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When Should I Replace My Old Plumbing?

Your home’s extensive plumbing network is essential to you and your family’s daily comfort — from taking a hot shower in the morning to doing the laundry and cooking dinner at the end of the day. Many homeowners might assume their home’s plumbing will naturally function and perform smoothly and reliably as long as the house is still standing. While having quality plumbing fixtures and pipes that function indefinitely would be ideal and less hassle, depending on the plumbing materials your home has, its age, environment and regular maintenance upkeep, they could need replacement.rusty pipe

Failing pipes and plumbing are not only inconvenient, but if unaddressed, they can lead to significant and costly property damage. Knowing the expected lifespan of your plumbing and understanding the signs of plumbing failure can help local homeowners know when it’s time to replace household plumbing.

The Lifespans of Residential Plumbing Systems

The pipes and plumbing snaking throughout your home won’t last forever, but with regular care and maintenance, most pipe materials can perform for several decades before showing signs of wear and still need a replacement. Take a look throughout your home and determine which materials your pipes are crafted from — depending on the plumbing materials, any issues may indicate a simple repair need or show the pipes are nearing the end of their usable expectancy.

The lifespan for the most common residential plumbing systems are:

  • Brass: 40 to 70 years
  • Copper: 50 or more years
  • Galvanized steel: 20 to 50 years
  • Cast iron: 75 to 100 years
  • Polyvinyl chloride: Indefinitely

While most of these materials have long lifespans, it’s also important to consider pipe joints, fittings and other components connecting your plumbing and fixtures that may be faulty and causing leaks, clogs and other issues.

What’s the Average Plumbing Life Cycle?

Along with the materials used, the average plumbing system’s life cycle will depend on each individual part, including:

  • Water heaters: 12-year average life cycle
  • Garbage disposals: 10-year average life cycle
  • Toilet flappers: Five-year average life cycle
  • Water softeners: 20-year average life cycle

In addition, toilets manufactured after 1992 need to flush on 1.6 GPF or less, or it’s time to replace them.

When to Replace Your Home’s Plumbing

Once you better understand the materials of your plumbing and its performance expectations, you should also know the common signs of failing plumbing and when to replace toilet pipes, leaking faucets, slow drains and other plumbing fixtures. The following are signs it’s time to replace your home’s plumbing:

  • Discolored water: Water with an unusual color or brownish tint typically indicates pipe corrosion, and your water supply is likely carrying rust particles.
  • Water with an odor: Avoid using any water with a strange odor, which could indicate significant bacteria buildup inside pipes.
  • Leaking pipes or fixtures: Note any obvious of leaks like a broken fixture of damp spaces behind walls or around major appliance. Also, look at your water bill and see if it’s been creeping up the past few months — while you may get away with simply replacing a damaged faucet, you may need a pipe replacement.


  • Slow drainage: If you have a drain that refuses to unclog no matter how many cleaning agents and snakes you use, then it could be extremely corroded and need replacement.
  • Low water pressure: Persistent poor water pressure could indicate a clogged water pipe somewhere in your system, a leak downstream from the fixture or reveal a leaking pipe.

Experiencing an Issue With Your Plumbing? Contact Ranck Plumbing, Heating and AC Today

When you notice unusual plumbing performance or suspect it’s time to replace your plumbing, work with the experienced and knowledgeable plumbing experts at Ranck Plumbing. With our plumbing repair and replacement technicians, residents throughout the Lancaster, PA, area are assured exceptional quality, safe and controlled services and unmatched value. Learn more about our plumbing repair solutions and replacement services today by calling 717-397-2577 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.

Energy Saving Tips for Summer

When it’s hot and muggy outside, your indoors are a welcome oasis with cool air blasting from your air conditioning unit. While your air conditioner makes your home more comfortable and relaxing during the summer, it can start to stretch your wallet by increasing your overall energy costs. Keeping your air conditioner on all summer long can cost you hundreds in extra cooling costs that are much better spent on a summer getaway, not on bills. Every homeowner understands the need for having a properly functioning air conditioning system, but with a few household tweaks and summertime preparations, you can keep your home cool while saving on costs.

A family using fans in the top 10 ways to cool your home without ac

Summer Energy Saving Tips

If you notice your utility expenses creeping up, consider how you’re using your cooling system and determine if there are any adjustments you can make to keep costs down. Here are some simple energy saving habits you can adopt to lower your energy bills in the summer:

  • Schedule an A/C tune-up: As your air conditioning system ages, it becomes less efficient with constant use and aging, worn parts — keep your air conditioning unit maintained with annual tune-up services. During annual maintenance, an HVAC professional will thoroughly inspect the quality of your machinery, replace dirty filters, check fluid levels and ensure your A/C is performing at maximum efficiency.
  • Upgrade to a smart thermostat: Why are you running your air conditioner when no one is home? By upgrading to a smart thermostat, you can schedule times for the air conditioner to run, improving your energy efficiency. Most smart thermostats can be controlled from anywhere from your smartphone, making it fast and simple to monitor your cooling efforts.
  • Check and seal household leaks: Make sure your hard-earned cool air isn’t seeping through unseen openings in your fireplace dampers, doors, windows or attic space. Check all of the seals around your openings and apply fresh weather stripping or caulk to reduce cool air transference. For a more thorough assessment, schedule a professional energy audit where an expert will use infrared technology to exactly pinpoint poorly insulated areas of your home.
  • Block sunlight and use fans: Access to natural lighting can boost your mood and enhance your interiors, but in the summertime, the sun can also increase your indoor temperature, triggering your air conditioner to run more often. Keep curtains or blinds drawn over windows that face the sun. Along with keeping your shades drawn, install fans or turn on ceiling fans on mild days to keep your space comfortable while reducing your energy bill.
  • Limit heat-producing appliances: During the hottest times of the day, limit how frequently you’re using heat-producing appliances like washers and dryers, stovetops and ovens. While these machines make your daily chores easier, they also create a lot of heat, prompting you to turn on your air conditioner. Either wait until the temperature cools off at night to use these appliances or switch to cooking out on the grill to prepare food without generating indoor heat.

Schedule A/C Maintenance Services Today With Ranck Plumbing, Heating and A/C

To guarantee you have the most efficient and effective air conditioning system in time for the summer heat, reach out to the trained and experienced professionals at Ranck Plumbing, Heating and A/C. We happily provide expert, customized cooling solutions for homeowners throughout the Lancaster, PA area and beyond. We provide comprehensive air conditioner maintenance services to improve the performance of your unit or can recommend quality upgrades to improve the comfort and efficiency of your home.

Schedule air conditioning maintenance services today, or learn more about our cooling solutions by calling 717-397-2577 or filling out our online contact form.