If you've recently experienced a leak in your plumbing or if you see brown flakes in your water occasionally, it could be a sign of corroded pipes. Pipe corrosion is serious because it's usually just a matter of time before the corrosion is so bad the pipe bursts. The fix for this solution is to have the pipes replaced. Read below to find out why this happens and how a plumber can fix the problem.
Corrosion Happens In Old Galvanized Pipes
Once the plumbing industry realized lead pipes were dangerous to use with drinking water, new homes were constructed with galvanized steel pipes instead. These were steel pipes treated with zinc to prevent rusting, because it was well known that steel by itself would gradually rust. What wasn't realized at the time was that the zinc treatment would wear away eventually and expose the steel to water. This allowed the pipes to rust anyway. All of this is now coming to light since the galvanized steel pipes installed decades ago are old enough to show signs of serious corrosion.
Signs That You Might Have Failing Corroded Water Pipes
Rust builds up on the inside of the affected pipes and as water flows through. little pieces of rust are knocked off into the water stream. You might notice some brown particulates in the water or see them on the bottom of a glass once the water has settled. One of the serious signs of corroded pipes is a water leak.
You could have water leaking under a slab or in a hidden area of your home and not realize it if the leak is from a pinpoint hole. On the other hand, a pipe could suddenly burst and flood your home with water. A plumber can send a pipe camera into the lines to assess the condition of the plumbing. The video can clearly show layers of corrosion inside the pipes if it is there.
How Corroded Pipes Are Repaired
If you've had a leak caused by a corroded pipe, your plumber might be able to cut out and replace the damaged pipe or repair it in another way. However, this fix is temporary. If one pipe is corroded, then all the other pipes installed at the same time are affected too. That means your entire incoming water supply is in danger.
The initial water leak is probably just the first sign of plumbing problems to come. You plumber can solve this problem by repiping your home using plastic or copper pipes. This entails opening your walls so pipes can be passed through, so it is a big job, but it is far better than dealing with water damage from a long-term slow drip or a burst pipe.
If you live in an older home and you're worried about the condition of your plumbing lines, call a plumber, like those at Moody Plumbing Inc, for an inspection so you can plan repairs on your own schedule rather than dealing with the inconvenience of a plumbing emergency.
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