Rusting Home Pipes
All galvanized-steel and cast-iron plumbing will suffer rusting. Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable. Rusting occurs when water or moisture comes in contact with metal. Whether it’s on the outside or the inside of your pipes, it’s the second leading cause of pipe damage in metal pipes. When this attacks your home’s pipes, it can cause real issues for you. Our Abel Plumbing & Heating plumbers are here to help you if any of your home’s plumbing is plagued with rust.
Signs of Rusting Pipes
If you have galvanized-steel or cast-iron piping in your home, including any gas lines you may have, chances are you have some level of corrosion or oxidation, aka rust, occurring on the outside or inside of your pipes. Here are some common signs:
• Low water pressure and/or restricted water flow
• Visibly rusty pipes, especially at their joints or via pitted rust spots
• Brownish water from faucets or rust stains in the sink, toilet, or bathtub
• Metallic taste to water
• Leaky or clogged pipes
What Causes Rusting Pipes?
There’s no way around it. Whenever you have water and metal, there will be corrosion and oxidation. This is the main reason modern plumbing popularly relies on copper, PEX (cross-linked polyethylene), and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipes. Copper is a metal and does oxidize, which is the bluish-green color you can sometimes see on the pipes; however, copper has a high resistance to rust, making it a top choice in modern plumbing.
High acidity in water is also a factor in rusting and corrosion. If you have rusting or corrosion in your pipes, or you suspect you’ve got acidic water, get your water’s pH checked. Call our expert plumbers for help with this.
What Does Rust Do to Pipes?
Rust damages pipes. It’s not a benign type of damage either. As you can see from the symptoms above, these can be substantial situations. And if left unattended, eventually your pipes will be eaten away by rust and burst or break.
What Should You Do About It?
How to address the rust depends on where it is, what your symptoms are, and how much rust there is.
If you have rust in your water, check with your neighbors to see if they are also experiencing this. It might be a city or main line problem, in which case you need to contact the city.
If your neighbors’ water is clear, it typically means the rust is in your home’s plumbing. First check if it’s the hot or cold water being affected. If it’s the hot water only, this can signify rust and sediment in your water heater. Depending on the age of your tank, you could either flush the tank or, if nothing else works, replace it all together. One of our professional plumbers can help you with this.
If the rust presents with the cold water, this denotes a bigger issue. You most likely have a deteriorating pipe somewhere and ignoring the problem will only create a broader one. Calling in a professional to track down the source and replace the pipe (or pipes) is the best course of action in the long run.
If you have leaky pipes, especially concealed pipes behind walls or underground, this may be due to corroded or rusted pipes. In these cases, you will need a professional to detect the leak source and replace the pipes. Again, do not ignore this issue. It will only get larger and more expensive.
If you simply notice rust on some of your home’s plumbing, or you are experiencing one of the other symptoms listed above, talk to one of our plumbers. After an examination, he or she can tell you the extent of the rust and what you should do next. An annual plumbing inspection will bring any rust issues to your attention before they get out of hand. If you have never had an inspection, or it’s been a while since your last one, call us and schedule yours today.
Is There Anything You Can Do to Prevent Rust From Happening?
We know rust is inevitable, but there are different steps you can take to help slow it down. Depending on whether you have galvanized-steel, cast-iron, or even copper piping in your home will determine what you can do. Talk to one of our experts today for professional help.
Rust or oxidation is not discriminate about the pipes it attacks. If it’s a type of metal, rust is there. At Abel Plumbing & Heating, our plumbers want your home’s pipes in optimum condition. To help with that, we always recommend one of our annual plumbing inspections so we can determine if there is any rust or corrosion beginning somewhere. Call or text us today at 505-205-8409 to schedule your inspection or if you suspect you already have rusting pipes.