’s own water lines.
How Can I Tell What Type of Plumbing Pipes I Have?
Identifying dangerous types of plumbing—like galvanized steel or lead pipes—can be tricky. First of all, homes are often built with more than one type of pipe material. If your home is over about 40 years old, it may have three, four, or even more pipe materials. From the plumbing fixtures themselves to the pipes hidden in the attic or basement, there’s a lot to check, and it’s important to be thorough.
A trained and licensed plumber can help you determine whether your plumbing is up to code. They can also recommend water pipe replacements with more safe and dependable materials, like PEX pipes.
Should Galvanized Pipes Be Replaced?
Galvanized pipes should be replaced, because they pose risks to both your health and your home’s structural integrity. In fact, some homeowner’s insurance companies won’t even issue a policy for homes with galvanized pipes. In other cases, you may be required to have your pipes’ condition certified before a policy is issued. But at Bacon, we recommend that all galvanized pipes be completely replaced as a permanent repair.
What About Other Plumbing Materials?
Other types of pipe in older homes may also need repair or replacement, depending on the material. The life expectancy of other pipe materials is typically:
- Copper pipe: 50 to 70+ years (dependable and safe when properly maintained; should be inspected in older homes)
- PB pipe: 10 to 15 years (no longer manufactured after 1995 and should be replaced)
- CPVC pipe: 50+ years (dependable and safe)
- PEX pipe: about 50 years (dependable and safe)
- Cast iron pipe: 50 to 100 years (should be regularly inspected for corrosion and may need to be replaced)
What Does the Repair or Repipe Process Look Like?
At Bacon, our technicians will never try to force a whole home repipe on you if you don’t actually need one. We’ll perform a thorough examination of the plumbing system and determine whether repair or replacement is the best option for you, your safety, and your budget. We’ll always discuss your options with you before any work begins.
Depending on the size of your home and the plumbing’s condition, it may be more cost effective in the short term to reline your galvanized pipes. That said, relining can only do so much—it could save you money now but end up costing more down the line. Galvanized pipes only have a lifespan of about 80 years when well maintained. Given that these pipes were only installed between 1945 and 1960, they’re nearing the end of that lifespan already.
Repiping a house may feel like an arduous process to add to your growing list of renovations, but it’s one well worth making. Whether you intend to live in your renovated house or sell it for a profit, the return on investment will be significant. Our team is happy to work with you to choose the most convenient phase of the project to perform the replacements. We’ll do our best to minimize disruption and maximize your time.
Get an Expert Opinion from DFW Plumbing Experts
If you’ve just purchased an older home, there could be hidden problems lurking within the plumbing system, even within the pipes themselves. So make the most of your investment with a full evaluation from Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric. We can work with you to repair or replace older pipes in your home, working with your timeline and budget to choose the best option for your goals.
Pipe Repair & Pipe Replacement in Dallas-Fort Worth
Everyone Loves Bacon! Our team knows the pipes and plumbing systems of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex like no other. Plus, we have the fully stocked trucks, highly qualified plumbers, and top-notch customer service to get your plumbing up to code. If you need help with any plumbing project, big or small, you can reach Bacon Plumbing Heating Air Electric 24/7 at (972) 791-8332 or online.