As your home grows older, you may start to forget about what keeps your water running: your pipes. But do you know if your pipes are galvanized? What does it even mean – and why should you care?
What are galvanized pipes?
Galvanized pipes are steel pipes that have been coated in zinc to protect from rust and corrosion. They are common in homes built in the 60s, and they have been found to be incredibly problematic in older homes. As time passes, the running water will cause the inside of the pipes to corrode and rust, leaving lead and other harmful products in your tap water.
Are they dangerous?
Yes, galvanized pipes are very dangerous – both for your home and for your health. Even though lead piping may have been removed in your home, the galvanized pipes may still be there. Not only are you at risk of lead poisoning, but galvanized pipes can cause low or uneven water pressure throughout your home. They can even discolor the water, making it a dark, reddish-brown color from the rust and sediment eroding in the pipes. Eventually, galvanized pipes can completely break down your piping system and cause damage to your walls and ceilings with minor. but frustrating, leaks.
How do I know If I have Galvanized Pipes?
An easy way to tell if you have galvanized pipes in your home is by scratching them with a screwdriver. If the color you see is silver and a magnet can stick to them, they are galvanized. Otherwise, if they look brown, they may be copper. If they are silver, but a magnet does not stick to them, they are steel.
Once you have determined that they are that silver, gray, nickel color with a magnetic attachment, it’s time to consider repiping your home. Switching your pipes for copper or steel will be the next step in keeping your home and your health in the best possible condition.
If you are in need of a repipe specialist, call Mission AC and Plumbing today to speak to some of Houston’s best plumbers and schedule an appointment.