Water and Gas Repiping
Repiping is the process of changing out existing water or gas pipes inside or under the home or business. We have dedicated crews that perform repipes throughout Tucson, Marana and Oro Valley. We are happy to give you an estimate on any repiping job. Article: Leaking Water Pipes.
In the 80's and 90's a lot of homes in Tucson had polybutylene water pipes installed. These pipes and pipe fittings were found to be defective and will eventually fail. Polybutylene is a gray pipe when used inside of a home, or blue pipe when used as a water supply line from the water meter. Some mobile homes even had a black form of the polybutylene piping. Most homes in Tucson cannot be sold without having the polybutylene replaced before sale.
Unfortunately another water pipe plumbing problem that is common in Tucson, Marana or Oro Valley is pinhole leaking copper. This usually occurs in homes where soft copper piping was used. Soft copper piping is the type of copper that was installed under the concrete slab in homes. It is used because plumbing codes do not allow for fittings under concrete slabs. Because of this fact, plumbers are forced to install soft copper that can be bent rather than use fittings. Currently, there is no definitive reason why this happens to our pipes. If you have a pinhole leak in your soft copper, you're liable to have several more until the piping is replaced. Most homes with soft copper piping never develop this problem.
Gas lines in Tucson tend to last a long time. These pipes are usually made of steel and almost never develop leaks inside the home. The problem with gas lines is that they are also installed underground, and this is where our problem lies. When it rains and water gets into the ground, it goes down and rusts away our steel gas lines. It usually takes a long time for it to get bad enough to develop a gas leak, but it happens. Our gas pipes usually last between 25 and 35 years before they need to be replaced. Newer piping installed in the past 20 years have used a coated steel piping, this piping if installed correctly can last indefinitely.
Usually, gas leaks underground are detected by the gas company and they turn off your gas to your house until the piping is replaced. Along with the piping underground being replaced, they also require that all appliances hooked up to the gas line be brought up to the current local codes standards. If your gas is locked off because of a leak, your best bet is to get an estimate as soon as possible. You can plan to not have gas for several days, mostly because of the slow inspection process required by the city or county.
Galvanized Steel Repiping
Like most steel piping it lasts a long time usually 25 to 35 years. Many older homes in Tucson had galvanized steel piping installed under the concrete slab. This was before copper piping started to be used for running water lines. Underneath concrete, these pipes are protected from moisture and water does not get to the outside of the pipe. The water is inside the pipes though, and over time this water eats away at the steel until the pipes develop a water leak. These pipes also tend to fill up with rust and this causes a reduced water flow. In either case, it is time for a replacement of the water pipes.