If you own a home or are buying a home that is more than 50 years old then you might want to read this article. Galvanize water piping corrodes from the inside out. Homes that are 50 years or older and have not had the water piping removed and converted to copper piping will possibly start showing signs of corrosion. I was hired for a home inspection in Downers Grove, Illinois that happened to be 65 years old and had galvanize piping for the water supply lines and the volume of water through these pipes was reduced greatly due to the rust that had taken over the interior portion of the piping.
The pressure of the water supply to the home was 50 psi which is good. Most people think that their plumbing pipes preasure what causes the issues. The real issues is the volume or area of the piping has been reduced because of the rust inside the pipe. What then happens is the flow is reduced because now you are trying to get the same amount of water through a much smaller pipe. The Downers Grove home inspection had issues with all of the water piping but the hot water lines were dramatically worse than the cold water supply. This is due to the fact that the water has been heated and changes the composition of the water so slightly and allows air to rust the interior of the galvanize pipe.
There are contractors that will try to blow out you water supply pipes but this is a patch at best and removal of galvanize piping and installation of copper piping is the only proper repair for this issue. You can see prices for this issue and others at ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/repair-replacement-costs.html. This is the page we gave to our clients from the Downers Grove home inspection to help come with prices for issues we found at their home inspection. Generally replacement of galvanize piping to copper water piping can cost any where from $2500.00 – $10000.00 depending on how many bathrooms, laundries, kitchens, wet bars and hose bibs you have.
Before you hire a plumbing contractor to come out and look at your piping try this quick remedy. Go to a sink that has poor pressure remove the aerator. The aerator is the part of the faucet where the water comes out. You can unscrew this part and see if there are particles of rust. If you see this and your pressure of water is low than you will probably need piping replacement. This is how I determined that the home inspection in Downers Grove would need water piping replacement.
As you can see there can be a multitude of reasons that you are having issues with your water piping in your home. If you find your self needing further assistance with this issue please contact me at ~ http://www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com/about-jim-kolke.html.
Thanks for stopping by. Jim Kolke
Last month on a home inspection in Downers Grove, Illinois I was faced with a clients question about his “dream” home’s plumbing system. This could be a potential costly issue depending on the age of the system and if any upgrades were made. There are basically 3 different systems in a home. The first is the water supply; which gives you your water ( hot and cold). The second system is tied to the third. This system is called waste and venting, which works together but could still operate without the venting but not advised.
There were 2 issues that needed immediate attention at this home inspection in Downers Grove. Both items were what we call “defective”. That doesn’t always mean that the repairs will be expensive. In this case, the repairs would be some what costly due to the severity of the repairs needed.
The 1st item that we found at this home inspection in Downers Grove was the water piping. The water piping was 87 years old and made of galvanize piping. Generally galvanize pipe has a life span of 50 years. This homes piping system had lasted longer than the average galvanize system. The “tell tales” of galvanize piping issues is generally seen at the fitting connections. There would be pitting and rusting. The more severe the rusting , pitting and possible leaking the more severe the damage to the piping. Galvanize pipe corrodes from the inside out. In this case, leaks were seen in the pipe walls. My recommendation was to upgrade the water piping system to copper.
The 2nd issue found at the home inspection in Downers Grove was a missing condensate drip leg used in the gas supply for the water heater. This is not a costly repair but a nessecary one to prevent the corrsion of the water heater tank. There is moisture in gas and it needs somewhere to go or it will burn at the burner under the tank and cause the tank to corrode. By adding a drip leg this will eliminate this concern.
If you have questions about how to find out if your plumbing system is in need of attention you can contact us at www.pinnaclepropertyinspection.com Jim Kolke