Pipe corrosion can be an insidious problem in a building, especially older buildings with plumbing that hasn’t been updated in a long time. Usually invisible until it starts creating major issues, this type of corrosion can have several different causes, but unless it’s caught, it results in bad leaks, moisture damage, and tainted water. Let’s take a look at the causes of this creeping corrosion and why it matters so much.
Common Causes of Pipe Corrosion
Water pH levels: Water pH (the acidity, or lack of) can vary greatly from place to place. However, not all pipe materials do well at certain pH levels. Copper pipes, in particular, suffer from low pH water, which tends to lead to corrosion in these situations.
High oxygen levels: Remember, rust is a chemical reaction centered around oxygen molecules. The more oxygen in the water, the higher the chance of corrosion beginning. This is also an issue that’s largely based on location and water sources.
Water temperature: Generally, the hotter the water, the more easily it can corrode pipes, so pipes that channel hot water are more likely to show signs of corrosion than their cold water counterparts, even if they are made out of the same materials.
Water turbulence: Turbulence wears down the inside of pipes more easily. It also usually means that there’s more air in the water, which increases oxygen levels and causes corrosion that way. Turbulence often leads to noisy pipes, which is a bad sign in homes and buildings where pipes are generally quiet.
Galvanic corrosion: Not all metals play nice with each other, especially if they are connected by a liquid bond that allows them to switch electrons. This can happen when galvanized steel and copper touch or are close to each other in plumbing systems.
Why Pipe Corrosion Matters
Naturally, you don’t want your pipes to corrode, but what actually happens when they do? There are several symptoms you should be aware of, and which can lead to expensive repairs if the signs go unnoticed.
- Damage to your hot water heater
- Clogs that ruin fixtures with residue
- Stained bathroom fixtures
- Unpleasant odors in your water
Not all these signs happen at once, and not all may be present when pipes are corroding. There may also be health issues associated with drinking water from corroded pipes over the long term. Add this all together, and you can see why pipe corrosion should always be taken seriously and treated as soon as possible.
What to Do About Pipe Corrosion
So, if you can’t see it and don’t know if it’s beginning to happen, how can you prevent pipe corrosion? Knowing the age and state of your pipes can help, but a homeowner may be out of their depth here. Call Amanda Plumbing Sewer & Drain today, and we can send over an experienced professional to take a closer look at your plumbing system and suggest a solution if it looks like corrosion could be a problem. This may be particularly useful if other buildings similar to yours in the same area have been having trouble with pipe corrosion.