How Long Does Industrial Piping Last?

Industrial piping is vital to infrastructure, transporting materials across countless differences, and keeping distribution chains running seamlessly. That’s why it’s so important to keep on top of pipe maintenance.

A leak in your industrial piping can have catastrophic results.

In order to take care of your piping system, you should know about the lifespan of the materials used in its construction. In this article, we will outline the industrial equipment lifespan of your steel piping system.

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Types of Industrial Piping and Their Lifespans

Unless you’ve had your pipes replaced, it’s likely that they are as old as the construction project. In those properties that are nearing a hundred years old, this might mean the pipes are worn almost to the point of collapse, depending on their material. 

Here are some commonly used piping materials, and some answers to ‘how long does industrial equipment last’.

Lead Pipes

Starting with an urgent potential material, some buildings were made with lead pipes. Though they can last up to 100 years, it is vital that you remove any lead piping in your property.

This is because lead is incredibly toxic. Have experts remove any lead piping as soon as possible, and replace it with a safer material.

Copper Pipes

A hugely common material for piping across the USA, copper piping will be in its best shape in fairly new houses. For those with older homes, it’s worth checking up on the wellbeing of your piping systems.

This is because copper pipes, though common, have a fairly limited piping lifespan of 70-80 years. If you leave replacing your copper piping for too long, the metal can start to break down and will enter your water supply.

Cast Iron pipes

Made of tough stuff, cast iron pipes can withstand huge amounts of pressure. This makes them relatively common.

Cast iron pipes have an industrial piping lifespan of around 80-100 years. However, being iron, the material has been found to be prone to rusting over time – so it’s still worth making regular checks to your piping system.

Brass Pipes

Though less common than copper piping, brass piping has a similar lifespan. It is an alloy of zinc and copper, which may explain why it shares qualities with copper piping. 

It lasts around 80-100 years. However, brass piping has been found to contain trace amounts of lead in the past, so if choosing a material to replace your pipes, consider other options.

Steel Piping

Like cast iron, galvanized steel has been found to rust after a few years. This makes them relatively uncommon.

Still, they can last 80-100 years. They are common in US households, so be sure to check up on your steel pipes.


For a period in the late 20th century, polybutylene pipes were common. This is because they are cheap and easy to fit.

However, they break down far quicker than any other pipe.

Lasting only 10-15 years, it is now unlikely that your home will have polybutylene pipes. But if it does, they will need replacing soon enough – make sure the new pipes are more durable!

PVC Piping

Though traditional PVC piping does not last as long as metal, it does not corrode. Typically, old PVC pipes last 25-40 years.

It is worth bearing in mind that recent technology can make PVC last up to 70 years. If looking for cost-effective replacement pipes, PVC might be for you.

Maintain Your Pipes!

So: how long does industrial piping last? Longer when you take care of it!

If you want your piping system to reach its maximum life expectancy, perform regular checks. This will alert you to small and developing issues, and save you larger problems in the long run. 

Should you find a problem in your pipes, RAK is around to lend a hand. Be sure to contact us, and your pipes will be good as new before you know it!

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