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Galvanized steel pipes

Discussions about water storage, filtration, purification and procurement

Galvanized steel pipes

Postby ConMac » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:47 am

Are galvanized pipes dangerous?? I happened to hear my neighbor telling that she has galvanized steel pipes in her home and she'll be upgrading the plumbing system soon, as the water will be toxic. So I searched and found articles describing the dangers of galvanized steel pipes. Is this information true?? I haven't checked my plumbing system. How can I recognize whether my pipes are galvanized steel?? Will the water from galvanized pipes be really toxic?? I would like to know your opinions.
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Re: Galvanized steel pipes

Postby danthman114 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:07 am

I seriously doubt that she does. Older homes used lead...
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Re: Galvanized steel pipes

Postby dmwalsh568 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:01 am

I'd be more concerned with the solder used to interconnect the pipes than the pipes themselves.

Although, after reading up on both ends of the spectrum, I gather scale buildup inside the pipes COULD contain lead. I find it telling that the websites advocating changing out galvanized pipes are all plumbing sites...unless your water authority does something stupid (like Flint, MI), all the scale buildup will do is restrict your water flow in the house. If the water flow is too low, then that's a good reason to replace the pipes, not worrying about lead leaching into your water.

But if you want to err on the side of caution, get your water tested before committing to a complete replumbing job. There are home tests kits on the cheap and every water quality testing lab will check for lead among other contaminants. I haven't bothered with either since I have a whole house water filtration system that gets a yearly checkup and as part of that they check for contaminants, and so far no problem in my 113 year old home...

Sites with info on pipe issues:
http://www.americanvintagehome.com/plum ... zed-pipes/
https://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/factsh ... rosion.htm
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Re: Galvanized steel pipes

Postby tidewaterva » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:39 am

It is a good idea to periodically have your drinking water tested for chemical and bacteriological contamination. If you are on a well system with water that is acidic, any commonly used metallic piping will be constantly sacrificing ions to the acidic water. After the water has stayed in the piping over night or for longer periods, there will be a higher concentration of metallic contamination in the water. Galvanized pipe was/is zinc coated, and lead was a common contaminant in zinc, especially years ago. An acid neutralizer system (should only cost 1000 or less installed) could provide protection against breakdown of your metallic piping. This is also common with copper piping, and when it is breaking down due to acidic water, it will leave blue green stains on fixtures. Clean and pure water is important to our health, and your water supply should not be assumed to be okay, either with city water or on a private well.
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Re: Galvanized steel pipes

Postby Illini Warrior » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:01 pm

I think your neighbor got the bad news about their "toxic" water from the plumber doing the re-piping job ....
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Re: Galvanized steel pipes

Postby donba » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:39 pm

About 10 years ago the light in our front bathroom started leaking water. The galvanized pipes were leaking. The hole house had to be repiped. We had them put in copper, no more problems, the solder has to be lead free. The U S let the various companies import galvanized pipe from china, that stuff is bad news.
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Re: Galvanized steel pipes

Postby Illini Warrior » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:57 pm

donba wrote:About 10 years ago the light in our front bathroom started leaking water. The galvanized pipes were leaking. The hole house had to be repiped. We had them put in copper, no more problems, the solder has to be lead free. The U S let the various companies import galvanized pipe from china, that stuff is bad news.



nobody runs lines anymore using solid piping - much less galvanized for potable water supply ... it's all rolls of flex hose now - cut and crimp fittings .....
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Re: Galvanized steel pipes

Postby arkieready » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:06 am

Of course there are homes with galvanized pipe for water supply. It's old school, but still out there. To determine what your supply lines are, look under the sinks, where the water comes in, before the shut off valves. Look up in the basement or crawl space, from where the supply enters the home and is dispersed through out.
Galvanized pipe is dull, silver (and often rusty looking) metal (tap gently with a metal object). Copper tubing is, well, copper colored reddish brownish bronzish. Pex/poly could be black, white, blue, red. PVC is white plastic-y, cpvc is yellowish. What did I forget?
P!

Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.

--Robert Frost--
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