Corrosion is a major issue in plumbing systems, especially in systems mainly constructed of metal. Below is an overview of the risk factors for corrosion, and why it's a problem.
Corrosion occurs when metal reacts with water. The chemical process accelerates under certain circumstances. Below are some of the risk factors for corrosion.
Minerals and debris in the water are abrasive. They can scratch the internal surfaces of the pipes, which exposes the metal to water and air and increases the risk of corrosion.
Chemical reactions occur faster in high-temperature environments than in low-temperature environments. Thus, plumbing pipes that are constantly exposed to hot water that will corrode faster than those that only carry cold water.
Acids are agents of corrosion. Some areas have water that is naturally acidic due to the minerals or substances in the ground. Such regions experience accelerated corrosion as compared to other areas.
Electricity encourages corrosion by encouraging the flow of ions. Thus, if your home wiring and plumbing are not properly done, electricity might flow through your plumbing pipe. The flow of electricity through the plumbing pipes will encourage corrosion of the pipes.
High Water Pressure
High-water pressure has abrasive properties just like minerals or debris in the water. The high water pressure will strip the protective surfaces of internal linings of plumbing pipes. This will expose fresh metal surfaces to the water and air, again encouraging corrosion.
Different metals have different rates of reactions. When you place two metals with different rates of reactions in contact, some ions will flow from one metal to the other. This will encourage corrosion of the pipes. This usually happens when dissimilar metals are used to replace damaged pipes.
Corrosion can be a real problem in the house; here are some of its effects.
Corrosion is reddish-brown, which means corroded water pipes will discolor your freshwater supply. Apart from being unsightly and smelly, corroded water will also stain your clothes.
Corrosion will eat into and reduce the thickness of metal pipes. Corroded metal is softer or weaker than metal unaffected by corrosion. Thus, corrosion can lead to pipe breakage or trigger perforations of plumbing pipes.
Corrosion complicates plumbing repair in two main ways. First, corroded metal is weak and can easily break during the repair process. Secondly, corrosion makes it difficult to loosen nuts and bolts.
You can prevent plumbing corrosion. You can also deal with corrosion if it has already affected your plumbing. Consult a professional plumber for both prevention and repair of corrosion-related issues.