Nothing can last a lifetime; the pipes used for plumbing in your house are no exception. It may rust, corrode or decay due to many external factors. You really have to replace the pipes because whether you like it or not, you will experience leaks or damage in the long run. However, the next question that may be ask is when is the right time to change it and how can you possibly assess to determine that there is in fact a need to replace or upgrade it?
If you are living in a house for decades, it is likely that you experience water fitting problems. Most old houses use iron, steel or lead pipes which are no longer proven beneficial these days. In most modern day water piping system, copper and plastic polyvinyl chlorides (PVC) are most widely used. Most registered plumbers would suggest that lead water pipes should be replaced because it contaminates the water with lead and is proven hazardous to health. So if your plumbing system is more than two decades old, most probably you are using fittings with lead and you have to replace it the soonest.
If you see signs of trouble or you experience plumbing issues more often than usual such as leaks, corrosion, the color of the water and other irregularities, call a plumber and seek for advice whether or not a replacement of some pipes is needed. Only a plumber can satisfactorily assess the severity of the condition.
When you plan to renovate your house, it is also ideal to change the entire plumbing system. It is also the best time to change it since you want to give your house a new look. No matter what kind of fittings you use be it lead or plastic, you have to safeguard them to keep them in good running condition and eventually save bucks in not having to overhaul the entire water system.