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Do Galvanized Pipes Need to Be Replaced?

Written on: June 3, 2024

You can trust AFC with your home’s plumbing needs

galvanized pipes augusta, me In many homes built before the 1960s, galvanized pipes were the standard for plumbing.

These pipes, coated with zinc to prevent rusting and corrosion, have carried water to and from countless households for decades. However, as durable as they are, nothing lasts forever.

Owners of older homes may understandably have questions about their home’s galvanized pipes and what is involved in replacing them. Fortunately for Central Maine homeowners, AFC is here to help! Our team of licensed, skilled plumbers can handle anything to do with your home’s plumbing, and that includes replacing galvanized pipes.

Life expectancy of galvanized pipes

Galvanized pipes typically last between 20 to 50 years before they start to deteriorate. Several factors can affect their lifespan, including water quality and the environment they’re installed in. Homes with hard water, which are common here in Central Maine, may see a shorter life expectancy due to the faster accumulation of mineral buildup inside the pipes.

What are the signs that galvanized pipes need to be replaced?

Recognizing when your home’s galvanized pipes need replacement is crucial for maintaining a safe and efficient plumbing system. Here are several signs to watch out for.

Discolored water: If the water coming out of your taps is brown or has a rust-like color, it might indicate that the zinc layer inside the pipes has worn away, and the steel is rusting.

Low water pressure: Mineral deposits can accumulate over time, reducing the interior diameter of the pipes and consequently, the water pressure.

Leaks: Even small leaks can signal that the integrity of the pipe has been compromised.

Visible corrosion: Any visible signs of rust or corrosion on the outside of the pipes are clear indicators that the inside is likely in worse condition.

What are the potential risks of not replacing galvanized pipes?

Failing to replace deteriorating galvanized pipes can lead to several problems.

For starters, your water can become contaminated. Rust and mineral buildup inside the pipes can affect water quality, potentially leading to health issues.

Corroded pipes are weaker and more susceptible to bursting, which can cause significant water damage to your home.

What are the alternatives to galvanized pipes?

Today, plumbers often use materials that are more resistant to corrosion and offer longer lifespans. These are some of them.

Copper: Known for their reliability and durability, offering a longer lifespan.

PVC and CPVC: Plastic piping that’s easy to install and resistant to corrosion.

PEX tubing: Flexible and easy to weave through walls, PEX is excellent for both hot and cold water and is becoming a favorite in modern plumbing.

How are galvanized pipes replaced?

Replacing galvanized pipes is a process that typically involves multiple steps.

AFC’s professional plumbers first assess the condition of your existing pipes and determines the extent of the replacement needed. You’ll receive a cost estimate based on the scope of work. This can vary widely depending on your home’s size and the amount of piping to be replaced.

The actual replacement can take anywhere from a few days to a week or more for larger homes. During this time, you may be without water for several hours a day.

The licensed and skilled plumbers at AFC are ready to help with your home’s plumbing projects. Get a FREE quote today.