Rusty pipes are the result of extended exposure to high levels of oxygen. Rust (also known as oxidization) is the second-leading cause of pipe damage in copper, cast iron, and galvanized steel pipes. The leading cause of leaks is corrosion from mineral build-up.
If the exterior of an iron or steel pipe is rusting, you’ll notice bumpy patches of red. Oxidization on copper pipes looks greenish-blue. This would be the same in the inside of pipes but of course that can’t be seen without a video camera on a plumber’s snake.
The inside of metal pipes that carry hot water will rust sooner than pipes that carry cold water. Hot water has more “suspended” oxygen that affixes to the metal and causes oxidation.
The most common and early signs of rusty pipes are:
- Discolored water
- Water has a metallic odour
- Flakes of rust in water
Before contacting a plumber, check to see if only water from certain taps is rusty. Also, see if the rust clears away after running the water for a few minutes. In these cases, it is likely the municipal water supply, not your pipes that are the problem.
But if the signs of rust are constant, then you need to call a qualified plumbing company. Rusty water doesn’t pose an immediate health concern. But it can stain clothes and change the taste of food.
Also, if you have rusty pipes, plumbing repair should happen as soon as possible to prevent more rust from developing and weakening the metal pipe.
Despite the risk of rust, metal pipes remain an attractive option for many people. For indoor plumbing, copper pipes are durable yet lightweight and have proven longevity.
Minerals in water that build up inside metal plumbing cause corroded water pipes. Pinhole corrosion is common and leads to small amounts of water leaking from the pipe.
Water from corroded pipes doesn’t present an immediate health issue. But the water will likely have an unpleasant taste and odor, so repair should happen sooner rather than later.
Insurance coverage is another reason to seek prompt repair service. If known leaks are left unaddressed for more than a reasonable length of time, all subsequent cost to repair damage may not be covered.
There are two ways to deal with a corroded pipe: replacement or relining.
Both are reliable ways of repairing corroded pipes. If you need help deciding which is right for your situation, the team at CuraFlo can assess the damage and recommend a course of action.
Repairing corroded pipes with epoxy lining is gaining popularity among home and building owners. It’s a cost-effective way to prevent or repair leaks in copper pipe.
Epoxy pipeliner not only extends the life of your pipes by 40-60 years, it can control future costs. In increasingly more jurisdictions, property insurance companies will only cover the first claim for pinhole leaks in copper pipes. Epoxy doesn’t rust or corrode.
CuraFlo’s customers have had great success with using epoxy lining to deal with rust and corrosion. But our team assesses each case on its unique circumstances so that you get the right solution for your situation.