Weekly Home Information Guide
DOMESTIC WATER PIPING
Domestic potable and wastewater piping installed in homes prior to 1970 was often galvanized iron, cast iron or lead metal. The galvanized metal piping usually corrodes from the inside out after 25 or 30 years. When it comes to replace them, consult a qualified plumber. We are mainly concerned with galvanized pipe failures.
There are more leaks on the horizontal lines or at the connections. The verticals are less prone to deterioration. The hot water lines are more prone to failure first because of the heating/cooling of these lines. Other than the obvious drips or stains, crusting or barnacles may appear. A change in water source or the use of more than one type of metal piping may lead to corrosion. Where this occurs, the stopgap measure is to use a di-electric union, a brass/bronze connector or a Teflon type connector and this may somewhat help the longevity of the piping.
The solution? Replace all galvanized/lead piping with copper of the proper thickness, using copper straps/supports, copper staples have a limited life and copper nails or plastic hangers and nails.
Why copper? Longer service life, economical, lightweight, formable, compatible with a wider range of water types, ease of installation, dependable, resists corrosion better.
The metal piping can be recycled. After replacement we recommend that the piping be monitored to ensure all joints are watertight.
Owning a home is probably the largest single investment a person may make in their lifetime and to ensure that the home does not prematurely deteriorate the homeowner is urged to have a yearly maintenance schedule. Simple tasks undertaken on a seasonal basis will help prolong the health of the home and its occupants year after year.
We recommend qualified tradespeople do all tasks, as they offer quality materials, proper installation requirements and a written guarantee.
Know that, for peace of mind, the care and attention you give your home will serve you well year after year and in comfort.