The plumbing system in your home is a complex network of pipes that can work alone or together to provide water throughout your home. Over time, these pipes can gather rust, causing them to corrode. There are several reasons why your pipes may be corroded, but it’s also important to understand the implications and effects of having corroded pipes. Read on to learn more about the most common causes of pipe corrosion.
How Corroded Pipes Affect You
There are several repercussions of having corroded pipes, most importantly, the impact it has on your health. If you consume too much water that contains high levels of the toxic metal, you can end up with some serious health problems. Lead and copper are examples of toxic metals that can leech into the water if your pipes are corroded. Not only will this affect your health, but it can also affect your dishes, laundry, and even outdoor gardening. Corroded water can also hurt your hot water heater, potentially causing damage and the need for replacement or repair. It can also affect your plumbing fixtures, creating unsightly stains and strange odors that never seem to go away.
What Causes Pipe Corrosion?
There are several underlying causes of pipe corrosion. You may be experiencing one, some or all of these causes, so it’s important that you understand the “why.” The most common causes include:
- The pH level in your water is too low, which can have an effect on copper piping. Low pH levels hurt the protective barrier of the pipe, causing corrosion.
- You live in an area with “hard water” that is heavy in minerals. These minerals, such as calcium, can cause serious buildup and excess corrosion inside the pipes.
- Simply running water through your pipes can cause them to corrode over time. Oxygen is naturally part of water, and this element can cause the metal to rust. It’s just part of normal wear and tear, but it is certainly the most common reason why pipes will begin to corrode.
- Hot water can actually cause corrosion to happen much faster. The hotter the water, the more severe the corrosion can be.
In most cases, there is not much you can do to avoid pipe corrosion. With proper monitoring, you can be more aware of the severity of the corrosion and how long it has been happening. Remember that corroded pipes can cause your drinking water to become dangerous, and it can also damage your water heater and other appliances in some cases. Look for any changes in the color, taste, or smell of your water to help you determine if there may be corrosion.