The world of plumbing changes more than your probably realize. In fact, plumbing is a fast-paced, hot blooded, dynamic, competitive, wild, ass out running for the hills type profession similar in nature to firefighting, stunt work, drag racing, fighter piloting and professional sky diving. One of the biggest changes in plumbing over the course of the last several decades is the move away from galvanized pipe. During the 1950s and 1960s galvanized pipes were THE primary type of pipes used in construction. This was fine for several years, until things starting decaying. Because yup. That is what happens. And that was just one of the many issues. Today, we are going to discuss the potential problems with galvanized pipes.
Rusting – As we just mentioned, interior decay, or rusting, can be a major problem with galvanized pipes. Galvanized pipes are almost always given a zinc barrier coating which is designed to prevent rusting. Unfortunately, this coating wears away over time. When it is gone, there is nothing to prevent the rusting process. If rusting gets too bad, it could cause leaks or broken pipes.
Mineral Buildup – Galvanized pipes are given a zinc coating for protection, but sometimes that coating can cause problems of its own, especially in areas with hard water. Certain minerals react with zinc to create a plaque which will restrict the flow of water within the pipes, and begin to degrade the structural integrity of the pipes.
Water Contamination – As galvanized pipes begin to degrade, trace amounts of corroded materials can start to seep into your water supply. At first, you may not even notice the water contamination, until it starts getting worse. Eventually, your water may even begin to change color. Imagine your horror when you turn on the kitchen sink and orange, rusty water starts pouring out!