What is the life of Galvanized Pipe?

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    • #272831
      Avatar photoMasterPlumbers

        I live in the Houston / Katy area, and am looking at buying a house that is 15 years old and it has galvanized waterpipes. It is a two story, with pipes in the concrete and in the space between floors for the upstairs area. The house inspector I hired warned me that although they are not leaking, they do look corroded and he says they usually corrode from the inside-out. He says they could break anytime. Friends tell me that they have had houses inthe area that last 18 years or so, and then need to have the floors jackhammered out and the walls/ceilings torn out and all of the plumbing replaces. I am scared. Anyone KNOW what the facts are about the life of galvanized waterpipes?

      • #286387
        Avatar photoSylvanLMP

          Galvanized piping can last over 30 year (I took some out that was over 80 years old.)

          The key to longevity is how this pipe was installed (reaming and properly sized to control velocity) The water conditions also play a key role like acid or hard or soft water well system or city water, etc., all these conditions have some effect on every piping system.

          The problem with a galvanized piping failures is normally the installer doesn’t follow good plumbing practices and refrains from the use of dielectric fittings to prevent electrolytic action between the Galvanized piping and the BRASS valves and this causes premature failures. If your already seeing signs of piping deterioration then you had better figure a new repipe in the near future depending how far gone this system is.

          Get a few Estimates from a local Licensed and insured Master plumbers. Good luck

          [Edited by SylvanLMP on 12 April 2000]

        • #286388
          Avatar photohj

            Galvanized pipes in, or under, a concrete floor will be nothing but trouble. There is no way to prevent them from rusting, both internally and externally. The only sure about them is that they are going to fail eventually. How long a time before “eventually” is impossible to say. It depends on where and how the pipe was made, the quality of the soil it is buried in, and the amount of water used, among other things. If it were I, I would take a pass unless the seller is willing to reduce the price substantially to cover at least some of the cost of the eventual repiping.

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