a plumber inspecting the pipes for corrosion underneath a sink

A Simple Guide to Pipe Corrosion

As pipes deteriorate, they release toxins and sediment into your home’s water supply.

If left unchecked, pipe corrosion will damage your plumbing, put your home at risk of water damage and jeopardize your family’s health. Here’s everything you should know about this problem and what we can do to help.

 

Common Causes of Pipe Corrosion

To an extent, corrosion is normal. Over time, the water flowing through your plumbing erodes the interior of the pipes. Oxygen and minerals in the water also react with metal pipes corrode them. However, there are several factors that can make your pipes deteriorate prematurely.

  • A water pH level of seven or lower accelerates corrosion in copper pipes. This is because neutral or acidic water dissolves the protective layer of copper oxide inside your pipes, leaving them vulnerable to rust and deterioration.

  • Since heat accelerates oxidation, which is the chemical reaction that causes rust, hot water lines corrode faster than cold water lines.

  • Excessively high water pressure accelerates the physical wear on your pipes and puts additional strain on your plumbing, especially around seams and joints.

  • Chemical drain cleaners contain corrosive substances that release heat when they react with organic material trapped in your pipes. Regular use of these products can weaken and damage pipes.

 

Know the Signs of Corrosion

Since pipes corrode from the inside out, the best way to identify this problem is to keep an eye on your water. As pipes corrode, they release minerals into the water, giving it a sweet or metallic taste. You may also notice that your water has a strange smell.

Another common sign of pipe corrosion is water discolouration. This will be most apparent the first time your open a faucet after water has sat in the pipes overnight. If you have leaky pipes or plumbing that’s prone to clogs, this could also indicate the presence of corrosion.

 

How to Prevent It

Since corrosion is a natural process, there’s no way to completely prevent it. If you have copper pipes, you can install a phosphate feeder to coat the interior of your pipes and slow down corrosion. You should also monitor and correct the pH level, temperature and pressure of your water to help prevent accelerated deterioration. Additionally, avoid using chemical drain cleaners.

However, eventually all metal pipes wear out. To prevent pipe corrosion from harming you, your family or your home, monitor your plumbing for signs of corrosion and don’t put off addressing the issue. If you suspect corrosion, speak with a plumber to make the necessary repairs or replace damaged pipes.

 

Professional Plumbing Services in Edmonton

Whether you’re dealing with leaky pipes caused by corrosion or need to replace decaying pipes, Modern Air & Water can help. For more information on our services or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

 

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