Using LCC to determine the cost of Stainless Steel Water Pipes

Many cities and municipalities discount the use of stainless steel for water pipes due to the initial cost, however, a full analysis proves that not only is it the best material of choice, but when factoring in the total life of the project it is also a very cost effective solution. Case studies show that stainless steel can reduce leakage in water pipes by up to 100%.


Sassda has used its Life Cycle Costing (LCC) App to confirm the ISSF LCC calculations with actual costs.

Using the assumptions outlined on the right, the following results were ascertained.

  • LCC of 316 was much cheaper than other materials.
  • Other material’s total cost will be more than four times higher. Economics of using stainless steel will decrease if real interest goes up and/or life span of competing materials increase.

A sensitivity analysis was done over a duration of time with regards to interest rate fluctations. These showed that stainless steel has the cheapest LCC using net present values up to a maximum real interest rate of 11.93%. Furthermore, even if the plastic pipes lasted 50 years, rather than 20, they would still be 1.7 times more expensive than 316 stainless steel.


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