5 Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Galvanized Pipes
What are signs it’s time to replace your galvanized pipes?
- Discolored water
- Fluctuating water pressure
- Rust around pipe joints
- Misshapen pipes
- Lead in your water
Have troubles with your water lately? Chances are that your home or building uses galvanized pipes for its water supply. While these kinds of pipes are the industry standard and are very reliable, they still need to be maintained and replaced as needed. If you’re experiencing issues with your plumbing, then your galvanized pipes are the likely culprit. Putting off galvanized pipe replacement could cause more damage to your property. Here are five signs to replace your galvanized pipes.
Why are my pipes galvanized?
First, you should know that plumbing systems are often made from galvanized pipes. Pipes, especially those that transport water, are always exposed to different environmental elements. In particular, they are in constant contact with water, air, and humidity, which are the main causes of corrosion.
The process of galvanizing steel pipes is done to improve their durability. Specifically, galvanizing creates a protective layer on the steel surface. This layer shields the steel from environmental elements and impedes corrosion. As a result, galvanized pipes have greatly extended usable life than other kinds of pipes.
What is the lifespan of galvanized pipes?
Galvanizing does not shield your pipe from harsh elements forever. If the galvanization process is done well and the pipe material is of high quality, your galvanized pipes should last up to 70 years. But if done poorly, then your galvanized pipes can degrade at 30 to 40 years of use. If you’re nearing the end of their usable life, the problems you’re experiencing with your water are likely due to your galvanized pipes failing. Here are a few signs to look out for:
Have you noticed that the water coming out of your tap or showerhead is a bit brown? Or perhaps you’ve noticed that it smells metallic. Either way, this may be an early warning sign it’s time to replace your galvanized pipes. The water passing through your pipes is being discolored by aging galvanized pipes.
Over time, the inside walls of your pipe degrade, and small bits of metal — mostly iron — will fall into the water. This can cause changes in appearance and smell. Leaving your water like this can affect your water fixtures over time, as the mineral debris builds up around their openings.
If you’re unsure if your water is discolored, then it’s a good time to run a test of water clarity. Just fill up a clear glass with some water from your faucet, and inspect it. There should be a noticeable reddish-brown tinge or metal-like smell coming from your water.
Fluctuating water pressure
All of the water fixtures on your property should have about the same water pressure at all times. This is a sign of a well-functioning water system. However, if you notice that water is coming out much slower (or faster) in certain areas, then chances are you have a problem with your galvanized pipes.
These fluctuations in water pressure are caused by an uneven build-up of rust or other debris within your pipes. In some cases, this can cause blockages that lower water pressure, but it can also create a funnel that pushes the pressure up. In any case, differences in water pressure are another early warning sign to check your galvanized pipes. If left alone, it could create a leaking or burst pipe, which will cost you thousands in repair costs.
Rust around pipe joints
When galvanized pipes are first manufactured, they have a silver, slightly bright finish to them. But, this fades over time and slowly changes into a dark gray hue. The color and appearance of your galvanized pipes are a good indicator of both their age and their integrity.
If your galvanized pipes are looking very, very dark in color, they have likely started rusting either internally or externally. If you can’t quite tell the color just by looking, you can use a screwdriver and a strong magnet to score the outside wall of your pipes. If rust flakes off, then your pipes are starting to corrode.
You can also take a look at the pipe joints, which are usually the first part of a pipe system to start rusting. If you can see large lumpy growths around the edges of the joints, then it’s a good time to consider replacing the pipe altogether. Otherwise, the rust will eat through your pipe and start to leak.
Rust is not the only thing to look out for while you’re visually inspecting your galvanized pipes. Another thing you should check is their shape. They should more or less be intact and have an even surface. But, if you see bumps, dimples, or cracks on your pipe, that’s a strong indicator that it’s time to replace the pipes. These defects show that the pipe is compromised and is likely to crack or burst.
Lead in your water
This last sign is arguably one of the hardest to spot. In the case of older galvanized pipes made as far back as the 1960s, these pipes were by being dipped into naturally occurring zinc. This is an impure substance that contains trace amounts of lead. This could leech into the water over time.
The good thing is that galvanized pipes made in the last few decades no longer use naturally occurring zinc. But, if yours are on the older side, then this may be a problem for your property.
If your property has old pipes, you should have them checked professionally. Contact an expert plumber or water quality expert to run some tests for you and check for lead content in your water.
Once you experience any one of these signs to replace your galvanized pipes, don’t think twice about doing so. While these are sturdy, reliable products, it is always best to have replacements prepared at the first sign of trouble.
Need high-quality galvanized pipes in the Philippines for your property? Send a message to Supreme Pipe today! Our professional team is ready to help you with any of your piping needs, and can provide the assistance and quote you need!