Common Causes of Pipe Corrosion

Are Your Pipes at Risk of Damage?

The pipes that deliver water throughout your home are a vital part of your plumbing system, and when they are compromised, it can result in extensive, costly damage. Identifying possible causes of pipe corrosion can help you to determine if your pipes are at risk and take action before large-scale problems take hold.

Causes of Pipe Corrosion

Unfortunately, issues in the structure of a pipe are usually caused by multiple factors working in tandem. Though an older system may be at greater risk for pipe corrosion, the right (or wrong) conditions can cause corrosion in newer pipes in as little as two years.

Oxygen Content

The issues with water and your pipes are two principles of grade school science that it can be easy to forget about. First, the “O” in H2O stands for oxygen. Second, when the metal comes in contact with oxygen, it oxidizes, or rusts.

When the metal pipe begins to corrode, several problems will manifest:

  • The rust will create an uneven surface that attracts impurities in the water and result in extensive build-up and debris in your water
  • The pipe will begin to thin from the wear and tear, making it more likely to experience problems
  • Tiny pinhole cracks begin to form, resulting in water loss, accelerated corrosion, and even more vulnerability to breakages

Low pH

To measure the acidity of a substance, we use the pH scale. It is a scale of 1 to 14, with 1 being the most acidic and 14 being most basic, or alkaline. In theory, water should be at the neutral point, which is 7. However, if your water is slightly more acidic, it can cause problems for even notoriously sturdy copper pipes. Over time, the acidity will dissolve the copper oxide barrier and leave the remaining pipes vulnerable to pinhole leaks and further corrosion.

Water Velocity & Temperature

Both the speed and temperature of the water can contribute greatly to existing problems. Faster water speeds can put increased strain on already compromised cracks and joints, and hotter water temperatures speed up the oxidation process.

Are My Pipes Corroded?

There are several signs to look out for that may indicate problems in your pipeline, including:

  • Discolored water, usually reddish-brown
  • Low water pressure
  • Unexplained increases in water bills
  • Signs of leaks around the property

If your home was built in or before the late 1960s, it may also be a good idea to investigate the state of your pipes. At Rooter Guard, our team can provide you with non-invasive pipe replacement services that you can count on to protect your system for decades to come!

Call our team at (818) 572-9743 today or fill out our online contact form to learn more about how we can help.

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