Pipe Corrosion: What is it and How Can It Be Prevented?
Corrosion happens when the molecules of water inside the pipes interact with the molecules of the pipes themselves, causing the piping to break down over time. Most piping is copper these days, which is corrosion resistant but not corrosion-proof. This means that most homeowners will have to deal with corrosion at some point during their home life. But there are a few things that one can do to prevent corrosion from happening. And there are also things that homeowners can do to deal effectively with corrosion if it does happen.
The Causes of Pipe Corrosion
There are several possible causes of pipe corrosion, most of which have to do with the water coming into the home. For example, water with a high or low pH balance can contribute to corrosion. Ideal drinking water has a pH balance of 7, so significantly lower or higher can cause problems in the pipes.
Other causes of corrosion include:
- High water velocity
- Certain bacteria in the water
- Dissolved oxygen in the water
- Improper electrical grounding of appliances
Sediment, grit, and sand in the water can also cause corrosion and improper pipe installation. Finally, using acid-based drain cleaners and pouring grease down the drain can both cause corrosion. When copper pipes corrode, they will often leave behind a blue residue in sink basins and showers. Those homeowners that see this blue residue should take immediate action to remedy the issue.
Proper Pipe Maintenance
The best thing to do for homeowners who suspect they have corrosion in their pipes is to have their water tested for certain minerals and metals. This can help inform the homeowners what to do to keep their plumbing system healthy. For example, those with hard water may want to install a water softener to prevent corrosion and protect the home’s plumbing system.
Another way to prevent corrosion is to keep the pipes clean. If the pipes are properly maintained and cleaned regularly, then corrosion is less likely to happen. Some homeowners use vinegar to clean their pipes, which is an option for corroding drain pipes. Other pipes that bring water into the house may be corroding, at which point it will require the help of a professional to determine the extent of the corrosion.
When To Replace Corroded Pipes
In some cases, the corrosion may be so bad that repiping the affected pipes is the best option. Repiping is the process of removing old pipes and replacing them with new ones. Despite how it sounds, this isn’t generally required for the whole house where corrosion is concerned. Often it’s simply certain areas of pipe that need replacing. But this is difficult to determine without the help of a professional plumber.
Corrosion can cause significant plumbing damage and can make a home’s water dangerous to drink. Luckily there are several things homeowners can do to prevent corrosion from getting out of hand. Contacting a trusted local plumber is the best way to determine how bad the corrosion is before taking action to fix the issue. Often a good cleaning is all that’s required.
About C. Woods Company
For over 60 years, C. Woods Company has served Tyler, TX and the surrounding area. They offer personalized service performed by trustworthy, professional technicians. They also offer 24/7 live answer service and competitive pricing. Contact them today to learn more about repiping solutions.