A professional will be able to tell the age and condition of your pipes and how much longer you can expect them to last. This is a great first step to take because it allows the plumber to not only determine if your pipes need to be upgraded, it also gives them an opportunity to find where there are current leaks or issues that might have escaped your attention. Maybe you need some of those old pipes replaced now—and you’ll be glad you found out sooner rather than later when huge leaks are causing water damage.
If your house was built pre-1970, you probably have galvanized steel pipes in many places—if not for most of the plumbing. Galvanized steel is steel dipped in a zinc solution to stop corrosion. This steel can last about 20 to 50 years—and that means they’re almost certainly ready to be replaced. Steel pipes are more likely to corrode, even with the zinc solution, and create leaks as well as toxicity in freshwater.
This is the most common metal used today for plumbing pipes, and it has been in common use from the 1970s onwards. Copper pipes will usually last for more than 50 years. You’re probably good if you have copper pipes, but it never hurts to have an inspection.