Galvanized Pipe – Watch Out for the Rust!

old water galvanized pipe was used in older homes. The original thought was that it did not rust like traditional black iron pipe. What later was discovered was that it will and did rust from the inside out.

You have seen the pictures of the plaque/cholesterol that builds up in our arteries. Look at these pictures and I’m sure you will agree the pipe looks a lot like the artery pictures.

The oxygen in the water reacts with the iron in the pipe and then POOF, there is a build up. An easy way to identify this problem is turn on a faucet where the water has not run for a while. IF a blast of red water runs out with some loose pieces of rust, there is rust in the pipe.

How bad is this problem? It really depends on how old are the pipes. The older the house, the more deposits will be inside the pipe.
We all depend on good safe clean water for our survival. The rust (iron oxide) is a common problem and not anything to be overly concerned about. The biggest difference is the amount of time it will take you to take a shower, fill up a glass of water or fill your washing machine.

The inside diameter of the galvanized pipe will reduce the flow of water proportional to the size of the blockage. Sounds like an ad for cholesterol medicine doesn’t it?
The only method I ever heard of to fix this problem was to replace the galvanized pipe. A chemical cleaner may remove the rust. It may also eat the metal away and then you will have leaks to fix. Or, it may clean out the pipes for a short time just to start rusting again.

Replace the pipes if this is a problem.

A good plumber can manage this without destroying the inside of your house. Expect the cost to be more than your average plumbing job.

Now the choice becomes copper pipe or plastic pipe.

    • Discuss the options carefully and do not focus on just the cost.
    • Compare the prices of at least three reputable plumbers and see what their guarantee is.
    • Then lock one into a time table with time/performance guarantees. I really hate it when a contractor starts a job, then leaves to start another job and treats my job as if it was a part time project. I also have deadlines to have a project finished and if they are not met they cost me money.

Remember, once you find a good plumber, keep his name and tell all your friends about him.

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