These days, galvanized (iron) pipes are not often used and if they are in your home, it’s probably because your home was built before 1970.

The only reason to replace plumbing pipes in your home is because they are causing a problem such as clogs or there’s so much deterioration and rust in the pipe that it’s now cracking and leaking water, etc.

The Trouble With Cast Iron and Galvanized Pipes For Plumbing

Most every material on the planet has a limited lifespan. As durable as cast iron pipes are, they too have their limitations.

There are 2 main factors that affect the quality of cast iron or galvanized pipes when used for plumbing purposes.

  1. Mineral BuildupA common problem with any material used in plumbing is mineral buildup and calcification. As food, grease, hair, lint, etc. move through the pipes on a daily basis, it’s almost inevitable that some form of buildup will occur.Cast iron pipes are not immune to these issues.
  2. Corrosion and RustA problem specific to any type of metal pipe, is that of corrosion and rust. Initially, cast iron or galvanized pipes will begin to develop pits which in turn creates a rough surface which then captures lint, hair, food, etc. as it attempts to pass through.This then helps to create clogs in the pipes.

But Is It Necessary To Replace Galvanized (Iron) Pipes?

It depends on the severity of your plumbing problems. It’s not always 100% necessary to replace your older pipes. Consult with a professional plumber for this decision. The truth is, every case is different.

These days, with issues of so much lead found in our city water systems, many homeowners are concerned about the levels of lead that their home’s plumbing system may be contributing to their water supply. It’s perfectly understandable.

Do Galvanized Pipes Contain Lead?

There was a study published in Environmental Engineering Science in 2016 which looked at the effects of partially replacing lead pipes with copper and how that impacted the lead water problems in Flint, Michigan and Washington, DC.

According to the study…

A new long-term simulation study confirms that partial replacement of lead pipes with copper, as could have caused serious problems in Flint, MI and Washington, DC, more than doubles the lead released into the water supply. A partial lead and copper pipe approach to service line replacement may increase the risk of lead exposure to harmful levels…

If you live in an older home be aware that galvanized pipes installed between 1880 and 1960 were treated with molten zinc. It was naturally occuring zinc which means that it was impure and contains lead. So, basically these older galvanized pipes were dipped in a material that had lead in it.

After time, that zinc coating will erode and as a result, lead will leach into the water that runs through those pipes.

If you want an evaluation of your home’s plumbing system in the Atlanta, Georgia area – please call the plumbers at Atlantis Plumbing. We can help you to keep your home safe for you and your family.

If you have any problems or questions about your plumbing, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.