Galvanized Steel plumbing is commonly found in homes built in the early/mid 1900s. It was the preferred material. While it is no longer installed, it still exists in a lot of homes. When found, a plan should be made to replace it as soon as possible.
Galvanized steel pipes can be identified as grey in colour with threaded fittings. It has a lifespan of 40-50 years and since it hasn’t been installed for longer than that, you can assume that any galvanized pipes you find have exceeded their lifespan.
There are two primary concerns with this material. The primary issue is leakage. These pipes corrode and leak points can occur at the threaded fittings. These are located throughout the house hidden in walls and floors. A leak could start in some hidden area and not be noticed until significant water damage has occurred.
Pipe corrosion doesn’t only cause leaks. As the corrosion builds up thickness inside the pipes, it chokes down the water flow. Plumbers routinely find that galvanized pipe corrosion has reduced inside area of the pipe by more than half. If you have galvanized plumbing and you find that your water pressure and/or volumes are low, this is the likely reason.
If these issues aren’t enough to convince you that replacement of galvanized steel plumbing is necessary, there is another good reason: home insurance. Many home insurance companies simply won’t insure homes with this type of plumbing due to the frequent and increasing failures.
if you suspect that you have galvanized steel plumbing in your home, contact a plumber to assess the system and help you decide how to avoid the cost and hassle of water damage and flooding in your home by replacing your galvanized plumbing with pex or copper.