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Does Your Home Have Galvanized Pipes for its Water Delivery System?

Galvanized Water Pipes
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Baby Boomers

Is your house a baby boomer? In other words, was it built before 1970? If so you may have a water delivery system that utilizes galvanized pipes in your home.

Unfortunately, try as we might, we can’t always engineer for the future, and at the time galvanized pipe was the best the plumbing industry had. Around 1972, PVC piping (poly vinyl chloride piping) arrived on the scene and became the next best thing to sliced bread. 

Galvanization is a process where steel or iron is dipped in molten zinc to prevent the steel or iron from rusting. Zinc has some wonderful qualities, including being one of the softest metal around. We use zinc balls on boats and air conditioning connections to help fight rusting, and there is a zinc anode rod in the typical tanked water heater, which is another story for another day.

Back to our galvanized water pipes, that zinc coating on the inside of the piping only lasts a few years as it washes away little by little every time you turn the water on. Years down the road, with the zinc coating gone, the rusting process starts.

As you can see in the example shown in the picture above, the rust continues to worsen, which can cause many different problems throughout your home. Throw in the high quantities of calcium and magnesium in our water that also sticks to the inside of the piping, and the situation heads rapidly downhill.

Have you noticed any of the following in your home?

  • Discoloration of your water
  • Metallic taste
  • Stained laundry
  • Lower water pressure
  • Sediment

These are just a few of the signs that you may have a galvanized water delivery in your baby boomer house. Unlike lead and copper, ingesting iron is not directly associated with adverse health effects, although impurities and microorganisms that are absorbed by iron may pose health risks.

As always, Art Plumbing and Air Conditioning can help by offering multiple solutions for updating an aging water system in your home. Call 1-888-TELL-ART or visit www.artplumbingandac.com to schedule your plumbing home inspection today!

PS: If you have a fixture in the home you haven’t used in for some time and you get a rotten egg smell for a couple of seconds when you first turn the water on, that is a solid sign that somewhere in your homes water delivery system you have galvanized pipe.

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