Once upon a time, cast iron was used for just about everything – your sink, your tub, even your plumbing. But just like it fell out of favor for sinks and tubs, it also fell out of favor for plumbing. Not only was it too expensive and difficult to install, but it was also vulnerable to rusting and other problems.
Cast iron piping gave way to galvanized pipes, which are made of iron or steel but are coated in zinc for protection. Galvanized pipes are strong and have a life span of about 70 years, but they also have some vulnerabilities. Because galvanized pipes were so popular in the last century and have a fairly long lifespan, chances are good that your home has these pipes. Here are a few reasons why you should consider replacing them and repiping your home with another material:
Poor Water Quality
Over time, the zinc coating on galvanized pipes wears down, and trace elements from the pipes can end up in your water. Not only can your water taste and smell bad, but it can even become unsafe for your family. Galvanized pipes also allow mineral deposits from water and waste that goes down your pipes to accumulate. Over time, those mineral deposits can put large quantities of things you don’t want back into the water.
Choosing a material like copper or PEX, a cross-linked polyethylene, can help you safeguard the quality of your water. Neither of these materials is likely to corrode, and both are resistant to accumulation and deposits. You can ensure that you always have safe drinking water, and you shouldn’t have to worry about foul smells or tastes coming from your water.
Higher Incidence of Leaks
Galvanized pipes are prone to corrosion with age. They lose that protective coating, and they start to rust and weaken. Eventually, the pipes can leak, or they can even burst. Issues might appear in the body of the pipe, or they might just cause the pipe to come loose from the fastener. Because the leakers are caused by corrosion, they cannot be easily fixed. Usually, the whole section of plumbing has to be replaced.
By upgrading to a corrosion-resistant material like copper or PEX, you can reduce the incidence of leaks. Not only will that save you money on eventual repairs to your plumbing, but it will also protect your home and save you potentially huge amounts of money on home damages, such as rotted floors and beams.
Likely to Freeze
You can’t change the weather, but you can take steps to protect your home against it. Metal pipes freeze when the temperatures drop low enough. When the water freezes, it expands, and it doesn’t have anywhere to go but out. That usually results in burst pipes – and a whole lot of money in repairs to your plumbing and your home.
PEX piping does not freeze. The material provides a natural insulation against the colder temperatures. Even if the water does freeze inside, the material is flexible so it will not crack or break. You don’t have to worry about turning your faucets on or taking other steps that might not work to keep your plumbing safe when the weather gets cold.
If you aren’t sure what kind of plumbing you have, it’s worth it to schedule an inspection by an experienced plumber. You can also find out what condition your plumbing is in and whether you need to consider repiping your system. Making the investment now can give you peace of mind later and can save you a lot of money in the long run. Taking a proactive approach is always more fruitful than being put in a reactive position.
Integrity Repipe are the PEX repiping specialists in California. If you have old metal pipes, we can upgrade them to PEX so that you can enjoy lower energy bills, more consistent water pressure, fresh-tasting water, cleaner laundry, and fewer leaks. PEX is a flexible system that can be installed more quickly than metal pipes, so you can save money. It can also be installed in older homes and those that have narrow spaces or odd angles for plumbing. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an estimate for repiping your home.
Published by – Integrity Repipe Inc
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