replace-galvanized-pipes-arlington-texasGalvanized Pipes: What You Need to Know

Popularity of different building materials have changed over the years, especially when it comes to indoor plumbing. Lead pipes were common until 1986 when the Safe Water Drinking Act was passed, granting the EPA the ability to regulate standards for drinking water quality.   You definitely would not want them in your home now! Copper pipes have always been an option for homeowners, though are amazingly expensive to install.   PVC and PEX pipes have been a major player over the last few years as a cheaper alternative. And, then there are galvanized pipes.

History Behind Galvanized Pipe Replacement:

Originally developed in the early the early 20th century, galvanized pipes were used as a replacement for lead pipes. Structurally, they are made out of steel, covered by a coating of zinc. The zinc prevents the iron from rusting, making it useable for transporting water. As a coating, it is not infallible, and will at some point still allow for corrosion. The corrosion takes place typically on the inside of the pipe, restricting its flow and ultimately leading to a critical failure.

The normal life expectancy of galvanized pipes is 40-50 years. This lifespan can be extended by lining the pipes with resin. On the other side, it can be cut short by excessive mineral content in your water that can build up over the years through a second layer of corrosion on top of the steel corrosion. The pipes themselves are considered safe for transporting water, though they do still potentially contain trace amounts of lead and cadmium, which are toxic. The zinc in the pipes is not toxic, but can also become an issue, as it can at times give your water a ‘metallic’ taste.

Galvanized pipes are considered safe, but many homeowners have issues with them due current issues with aging infrastructures. If you are looking at an older structure with galvanized pipes, and there are signs of leakage, there is a good chance other pipes are going to leak as well. You might also want to check into having the water in the unit tested, to see if there are any concentration of toxic metals. Many cities have taken measures to replace old pipes, including the City of Arlington. 

Remedies for Replacing Galvanized Pipes in Your Home:

If you have an older home with galvanized pipes, they might be at the end of their serviceable lifespan. If that is the case, you might need to replace them. We are going to be honest with you, the materials alone can potentially be costly. Occasionally though, at some time in your homes life, sections of pipe might have already been replaced. So, there is a chance your situation isn’t dire. The best way to know for sure is to get your home inspected by a professional plumber, who can give you an honest evaluation.

If you do need to replace sections of your home or business’ plumbing, there are a few options. These options are covered in more detail below.

Pipe Replacement Options:

Material Positives Negatives Lifespan
Galvanized Steel ·      Not as toxic as lead ·      Corrosion issues

·      Limited lifespan

·      Possible toxicity

·      Technical skills needed to install

40-50 years
Copper ·      Slow corrosion

·      Long lifespan

·      High cost

·      Technical skills needed to install

50-70+ years
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

 

·      Corrosion resistant

·      Long lifespan

·      Affordable

·      Easy to install

·      Used as a waste pipe, not as a water supply pipe.

·      Brittle with age

50-70+ years
Cross-linked Polyethylene (PEX)

 

·      Lowest cost

·      Easy to install

·      Limited lifespan

·      Not for external use

·      Brittle with age

40-50 years
Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (CPVC)

 

·      Long lifespan

·      Affordable

·      Easy to install

·      Not for external use

·      Brittle with age

50-75+ years

 

Need Help?

If you are thinking about purchasing a building with galvanized pipes within the Dallas-Fort Worth area, or have concerns about a home or business you currently own, All Masters Plumbing is available to talk. Our licensed master plumbers have the experience and knowhow to give you an honest estimate on any home plumbing project. Give us a call today to hear more about the variety of options available to you. We would love to speak with you!

Call 817-200-4703

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