Between 1900 and 1965, galvanized steel pipes were the most commonly installed pipes for domestic water supply.  While the lifespan of these pipes averages 50 years, there are several factors that impact the durability and longevity of a galvanized piping system, including overall age, types of materials used in water distribution systems, as well as the chemical makeup and quality of the water.

If your property has galvanized pipes, it’s important to know how aging galvanized pipes corrode and the subsequent impacts on your property.   Here are the top five issues you need to know about the consequences of aging galvanized steel pipes:

  • Galvanized steel pipes are lined with a protective zinc coating. Over time, due to the effects of aging, water contaminants, chemicals and PH levels, the zinc lining erodes, leading to pipe corrosion.

  • Corrosion build up on the pipe interior is likely to cause lower water pressure as well as discolored and off-tasting water.

  • Pitting and pinhole leaks, resulting in leak damage are also a common result of aging galvanized pipes and corrosion.

  • As the pipes corrode and the protective zinc lining erodes, rust builds up on the inside of the pipes creating a hotbed for lead deposits and minerals to accumulate, and thereby risking release into drinking water. This release can be exacerbated by excessive rapid water-flow or physical disturbances such as pipe vibration.

  • If you have lead service lines connecting to in-home galvanized pipes that are corroded, the risk of lead releasing into drinking water can increase.

Unfortunately, if your property has galvanized steel pipes, it’s likely that they are corroding, and it may be time to start planning for pipe replacement.  In the long run, pipe replacement will save your property money compared to the costs of water damage and increased insurance premiums from repeated leaks and possible catastrophic pipe failure.

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