Does a copper pipe system have a limited shelf life?

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george75

How does a professional decide when a system needs replacing?
 
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The joints are more likely to fail rather than the pipe. Those look like Yorkshire fittings rather than end feed, which raises the question of whether its original install by a tradesman or some old DIY wotk!

Either way, if it's in good condition and less than 50 years old then no reason not to leave it... We make a decision on an individual site basis and subject to visual physical condition of the pipework.

Beauty in the eye of the beholder and all that!
 
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george75

Those look like Yorkshire fittings rather than end feed, which raises the question of whether its original install by a tradesman or some old DIY wotk!

Is sediment build up an indicator
 
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The joints are more likely to fail rather than the pipe. Those look like Yorkshire fittings rather than end feed, which raises the question of whether its original install by a tradesman or some old DIY wotk!

Either way, if it's in good condition and less than 50 years old then no reason not to leave it... We make a decision on an individual site basis and subject to visual physical condition of the pipework.

Beauty in the eye of the beholder and all that!


Nowt wrong with yorkies mate!! Love ‘em...
 
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I have a Stanley box full of them too... Just raises the question of who put them in :)


Ok, i confess... t’was me.

As got the original post... if it’s less than 25 years old and showing no sign of distress... i wouldnt touch it. Same goes for copper piping :D
 
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Yorkies are great in certain circumstances. I usually use them in where they can't be seen. Especially useful in places like under floorboards or very tight spaces where you can only get one hand in with torch and impossible to get in with solder and be able to see if it runs in. I find lots of older systems with Yorkies on. I often wonder if plumbers used to prefer them years ago because torches weren't as good as they are now. My own house was built in early 60s, and every fitting they used was Yorks on ch and water pipes. All the houses on this development were the same. Just altered some of my own pipework last week, and the Yorks fittings I saw were as good as the day they went in.
 
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george75

Ok, i confess... t’was me.

As got the original post... if it’s less than 25 years old and showing no sign of distress... i wouldnt touch it. Same goes for copper piping :D

So how can you tell their age and if the pipes are in distress?
 
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I'm going to research Yorkie and Endfeed so I know what your talking about :) But how can you tell if the pipes are in distress and how do I know how old my pipework is? Are there any little clues such as discoloration?

Nope... It's a touchy feely thing.
Comes from years of touching and feeling :whistle:
 
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george75

Checking joints for rigidity should be helpful
 
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Really? Touch and feel the pipe actually can indicate how old it is?? Your not having me on are you? I work with trades so I know all about great builders banter!! :)

No... Touch and feel will tell one how sound it is... Often old pipework can just pull out of the soldered fittings when you're manipulating it to make modifications.
 
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george75

I'll check it and it should help decide
 
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Can be a number of factors.

Does customer have issues?

Is the pipework secure

Does it look like lots of repairs have been done on it.

Cut a section of the pipework, does it look clear and clean.

Does it run nicely where it’s unlikely to be damaged or corroded (screeds etc..)

Do joints look sound.

Any sign of pipe distress.

I suppose it’s a personal opinion at the end of the day. Went to a job a few weeks ago for new boiler... one chap told the customer to rip out all pipework and start again... quoted £4k for the full job with boiler.

I went in and thought the pipework looked ok. Boiler was about 16 years old... turns out the original installer had written ‘all pipework throughtout house replaced’ in the original boiler manual. I was comfortable with that - as was the customer. Installed 2002.

New rads going in - gave it a flush anyway before removing old boiler. All worked perfectly.
 
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george75

Cut a section of the pipework, does it look clear and clean.
Does it run nicely where it’s unlikely to be damaged or corroded (screeds etc..)
Do joints look sound.
Any sign of pipe distress.
I suppose it’s a personal opinion at the end of the day. Went to a job a few weeks ago for new boiler... one chap told the customer to rip out all pipework and start again... quoted £4k for the full job with boiler.

I went in and thought the pipework looked ok. Boiler was about 16 years old... turns out the original installer had written ‘all pipework throughtout house replaced’ in the original boiler manual. I was comfortable with that - as was the customer. Installed 2002.
.

Thanks for your helpful advice!
 
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It’s hard to judge from the pictures you’ve shown - my first instinct would be that I wouldn’t replace if that were a representation of the whole installation. I’d clean off the green stains to ensure it wasnt penetrating the joint (flux has a habit of that.)

And then it’s the visual inspection which - if it looked sound - plays an important role.

Gut instinct - no... i wouldnt be ripping it all out and starting again. It looks fairly clean and in ‘not bad’ condition. But if you’re in any doubt then get a couple of guys round to ask their opinion. Never hurts to chuck someone a few quid for an on-site inspection.

Others may disagree - its a personal call i guess.

Give it a good scrub up and have a better look. Lazy plumber didnt clean up after soldering

Edit: you may want to get someone in to just replace the odd bit - never any harm in getting someone in and asking them to take a look
 
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