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Galvanized pipes in home

Discussion in 'Plumbing Codes' started by Tonia Bond, Feb 23, 2017.

  1. Tonia Bond

    Tonia Bond Registered User

    Aug 22, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Hello all,

    We just moved to a new locality (Forest Hill) last week. Our recent home was built during the 1970s. Yesterday we met the family who lived here before. They told us that they lived in this house for more than 10 years. We talked for a long time and that's when I came to know that our house has galvanized pipes. I have read a lot about the dangers caused by galvanized steel pipes. I thought of calling the professional plumbers Forest Hill for upgrading our plumbing system. Should I upgrade the plumbing system or should I check the pipings once again? How can I recognize a galvanized steel pipe? Are galvanized pipes really harmful? What shall I do now?? I am really in need of your suggestions and opinions.
  2. JBI

    JBI Sawhorse

    Oct 17, 2009
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    Galvanized pipes typically have a grey color, often mottled grey. Personally I don't know how much of a risk they are, but I'm sure a google search will turn up lots of (conflicting) studies and opinions. The galvanized coating is intended to reduce oxidation (rust) and does include zinc and sulfur. I would look into all options including filters as well as replacements.
  3. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

    Nov 25, 2009
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    Water pipes or waste pipes are galvanized?
  4. mtlogcabin

    mtlogcabin Sawhorse

    Oct 17, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Test your tap water for lead. If the ug/L do not come up to the levels of a health risk then there is no immediate concern in my opinion and you have time to do more research as to what direction you may want to go.


    In the early 20th century, galvanized piping replaced previously-used cast iron and lead in cold-water plumbing. Typically, galvanized piping rusts from the inside out, building up layers of plaque on the inside of the piping, causing both water pressure problems and eventual pipe failure. These plaques can flake off, leading to visible impurities in water and a slight metallic taste. The life expectancy of galvanized piping is about 70 years,[citation needed] but it may vary by region due to impurities in the water supply and the proximity of electrical grids for which interior piping acts as a pathway (the flow of electricity can accelerate chemical corrosion). Pipe longevity also depends on the thickness of zinc in the original galvanizing, which ranges on a scale from G40 to G210,[clarification needed] and whether the pipe was galvanized on both the inside and outside, or just the outside.

    Since World War II, copper and plastic piping have replaced galvanized piping for interior drinking water service, but galvanized steel pipes are still used in outdoor applications requiring steel's superior mechanical strength. The use of galvanized pipes lends some truth to the urban myth that water purity in outdoor water faucets is lower, but the actual impurities (iron, zinc, calcium) are harmless.[citation needed]

    The presence of galvanized piping detracts from the appraised value of housing stock because piping can fail, increasing the risk of water damage. Galvanized piping will eventually need to be replaced if housing stock is to outlast a 50 to 70 year life expectancy, and some jurisdictions[which?] require galvanized piping to be replaced before sale.

    New source of lead in drinking water identified: Galvanized steel pipe coatings
    July 22, 2015

    When unsafe levels of lead are found in drinking water, the culprit has typically been lead pipes or lead-containing brass and bronze fittings, but in a new study researchers clearly show that lead present in the zinc coating of galvanized steel pipes can be a very significant long-term source of lead in water. Copper piping installed upstream of a galvanized steel pipe can worsen lead release from the steel's zinc coating, according to the study published in Environmental Engineering Science.

    In "Lead Release to Drinking Water form Galvanized Steel Pipe Coatings," Brandi Clark, Sheldon Vaughn Masters, and Marc Edwards, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, analyzed water samples from homes with galvanized steel pipes in several cities across the U.S. In some cases the lead levels were greater than 100 µg/L. In simulated laboratory tests the concentration of lead in water found through galvanized steel pipes reached a maximum of 172 µg/L, which is more than 10 times the action level set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    "The Edwards' laboratory is well known for uncovering risks associated with concentrations of lead in urban water supplies," says Domenico Grasso, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Engineering Science and Provost, University of Delaware. "This latest important paper from this research group has identified galvanized pipes as a potentially significant source of lead."

    Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2015-07-source-galvanized-steel-pipe-coatings.html#jCp
    JBI likes this.
  5. conarb

    conarb Sawhorse

    Oct 22, 2009
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    Galvanized supply pipes in a home built in the 70s should be just fine, provided the pipes are kept full of water they should last for a century, if corrosion starts in them you'll know as the volume of water coming through them will slow, then you can decide if you want to do something, with waste and vent pipes even corrosion isn't noticeable.

    I think you have been indoctrinated by the plastic pipe industry into thinking there is something wrong with your pipes, when in fact the chemicals in plastic pipe are far more dangerous than copper or galvanized pipes.
  6. Kearney.200

    Kearney.200 Silver Member

    Oct 20, 2009
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    I have galvanized wast and vent pipes in my house the worst thing is that they catch "build up" and need to be cleaned on a more regular biases

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