Do you have a plumbing repair kit in your home to make emergency repairs quickly? Having everything you need in one bucket or box can help you eliminate some of the stress that comes with plumbing emergencies. On this blog, you will find out what you should have in your kit and some basic tips about making these repairs to avoid further damage to your home. It is my hope that you will find more than enough information to keep your home dry, your drains draining, and a peace of mind and lack of stress to tackle these dreaded household occurrences.
Most homeowners are alert to the most common plumbing problems, such as under-sink leaks, dripping faucets, and clogs, but pipe corrosion can go undetected until after extensive water damage has already occurred. Understand the causes and signs of pipe corrosion so you can catch problems before they lead to the need for expensive and time-consuming repairs.
Causes of Corrosion
Corrosion, which eats through metal, only affects metal pipes. In most homes, the visible pipes under the sink are likely made of PVC, but metal pipes may still run through your walls in areas where you can't easily see them.
Corrosion is a side effect of oxidation. Copper pipes, for example, may begin to corrode due to a chemical reaction between the copper and the flux material used to weld them together, which then leads to oxidation. Rust deposits from a failing water heater or from excess iron in the tap water can also lead to oxidation and corrosion. Generally, the older the pipes the more prone they will be to eventual corrosion issues.
Symptoms of Corrosion
Corrosion isn't invisible as it develops, but most pipes are hidden in your walls where you can't see the damage. Fortunately, there are some signs and symptoms that corrosion is developing.
You may notice red, orange, or brown tints to your tap water. There may even be stains of these colors around the drain in porcelain sinks. In some cases, the stains may even transfer to clothing when you wash it. Copper pipe corrosion typically shows as a bluish-green color, which can also stain fixtures and laundry.
Since corrosion eats away at the metal, it is not uncommon for the pipes to begin to flake. You may find small particulates of this flaking metal, which could look like rust flakes, at the bottom of water glasses or collected at the bottom of water-using appliances like dishwashers.
Corroding pipes often give water a distinct metallic taste, which many find unpleasant. If the pipes contain any lead, the flavor may actually be somewhat sweet if the pipes have begun to corrode. Any change to the flavor of your water necessitates a call to a plumber to check the pipes.
Repair Options for Corrosion
Corroded pipes can't be repaired but they can be replaced. If you catch the problem early, you may only need to replace the section of the pipe that has already begun to corrode. If the corrosion is widespread, it may make more sense to replace all the plumbing pipes in your home with corrosion-proof PVC piping.
Contact a plumbing service in your area for more assistance if you suspect that your pipes are suffering from corrosion, or if you need any other plumbing repairs.