Pipe Corrosion And Your Home Plumbing System: What Homeowners Should Know

Pipe corrosion refers to the gradual deterioration or wear of pipes due to chemical reactions with the surrounding environment. It is a common issue in plumbing systems, especially in older homes or those with poor water quality. Corrosion can affect various types of pipes, including copper, galvanized steel, and iron pipes.

Effects of Pipe Corrosion on a Home's Plumbing System

  • Reduced Water Flow: Corrosion can create obstructions and buildup inside the pipes, leading to reduced water flow and water pressure in faucets, showers, and other fixtures.
  • Leaks: As pipes corrode, they become weaker, increasing the risk of developing small cracks or pinhole leaks. These leaks can lead to water damage in walls, ceilings, and floors, causing costly repairs.
  • Water Quality: Corroded pipes can release particles and contaminants into the water supply, affecting the taste and quality of drinking water.
  • Pipe Failure: In severe cases of corrosion, pipes can deteriorate to the point of failure, resulting in burst pipes and significant water damage.

What a Plumber Can Do to Help with Pipe Corrosion:

  1. Inspection: A plumber can conduct a thorough inspection of the plumbing system to identify signs of corrosion, such as discolored water, reduced water pressure, or visible damage to the pipes.
  2. Pipe Replacement: If the pipes are severely corroded and beyond repair, a plumber may recommend replacing the affected sections or the entire plumbing system, depending on the extent of the corrosion.
  3. Pipe Relining: In some cases, pipe relining can be an effective solution. This involves inserting a flexible liner coated with epoxy resin into the existing pipe, which creates a new, corrosion-resistant inner surface.
  4. Water Quality Testing: If corrosion is affecting the water quality, a plumber can test the water to determine the level of contaminants and recommend appropriate water treatment options.
  5. Water Softening: If the corrosion is related to hard water, a plumber can install a water softener to reduce the mineral content, which can help mitigate corrosion.
  6. Regular Maintenance: A plumber can establish a maintenance plan to monitor the plumbing system regularly and address any signs of corrosion promptly.
  7. Corrosion-resistant Pipes: When replacing pipes, a plumber may recommend using materials that are more resistant to corrosion, such as PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) or CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl chloride) pipes.

Paying attention to pipe corrosion is essential to maintaining a properly functioning and reliable plumbing system. Regular inspections, timely repairs, and using appropriate materials can help prevent extensive damage and ensure the longevity of the plumbing system in a home. Speak to a professional plumber in your area to find out more.