Replace Leaking Galvanized Pipes
LESLIE: Steve in Iowa needs some help with a mysterious stain in the bathroom. Tell us what’s going on.
STEVE: Well, basically, what I have is a galvanized water line going to my bathroom sink….
STEVE: … and those lines are (AUDIO GAP) either have a small leak or when they sweat that line drips to the floor.
TOM: Now you say they’re limed over. You mean there are mineral salts on these lines or are you saying that you can’t get any water out of them?
STEVE: There are mineral deposits covering the galvanized lines.
TOM: Well, what happens is those galvanized lines obviously rust; they develop pin holes. The water leaks out, then it evaporates and the mineral salts sort of crust over on the outside.
TOM: Now if you’ve got galvanized pipe, you know it really is time for you to start thinking about replacement because I guarantee you that’s going to get worse, it’s not going to get better and eventually those holes will get so big that you’ll have a steady leak that, despite the evaporation of the water, it won’t crust over and it’ll just be a big, stinking mess.
STEVE: OK. So basically I just need to replace my water lines under the sink.
TOM: Yeah, basically that’s it. The galvanized pipes, you know, they’ll typically last around 50 or 60 years and then they really start to rust out. The other thing that happens is you’ll have a greatly reduced water flow because the pipes will rust inward and they’ll clog up. You know think of it sort of like a clogged artery and the water can’t get through. So by replacing those pipes, you’ll have an improved flow at that sink as well.
STEVE: OK. Well, thanks a lot. I guess I’ll call a plumber.
TOM: (chuckling) OK, Steve. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.