Galvanized Water Pipes
A homeowner may wish to choose a repipe when their older home has galvanized water lines. Galvanized pipes are actually steel pipes coated with a layer of zinc. The zinc was added to extend the life of the pipe, but it contains lead and other metals. These pipes were commonly installed in homes built in Seattle before the 1960s. It may be time for a repipe of your home.
Corrosion and lead are the main concerns with galvanized pipes. As pipes corrode over time, rust debris forms. This sediment reduces the diameter of the pipe, reduces the water flow to the fixtures, and creates water quality issues. In addition, the corrosion can cause the pipes to leak, resulting in water damage to your property.
Test your pipes to see if they are galvanized by placing a magnet on a section of exposed pipe in your home. A magnet will stick to the galvanized pipe. Magnets won’t stick to copper or plastic pipes.
To help ensure your water lines are free of lead, corrosion, and leaks, replace pipes with copper or PEX. A repipe can also increase the water volume in your home, depending on your Seattle neighborhood’s water pressure.
Some homes undergo a partial replacement of galvanized pipes, especially if the kitchen was remodeled. Replacement work can shake and vibrate the existing lines, loosening the accumulated corrosion. This results in clogged sink aerators, showerheads, faucets, and cartridges. The corrosion continues after the partial replacement job is complete, leading to more plumbing calls to continuously clean out the debris in the water lines.
The vibration can also disturb corroded pipes in interior walls and potentially cause a leak. Due to this potential loosening, we can’t guarantee the outcome of a partial replacement. It is more cost-effective and efficient to replace all water lines at one time. For these reasons, a partial repipe is not recommended. Raymark recommends a full replacement of the home’s pipes.
We also recommend replacing old galvanized lines before installing new faucets and fixtures. This is because the installation of new faucets, valves, and water supply lines can inadvertently cause damage and leaks in fragile galvanized pipes.
Older water lines weren’t built to last forever. A replacement of your home’s fresh water supply lines ensures cleaner water and a sturdy and dependable method of delivery. A repipe will last your lifetime in your home.
Questions on a repipe for your home? Call Raymark Plumbing and Sewer at 206-440-9077 and request a home repipe estimate. Thank you for reading.