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How Does Pipe Corrosion Happen?

Pipe corrosion isn’t just an aesthetic problem; it’s also a functionality problem. Corrosion can interfere with water pressure, weaken pipes, and cause significant health problems. Left unresolved, corroded pipes can lead to the need for a whole-house repping. That’s why it’s important that you understand why pipes corrode, how to prevent it, and what to look for as your pipes age. Here are some of the factors that cause pipe corrosion. 

pipe decay

Low Water pH

PH measures water acidity, ranging from zero (most acidic) to 14 (most alkaline). If you have copper pipes, you need to be concerned about your water’s pH level. If your water’s pH level is eight or higher (meaning more alkaline and not acidic), then the barrier between your copper pipes can dissolve and cause corrosion. The result can be pinhole leaks throughout the copper pipe system. 


Oxygen and Water Temperature

Your water supply is constantly being replenished with fresh, oxygenated water. Although you need oxygen in your water, the element corroded metal through a process called oxidation. This is a natural process you can expect to happen regardless of your pipe material. Oxidation causes your metal pipes to rust, thin out, and weaken. Rust then accumulates inside your pipes, captures impurities in the water, and builds up within the pipes. The higher your water temperature, the faster oxidation occurs. 


High Water Velocity

For homes with a closed-loop piping system, having high water velocity is a possibility for pipe corrosion. It can happen due to flow obstacles like excess solder if the joints were not soldered properly. Determining your water velocity is complicated and is best left to a professional plumber to find out for you. A Maryland plumber has the tools and experience needed to determine if your water velocity is too high.


Chemical Drain Cleaners

Those seemingly convenient drain cleaners that you can buy at your local store can be damaging to your pipes. These drain cleaners contain harmful chemicals that not only burn through whatever is clogging your drain but also burn through your pipes. If you have a clog, it’s always a good idea to let a plumber unclog it for you.


Protect Your Pipes with Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating

The expert plumbers at Michael Runk Plumbing and Heating are here to protect your pipes against corrosion. No matter if you need to unclog a pipe or need to repipe your house, we can do it for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

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