If you live in an older home, then you likely understand that your plumbing is probably not as up to date as it should be. If your home has galvanized steel piping, then you should look into having the pipes replaced as soon as you can. If you are unsure whether you have these types of pipes or not, then look for pipes that are silver-gray in color. The pipes will have threads on either end as well and fit into one another with large round attachments. Another good indication that you have the galvanized pipes is the age of your home. If your house was built before the 1960s and has not been remodeled, then it likely contains the steel pipes. There are many reasons why these pipes should be replaced completely. Keep reading to learn about a few.
Your Water May Contain Contaminants
Galvanized steel pipes are made from a type of steel that is covered in a protective coating. This coating is necessary to prevent corrosion. Typically, steel materials are dipped into a container filled with molten zinc, and the zinc protects the steel as long as the coating stays intact. Purified versions of zinc are used today to protect steel. However, this was not always the case. Natural zinc was utilized when stainless steel pipes were installed in homes and the material contained impurities. One of these impurities was lead. Unfortunately, the steel coating on the interior of plumbing pipes will break down over time. As this happens, the zinc and its impurities enter the water that flows through your pipes and you will consume them when you drink the water.
While zinc may not cause health issues when it is consumed, the lead will. Adult lead exposure can cause fatigue, concentration problems, nausea, and hearing loss. If you have children in your home, then long-term exposure to lead can lead to muscle and bone growth issues, nervous system problems, delayed development, and seizures. Since steel pipes are likely to deteriorate at different rates depending on the location of the piping, lead is likely to leach into your water for an extended period of time. This can cause serious health issues since lead stays in the body for an extended period of time and also builds up over time. This means that high levels of lead can be seen in the body if you or your children are exposed to small amounts over the course of months or years. Symptoms of lead exposure will show up once the high levels are reached. This makes lead a silent threat that is noticed only after it begins to cause negative effects on the body. It is a much better idea to have the steel pipes replaced than it is to worry about symptoms that may be caused by lead exposure.
Water Pressure Will Reduce Substantially
After the zinc layer breaks down, the inside of your water pipes will contain exposed steel. This metal will start to turn into iron oxide as moisture and oxygen start to convert the steel into rust. Iron oxide, or rust, is an extremely flaky and fragile material. Unlike the zinc added to the surface of the steel, the rust will offer absolutely no protection to the metal underneath. This means that layers of rust will continue to form and you will see this rust in your water as it flakes into it. Rust is not harmful to your health like lead. However, it will leave a metallic taste in your mouth and stain clothes and sinks.
The presence of rust in your pipes means that a leak will form as the pipe converts entirely into iron oxide. Before this happens though, the rust will build and take up the vast majority of available space in your water pipes. The result will be extremely low water pressure. If you are experiencing low water pressure already, then you should know that it will continue to decrease until one or several water pipes break.
While it may seem easy to replace steel pipes with copper ones as they break, this is a bad idea. When you do this, the copper and metal will react with one another. This will lead to the corrosion of the new copper pipe at the connection. The copper pipe will then fail and a leak will form. This is why you will need to invest in complete replacement instead of a gradual one. For more information, contact companies like The Pleasant Plumber plumbing services.