Galvanized Steel Pipe Issues, Multifamily & Commercial | SageWater

Galvanized Steel Pipe Problems

Galvanized steel pipes were most popularly used in water lines in homes and buildings constructed the 1940’s to the late 1970’s. They were durable, sanitary, and formed watertight connections. But, through the years, certain minerals in the water began to react with the steel, and hard water deposits built up along the walls of the pipe, sometimes breaking down the protective galvanized layer. Rust was then able to oxidize and form, eventually wearing a hole out of the pipe.
Leaks in piping can be catastrophic. If behind walls and unseen, thousands of dollars of damage can be done without a leak being noticed. Rusty pipes can also break and leak gallons in a matter of minutes.

Joints can also be an issue with galvanized piping. The joints connecting galvanized steel pipes are threaded, and they can be unstable and susceptible to leaking and rusting. These joints abrade at the pipe’s zinc coating. This exposes the metal underneath and hastens the corrosion process.

Hard water leaves mineral build up. Too much of this calcium carbonate begins to clog pipes, restricting water flow. Water pressure may be greatly impacted, and enough pressure can cause pipes to burst. Softened water is corrosive to both carbon
steel and galvanized materials. Zinc is used to galvanize a layer of the steel pipe. If there is no scale at all, the protective layer does not form. Then the pipes erode from the inside and disintegrate.

Whether galvanized pipes are corroding or eroding, the materials added to your water supply can be dangerous. Changes in color may indicate a reduction in water quality. Lead from exposed metal may seep in. Cadmium exposure is also of major concern, as can be copper and zinc.

Galvanized steel pipe problems can range from the pesky and inconvenient to the costly and hazardly. Call SageWater today to solve your piping issues!