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The Problem with Older Galvanized Pipes

Do you know anything about the material used for the plumbing system that runs underneath your home? If your pipes are old enough, they are likely made of galvanized steel pipe. While the goal of installing these pipes, originally, was to help protect the pipes from corroding, the anti-corrosive efforts weren’t enough. Learn more about galvanized pipe and whether you should have yours repaired or replaced in the guide below.

What Is a Galvanized Steel Pipe?

Iron can corrode quickly in the presence of water and oxygen. The process of galvanization involves applying a protective zinc coating to iron or steel (an iron alloy). This way, the pipe should not corrode although it is in the presence of water and oxygen. These pipes were installed in most homes built before the 1960s.

So What’s the Problem?

The problem with the galvanized steel is that that protective zinc coating will still corrode, eventually. Given enough time, reactions with the soil and the water cause the zinc coating to wear away, and your pipes are unprotected once again. Your pipes are likely to corrode from the inside out.

At first, this can mean noticeable flakes in your water, and perhaps a slight metallic taste. And over time, the pipes will continue to corrode until they leak and are a lot of trouble to fix.

What Can You Do?

If you have galvanized steel piping—typically those put in place before the 1960s—keep an eye on them. Schedule inspections and pay attention to any changes in your water quality.

It might be a good idea to get proactive and replace your water pipes even if you’re not experiencing any issues right now. Pipes that are so many decades old don’t have that long of a life left anyway, as they’re not expected to go too far past 70 years. You won’t have to worry about your new pipes if you call a quality plumber.

Contact VOGT Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for pipe services in St. Paul. Call our friendly technicians 24/7 for exceptional customer service!

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