Corroded pipes are among the common issues of a plumbing system, especially for those who live in areas with high humidity. Plumbing systems with metal pipes are prone to corrosion due to long exposure to moisture and air. Fortunately, this can be addressed with the right materials, such as copper and plastic pipes.
However, knowing the signs of corrosion can help you diagnose potential plumbing issues before they become more serious.
Here are some common signs that suggest corrosion is taking place:
One of the most common indicators of corroded plumbing pipes is discolored water. If you notice a reddish, brownish, or yellowish tint to your water supply, there is a high probability that your piping system is experiencing corrosion.
This discoloration is due to rust and other particulates from a corroded pipe being carried through your water supply. It’s essential to address this issue promptly to prevent further damage to your plumbing system and ensure the quality and safety of your water.
Water Has a Smell
Corroded pipes mean the pipes begin to deteriorate, impacting the water flow and potentially leading to clogged pipes. This is one of the warning signs of pipe corrosion. A distinct smell in the water, often unpleasant, is another indicator of corroded pipelines.
This can be due to various pollutants and sediments that accumulate within the corroded pipes, thereby compromising the water quality.
Water Tastes Unusual
Another sign of corroding pipes is when you notice that the water tastes different. This usually occurs due to metallic elements that are being released from corroded pipes, giving the water an off flavor or taste.
Corroded copper pipes in particular can leave your water tasting metallic or bitter. If you have kids or pets in your house, make sure to have this addressed as soon as possible as this can pose potential health risks.
Poor Water Pressure
While it does not necessarily mean it is caused by corroded pipes, a sudden drop in water pressure can be an indication of a plumbing issue. Corroded pies tend to be blockages, which in turn can lead to reduced water pressure. You can check this by having your water pressure checked with a pressure gauge. This can also be noticeable for showering or using a dishwasher.
Since a corroded pipe is essentially rotting, this means that it is now weaker and more prone to leaks. If you’ve been noticing water pooling in certain areas of your home or even a decrease in water pressure, this could be due to corroded pipes.
Unexpected and inconsistent water temperature can also be a sign of corroded pipes. If your water temperature fluctuates without adjusting your heater settings, it could be due to blockages in the pipes, which are often caused by corrosion.
This can compromise the heat exchange process, leading to unstable water temperatures. For those who are using a water heater, this can be especially concerning as it will mean higher energy bills.
Unusual Noises from Pipes or Faucets
Another common sign of corroded pipes is when you hear unusual noises coming from your faucets or pipes. As the pipe rots, it can make a wide range of sounds, from hissing to whistling.
What are the Dangers of Corroded Pipes?
Your home’s plumbing system can encounter serious issues due to corroded pipes.
Here are some potential dangers:
- Metallic Taste: Corroded pipes can lead to your water having a metallic taste due to the oxidation of metal pipes. This is not only unpleasant but can also pose health risks if consumed frequently.
- Chemical Burst Pipe: Over time, corrosive chemicals and substances can build up, causing pipes to burst. This can result in costly repairs and potential water damage to your home.
- Burst Pipes: Corrosion weakens the structural integrity of your pipes, making them more prone to bursting. The resulting water damage can lead to substantial repair costs and may even render your home uninhabitable until repairs are made.
- Fixtures Corrosion: Corrosion doesn’t only damage the pipes. It can also cause fixtures such as faucets and showerheads to corrode, requiring them to be replaced more frequently.
- Pipe Failure: Corrosion can eventually lead to pipe failure, resulting in leaks, flooding, and water damage. Not only does this mean costly repairs, but it also means a significant disruption to your daily routines due to the lack of running water.
- Health Hazards: The accumulation of toxins from corroded pipes can pose significant health risks. People consuming or using the water may experience health issues, including skin ailments and gastrointestinal diseases.
- Structural Damage: Leaks from corroded pipes can lead to structural damage, including rotting wood and the growth of mold and mildew. This can weaken the structural integrity of your home and require extensive and costly repairs.
How to Properly Address Corroded Pipes
While corrosion can be quite damaging, there are steps you can take to mitigate its effects:
- Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners: Over-reliance on chemical drain cleaners can speed up the corrosion process. These substances can eat away at your pipes over time, causing them to weaken and corrode. Opt for natural alternatives or use a pipe cleaner tool instead.
- Regular Pipe Cleaning: Cleaning your pipes regularly can prevent the build-up of minerals and other substances that contribute to corrosion. Regular cleaning can also help identify issues early before they become serious problems.
- Use a Pipe Cleaner: A pipe cleaner can be effective for removing minor blockages and build-up in your pipes. However, it’s important to use these tools carefully to avoid damaging your pipes.
- Hire a Professional Plumber: Regular inspections by a professional plumber can help catch signs of corrosion early. Plumbers have the tools and expertise to thoroughly inspect your pipes and identify any potential issues.
- Replace Old Plumbing Pipes: If your pipes are old and showing signs of corrosion, it may be time to replace them. Old pipe replacement is a crucial step in maintaining your home’s integrity. A professional plumber can advise on the best materials to use for your home’s plumbing system, ensuring long-lasting functionality.
- Water Treatment: If your water has a high mineral content, a water treatment system can help reduce the rate of pipe corrosion.
By following these steps, you can extend the lifespan of your plumbing system and prevent the damaging effects of corrosion.
Should You Replace or Repair Corroded Pipes?
This is a common question for many homeowners who notice signs of corrosion in their pipes.
Rust stains, discoloration, dimpling, and flaking all indicate a problem that requires professional evaluation. A plumber can assess the extent of the damage and determine whether the pipe is salvageable or if it needs to be replaced.
Repairing can often be a cost-effective solution for minor issues, restoring the pipe to a good condition and extending its life expectancy.
However, if the pipe is cracked or severely corroded, replacement is usually the best option.
Leaky pipes, in particular, can indicate a more serious problem, and ignoring these can lead to significant water damage over time. Ultimately, the decision between repairing and replacing will depend on the severity of the pipe’s condition and the advice of the professional plumber.
In conclusion, dealing with corroded or damaged pipes is a common problem for homeowners. The strange taste of your water, fluctuating water temperature, or unusual noises are early warning signs that should not be ignored.
Being proactive about these issues can keep your water flowing optimally and prevent further damage.
Need a plumber in Mesa, AZ? If you see any problems, don’t wait. Contact P&L Plumbing today. Our experienced team is here to help with all your plumbing needs. Our team of experienced professionals is ready to assist with all your plumbing needs