Corroded pipe.

Are Your Plumbing Pipes Made of This Terrible Material?

A faulty plumbing system can cause a long list of problems, including leaks and poor water quality. Contrary to common belief, not all water supply lines are created the same. Here are the worst plumbing pipe materials commonly found in homes today.

Galvanized Steel Pipes

In the past, galvanized steel pipes were extremely popular. Many homeowners appreciated the long life expectancy of these pipes, which is typically around 30 years. Unfortunately, there are some big downsides to using galvanized steel. One of the biggest problems is rust. Although the pipes may look fine on the outside, they often start to slowly corrode on the inside. This corrosion then clogs the lines, which results in low water pressure throughout your home. Eventually, leaks will start to develop as well.

Galvanized pipes can pose a danger to your family’s health. While corrosion is occurring, lead could get into the water. As you may know, regular exposure to this dangerous toxin can cause sickness. Homeowners who have galvanized pipes should be on the lookout for the tell-tale signs of rust buildup. Brown stains on porcelain sinks definitely point to a problem. Discolored water is another obvious clue.

Lead Pipes

Lead pipes are the worst of the worst. By now, virtually everyone has heard about the Flint water crisis. When builders first started using lead, they were impressed by its ability to resist pinhole leaks. However, no one knew the potential dangers. From kidney damage to birth defects, lead poisoning has been linked to a number of illnesses. Drinking water contaminated by lead is especially problematic. If you buy an older home that has lead pipes, replacement should be a top priority.

Re-Piping Options

Copper: Copper is highly recommended by plumping experts. This material is noted for its excellent long-term durability and resistance to corrosion.

CPVC: CPVC is a less expensive alternative to copper. This material is especially ideal for hot water lines. Strong polymer helps CPVC pipes to better handle extreme temperature changes.

PEX: Although PEX pipes may cost a bit more than CPVC pipes, they have an extremely long lifespan. When temperatures drop below freezing, pipes made of PEX are less prone to bursting.

To find out which piping material is best for your home, contact Courtesy Plumbing at (626) 774-7167. Remember, more than one type of pipe can be installed.