Galvanized Steel Pipe 101

When a pipe has been galvanized, it means that the steel or iron has been coated with zinc. Galvanized pipes will dull from silver to gray as they age. This will eliminate any potential exterior rusting of the pipe. However, galvanized pipe will corrode from the inside out over time.corroded galvanized pipe sacramento home inspection

If galvanized pipe is installed, it will only be in working condition for about 35-40 years. The reason for the limited usage is that the inside corrosion, which will eventually fill the entire pipe, will restrict the water flow in the pipe.

One way to check for corrosion of galvanized steel pipes is to run three or four faucets all at the same time. Watch the first water tap – if the water flow decreases significantly when the other taps are turned on, the pipes are most likely corroded. Another way to tell is that the water may be discolored when you first turn on the water tap due to the corrosion process going on inside the pipe.


Points of view…


The chemist: When metal pipe corrosion occurs, it is a result of the electrochemical electron exchange resulting from the differential galvanic properties between metals, the ionic influences of solutions, aquatic buffering, or the solution pH.


The other home inspector: Corroded. Replace it.

A Pacific Coast Inspections, Inc. inspector: The exposed and accessible galvanized steel water supply lines and/or fittings were heavily corroded, stained, and generally in poor condition suggesting the end of their service life. We recommend further review by a licensed plumber.

Pacific Coast Inspection's Facebook Pacific Coast Inspection's LinkedIn Pacific Coast Inspection's Twitter Pacific Coast Inspection's YouTube