Galvanized steel is common in homes built before 1960 and is still available as an option for plumbing pipes today. However, galvanized steel pipes are considered by many to be obsolete. And if your older home has galvanized steel, you’ll want to replace your pipes.
What is Galvanized Steel Pipes?
Galvanized steel pipes are constructed from raw steel and have a coating with corrosion-resistant properties. They’re galvanized or coated by dipping the steel into molten zinc. While zinc is of low concern for toxicity to humans, the coating will erode over time, leaving the raw steel exposed which leads to rust.
Dangers of Galvanized Steel Pipes
Old, worn galvanized steel pipes can lead to health and safety hazards. Here’s why:
- As zinc is impure, traces of lead may be found in pipes made in the 1880s through 1960.
- Corrosion buildup can cause low water flow and other plumbing issues.
- Rusted pipes release iron and will cause discoloration of water.
- Over time, the pipes will develop pinhole leaks due to rust and wear.
How to Tell If You Have Galvanized Steel Pipes
Visually inspect your exposed pipes (usually in your basement) and look for pipes that are dark grey in color. Sometimes, pipes have been painted over for aesthetic reasons. There are two ways to tell if your pipe is galvanized steel if it has been painted.
- Take a flathead screwdriver and carefully scratch the outside to expose the pipe. If it looks like a penny, you have copper pipes. If the pipe looks white, you have PVC pipes. If the pipe looks silver or grey, you have galvanized pipes.
- Additionally, a strong magnet will stick to galvanized steel pipes and not to other types.
Pipe Repair and Replacement in Port St. Lucie, FL
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing is your local choice for expert plumbing repairs in St. Lucie County. Our team of seasoned professional plumber is available to assist you 24/7. Contact Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Port St. Lucie today to schedule service.