When you look at the listings for older homes, you will see words like “character” and “charm” tossed around quite a lot. What you not likely to notice, however, is any mention of galvanized piping. For the average home buyer, the specific type of plumbing materials in a property isn’t as much of a sticking point as it should be.
It is commonly accepted that galvanized piping was only used in homes built before the 1960s. Yet this outdated and dangerous plumbing material has been discovered in homes that weren’t constructed until the 1980s. Galvanized piping can become detrimental to you and your family’s heath, so if you have any concerns, it is best to have your plumbing system checked.
Galvanized piping consists of steel with an extra coating of zinc, which makes the material vulnerable to corrosion. When plumbing pipes corrode, the inevitable result is rust. The presence of rust in your plumbing pipes will lead to the buildup of lead deposits in your waterlines. Remember, this is the water you and your children drink or bath in each and every day.
Testing for Galvanized Piping
You can carry out a number of checks in your own home, if you suspect galvanized pipes were used in your plumbing system. The pressure when you run your hot water taps or shower is very telling. If the pressure is incredibly low, there is a good chance you have galvanized piping installed in your home. Water that runs red or discolored is also a sign of erosion in the pipes.
If you have an access point which allows you to perform a “scratch test,” you can determine if your pipes are galvanized. Simply scratch the surface of the piping, revealing the color below the top layer. If the scratch test uncovers piping that is silver-grey color, you will have 100% proof that galvanized steel was used in your home plumbing system.
The lead level in plumbing, according to goals set by the EPA, is zero. That means there is no lower threshold for water containing lead. Pregnant women and children are at considerable risk from lead poisoning. Drinking contaminated water may cause poisoning to a pregnant mother and her unborn baby. Children who have been exposed to toxic levels of lead are likely to develop cognitive impairments and learning difficulties.
There is also a risk of cardiovascular diseases from lead buildup in galvanized piping. If you or a family member breaks a bone or suffers some other types of traumatic injury, the risk of lead poisoning is significantly increased. The health concerns surrounding galvanized piping are well understood; however, researchers are making new discoveries about the impacts on children with each new study.
Show Plumbing Inspection
At Show Plumbing, we can provide you with an expert inspection to ensure that your plumbing system is safe. If we discover your home plumbing system contains galvanized piping, we can replace the system at a fair cost. Call Show Plumbing today, for peace of mind and a professional service that will never let you down.