Pipe Corrosion: Everything Homeowners Need to Know

What Is Corrosion? 

Corrosion is when a material breaks down over time due to its surroundings. It usually refers to when a metal's surface oxidizes––or turns into a substance with at least one oxygen molecule. A corroded pipe will have a brownish-reddish appearance where some of the metal flakes off. This compromises the pipe's integrity and can lead to leaks. 

However, corrosion isn't an inevitable part of a plumbing system's aging. Homeowners can employ various steps to slow down this process or even reverse it. Some considerations include routinely maintaining the plumbing system, using water softener, and installing protective linings. A professional can explain these methods during an inspection. 

Coatings and Protective Linings Can Prevent Corrosion coating

Over time, pipes can weaken internally from hard water or prolonged use. Instead of replacing the pipe, homeowners can install coatings and protective linings. These fall under "trenchless pipeline repairs," which don't require plumbers to dig trenches to fix the problem. They usually dig two small holes and go from there. 

Here are some things to know about getting coatings and protective pipe linings: 

  • These methods are ideal for pipes with minimal damage. If a pipe is already too corroded, a plumber may suggest replacing the section rather than relining it. A severely damaged pipe would break if one attempted to reline it. 
  • Pipelining extends a plumbing system's lifespan. A relined pipe can last up to 50 years because the epoxy slows down the natural corrosion process. It can also make a pipe impervious to rust and root intrusion. 
  • Pipelining is cost-effective. If a homeowner's on a budget, relining or coating a pipe may be cheaper than getting a new pipe altogether. Because it's a trenchless pipe repair, homeowners don't also have to spend money on filling trenches or landscaping a dug-up portion of the yard. 

Use Water Softener water softener

Hoosiers often deal with "hard water" in their showers, sinks, and hoses. Hard water is when water contains calcium, magnesium, and other corrosive materials. This makes tap water taste less than ideal, plus it can affect how efficiently dishwashers work, leading to unsightly spots. 

The chemicals in hard water can cause a pipe to corrode faster than it normally would under ideal conditions. This is why many plumbing professionals suggest using a water softener. These under-the-sink devices remove chemicals from the water and essentially purify it. This prevents a pipe from rusting and corroding, saving both money and frustration. 

Schedule Annual Maintenance Checks 

Here are some benefits of scheduling an annual maintenance visit with a plumber: 

  • They can check for corroded pipes. The sooner a professional finds a corroded pipe, the sooner they can render necessary repairs. This can prevent burst pipes, leaks, and other problems. 
  • They can check the water's chemical composition. A homeowner may live for years with hard water and go, "Well, that's just the way it is." A plumber can run simple tests to check what chemicals are in the water. They may suggest installing a water softener if they find excessive calcium or magnesium. 
  • They can suggest other home improvement measures. A plumbing system's pipes are just one part of the system itself. A plumber can run appropriate testing on the home's water heater, HVAC system, and appliances to check for any problems. 

About Bedell Home Services 

Bedell Home Services offers 24-hour help to those living in Carmel, Indiana. These professionals offer discounted services, online scheduling, and more than 30 years of experience. They also exclusively hire licensed and bonded service people. Call Bedell for expert plumbing service!