Explaining Pipe Corrosion and What To Do About It
Any homeowner understands that all things tend to break down. Corrosion At its most basic, corrosion is simply a chemical reaction. As it happens, though, this chemical reaction causes the breakdown of metals. Rust is a form of corrosion. This can be a serious issue regarding metal pipes and water flow to and from a home. Corrosion can be prevented, or at the very least, inhibited by a few simple steps. The biggest problem with corrosion is that once it has started, one cannot reverse it.
Reasons for Pipe Corrosion
Pipe corrosion happens due to several factors, the primary two being water and oxygen. This is enough to cause the most famous form of corrosion: rust. Even beyond this, some key environmental issues can cause pipes to corrode.
- Microbes: Certain microorganisms can feed on the metal and cause deterioration.
- Friction: Jostling and bumping can put minuscule scratches on the pipes, making it easier for microbes and water to attack the metal.
- Metal to Metal Contact: Metal rubbing against metal can be a catalyst for corrosion.
Pipe Maintenance and Corrosion Prevention
- Check Water pH: Pipes are best served with water that is neither too acidic nor too basic. A pH between 6.5 and 8.5.
- Flush the pipes: Sometimes, a good cleaning with an antimicrobial can prevent MIC or microbiologically induced corrosion.
- Anchor Pipes: To prevent the jostling and metal on metal contact mentioned before, make sure that pipes are properly anchored; this helps prevent unwelcome noises in the walls.
- Consider Coating: There are ways to add a protective layer to metal pipes, especially copper pipes.
Too Far Gone: When Pipe Replacement Is Necessary
There comes a point at which corrosion will eat through a pipe and leave it unable to be cleaned or repaired. This is when repiping or pipe replacement becomes necessary. Repiping, especially for the larger pipes that lead to and from the home, is absolutely a job for a trusted professional. Improper installation can cause the corrosion problem to start all over again.
Partial repiping can typically be done, as only the fully corroded section is replaced. Still, it may be worth considering overhauling the entire home pipe system if that is an option a homeowner is prepared to do. If one installed all pipes at roughly the same time, the likelihood of corrosion in other pipe sections is quite high. It may not be discovered yet, but it will break down in its own time, leaving the homeowner in the same predicament.
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