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How Does Salt Water Impact Plumbing?

Living close to the ocean is an advantage that a lot of American homeowners envy. And as Florida residents, you enjoy many benefits of a warm and appealing climate. But it’s not all sunshine and beaches. Proximity to salty seawater takes a toll on your plumbing. Left unchecked, pipe corrosion can lead to expensive home damage. Get the facts and learn what you can do to address and minimize this potential problem.

A house near the beach

The Corrosive Power of Seawater

Florida’s coastal seawater contains an average of 3.5% salt content. This is called its salinity, which is corrosive to metal due to the mixture of salt, oxygen, and moisture. Even though ocean water doesn’t flow through the pipes in your home, the ocean air contains enough salt to eat away at your plumbing—especially outdoor spigots or other components that exist outside the home.

Dangers of Corroded Pipes

So, what’s the big deal if your pipes get a little saltwater corrosion? It’s natural, right? Unfortunately, this “natural” effect can do some real damage. Over time, the corroded metal may disintegrate. This can lead to a burst pipe and flooding within your walls. But even before that happens, you may experience the impact of saltwater corrosion. Increased minerals in your water can impact water quality—leaving your tap water with a bad taste or foul odor.

There may also be pinhole leaks from the corrosion. This waste increases your water bills while causing damage to your home. To prevent these problems, be vigilant about potential pipe corrosion.

Signs to Watch Out For

Plumbing pipes are typically made of either metal or plastic. Common pipe materials include copper, galvanized steel, iron, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), and cross-linked polyethylene (PEX). Metal pipes made of copper, steel, or iron are the most vulnerable to saltwater corrosion. If this is the type of piping you have, look for the following signs of saltwater corrosion.

  • Your copper pipes have taken on a greenish-blue hue
  • Flaking or peeling of your copper pipes
  • Discolored water—usually tinted brown or red from corroded copper pipes or blue-green from corroded steel or iron pipes
  • Your water has a metallic taste due to oxidation
  • You’re experiencing minimal water pressure caused by clogs from corrosion particles

You should reach out to local plumbing professionals if you are experiencing any of these issues to avoid the hazards of plumbing pipe corrosion.

Top Solutions from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Port St. Lucie

If you suspect pipe corrosion, it’s time to call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Port St. Lucie. Depending upon the extent of the damage, we may need to flush your system and replace some or all your piping. After addressing the current problem, our team will help prevent future issues. Covering exposed piping on the exterior of your house is one preventative strategy.

Whether you’re worried about pipe corrosion or need help with some other plumbing issue, our skilled team can help. Contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Port St. Lucie for all your plumbing needs.