How Long Do Copper Pipes Last?

Our Expert Tips

Is it time to replace old or outdated plumbing in your Bellmore, NY home? Call the experts at Pride Services at (516) 916-6894 for repiping that exceeds your expectations. 

When investing in new plumbing for your home, choosing the most durable and longest-lasting pipe material is a priority. The answers to questions like “how long do copper pipes last?” aren’t always straightforward. Multiple factors influence the longevity and practicality of any water line.

The most common types of piping used in modern homes include copper, galvanized steel, OVC, and cross-linked polyethylene (PEX). As the leading plumber in Bellmore, Pride Plumbing Services puts customer needs first. With that philosophy in mind, we’ve created the following guide to copper piping to answer all your questions.

Types of Copper Pipes

The most crucial factor in answering “how long do copper pipes last?” is the type of copper piping used for the project. Plumbers use various kinds of copper pipes for different projects. Choosing the right one can mean the difference between plumbing that lasts for 50 years or longer and plumbing that needs replacement in less than 20 years.

Type M

Type M copper pipes are the least expensive option, as they have the thinnest walls of any copper piping. Under ideal conditions, these pipes last between 20 and 50 years, but the thin walls mean they are not suitable for all situations. Some local building codes even prohibit plumbers from using these pipes.

Type M copper pipes are especially vulnerable to corrosion. If your water supply is particularly acidic, or the pH of your well water is off balance, the thin walls of these pipes will corrode quickly. In all, they may not even last for a full 20 years. 

Type L

Most homes with copper piping use type L pipes. Thicker than type M pipes, these pipes can better withstand acidic water and more water pressure. They also typically last at least 50 years and, in some cases, longer than a century. 

Some municipalities require plumbers to use type L copper pipes for residential projects. These pipes’ increased durability also makes them ideal for outdoor and underground applications. 

Type K

You can typically find Type K copper piping in water mains and non-residential plumbing projects. Not only are these pipes cost-prohibitive for most homeowners, but their ultra-thick walls are also more than most homes need.

Type K pipes can withstand more water pressure than either type M or Type L. So, they’re most often used in industrial applications like HVAC systems and waste disposal. 

The Pros and Cons of Copper Water Pipes

Copper pipes are an excellent choice for residential plumbing, but you might be considering alternatives. As you make your decision, consider the pros and cons of copper piping.


One of the biggest pros of copper piping is the answer to “how long do copper pipes last?” With an expected lifespan of at least 50 years, copper piping is an excellent investment since it will likely last for as long as you own your home.

Copper piping is also easy to work with because it is lightweight and flexible. It’s naturally corrosion-resistant and 100% recyclable. The use of copper water pipes dates back more than 2,000 years, making it a consistently reliable water supply channel.


Compared to other water line materials, copper piping is expensive. Corrosion from the water supply can also cause leaks in copper pipes, but repairs are possible. In some cases, copper pipes can give water a slightly metallic taste as well. 

Is It Time to Replace Your Copper Pipes?

Although copper pipes can last a long time, they don’t last forever. Excessively high water pressure, acidic water, chloramines in the water, improper electrical connections, and contact with other metals can all hasten the deterioration of your pipes. 

An experienced plumber can repair minor leaks in copper pipes. However, frequent leaks, discolored water, or other signs of corrosion mean it’s time to replace the plumbing.

Call Pride Services for All Your Plumbing Needs 

Now that you have the answer to “how long do copper pipes last?”, you might think you should repipe your home. The experienced plumbers of Pride Plumbing Services in Bellmore, NY can inspect your pipes for signs of deterioration, repair leaking pipes, and help with other issues, like common drain pipe problems. Call us today at (516) 916-6894 to schedule an inspection and gain peace of mind that your plumbing will last for years to come.

Published: Jan 30, 2023

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