Though you cannot look inside your home’s plumbing pipes to assess their condition, unless they are brand-new, you likely have some degree of corrosion. There are multiple reasons corrosion can develop. It could be years of wear and tear, or conditions that were present from the beginning. Some pipes begin to show signs of corrosion only a few years after being installed. Freedom Plumbers is here to help with valuable information we’ve collected during our years of experience. What causes pipe corrosion, and what does that mean for you?
How Corrosion Affects Plumbing
Many homes in Baltimore, Fairfax, Virginia and Washington, D.C., have pipes, solders or plumbing fixtures made from metals like lead and copper. Corrosion in your pipes can often be severe enough to cause your plumbing pipes to leak, and can also create health-related problems in drinking water.
Corroded copper in plumbing pipes can cause bluish-green stains in sinks and make water taste metallic. If your home was constructed before 1991 and has metal plumbing pipes, solders or fixtures, you should also be concerned about lead leaching into your drinking water and affecting your family’s health.
While you may assume corrosion problems only occur with metal plumbing components, it is also possible for plastic PVC plumbing components to degrade, resulting in hazardous amounts of vinyl chloride entering your home’s water supply.
Corrosion in pipes also can force you to spend more money in several significant ways:
- Corroded pipes can make your water heater work less efficiently.
- Corrosion often results in premature failure of plumbing systems and fixtures.
- Pipe corrosion also leads to stained fixtures and potential odors.
What Causes Pipe Corrosion?
Corrosion in your pipes, and the degree to which it occurs, is usually related to one or more of the following factors.
- The pH of the water: In copper plumbing pipes, if the pH is consistently below a certain level, it creates corrosion.
- Oxygen in the water: Oxygen causes metals to deteriorate gradually. As this happens, your pipes will begin to rust.
- Minerals in the water: The chemical makeup of your water can cause pipes to corrode more rapidly. High levels of calcium can cause buildup inside your plumbing, slowing water flow.
- Water temperature: Hotter water makes pipes corrode more rapidly.
- Turbulent water: Excessive velocity or sharp changes in direction can lead to erosion and corrosion.
Detecting Pipe Corrosion
Now you know the water quality issues and other problems that result from corroded sewer pipes, how can you determine if you should worry about pipe corrosion? The best way is with a video camera sewer inspection. We can use our specially designed, waterproof camera to thoroughly investigate your entire plumbing system, even parts of your pipes that are under your home’s foundation.
After carefully evaluating the high-definition video feed on a monitor, Freedom Plumbers’ video pipe inspectors will give you a complete report of the health of your pipes and recommend solutions to any problems we discover, including corrosion.
Freedom Plumbers – Fairfax, Virginia’s Leading Plumbing Specialists
Ignoring plumbing issues is one of the worst things you can do as a homeowner. Even if you assume the problem is minor, don’t wait to get it fixed. If you live in Fairfax, Virginia, Washington, D.C. or Baltimore, call Freedom Plumbers for free, honest estimates without hidden fees.