How To Look At A House
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What is the average life expectancy of galvanized steel pipe?
Friday, July 6, 2018
How long does galvanized steel pipe last?
The average lifespan of galvanized steel water supply pipe is 40 to 60 years, with an average of 50 years. Corrosion is the culprit that shortens its serviceable life, and the pipe literally rusts from the inside out. Loose rust particles collect behind faucets and reduce water flow at fixtures over time, causing a plumbing version of arteriosclerosis, as shown in the photo below of the end of an abandoned galvanized steel pipe that has been cut off behind a washing machine faucet. It has not been used in new construction since the mid-1970s.
Here’s a graph that compares the life expectancy of galvanized steel to other types of pipe commonly used for residential plumbing.
Go to our blog post What is the average lifespan of the parts of a house? for rating of other house components. To understand the basis, potential use, and limitations of lifespan ratings, see our blog post ”How accurate are the average life expectancy ratings of home components? Are they actually useful?"
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Field Guide for Home Inspectors, a quick reference for finding the age of 154 brands of HVAC systems, water heaters, and electrical panels, plus 210 code standards for site-built and manufactured homes, and the life expectancy rating of 195 home components. Available at amazon.com for $19.95.
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Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about PLUMBING PIPES:
Cast Iron Pipe
Orangeburg (bituminous fiber) Pipe
PB (Polybutylene) Pipe
Commonly Used Pipes By Decade
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