Are Old Steel Pipes Dangerous for My Family’s Health?

rusty-burst-pipeMiddlesex County has a long history of homes stretching back to the seventeenth century. There are still many vintage homes in the area with families living happily in them. But parts of any home need to be upgraded for safety and health—the electrical grid, for example.

Plumbing is also a part of older homes that concerns people. You may have remodeled parts of your house but haven’t touched the piping. And if your home is as “new” as even 40 years old, it probably has galvanized steel pipes in it. These were the main types of pipes used for construction until the 1960s. Do these pipes pose a danger to your family or your home?

Yes, There Are Potential Dangers

We don’t want to sound alarmist, but plumbers have been upgrading galvanized steel plumbing to copper and plastic for some good reasons. Galvanized pipes are steel pipes that are covered in a layer of zinc to prevent corrosion. This zinc layer won’t stop corrosion indefinitely, however. After fifty years or so, the inside of galvanized steel pipes will begin to rust out. The combination of the rust and zinc layer can mean lead getting into the water supply. You’ve likely heard about the dangers of lead contamination in water and the health complications it causes—especially in young children. The local water supply may be clean and purified, but those galvanized steel pipes in your house may be putting toxins into them on the way to your bathroom and kitchen faucets.

Even putting aside the health hazards, this is bad news for a house. Corroded pipes will start to leak and create water pressure problems around the house. Drainpipes will start to clog regularly. The water damage to an older home can be catastrophic. You may run into a perfect storm of a plumbing system that’s leaky, inconvenient, and unhealthy!

What You Can Do About It

Yes, you can arrange to have a water purification system installed to eliminate lead. However, this is a solution for when the municipal system is delivering harmful water, not when your home plumbing is behind it. If you are encountering an increase in plumbing issues in your old home, see reddish discoloration in the water, or have any other reason to believe you have aging galvanized steel pipes, call for a plumber. The best fix is to replace all the steel pipes. Contact our professional plumbers, and they can test your water and examine the pipes to find out how extensive a repiping you need.

If you are unsure about the pipes in your home and have concerns about them, the best course of action is to call on a licensed, professional plumber in Acton, MA. Our plumbers have a long history of serving the MetroWest area and know all about the history of the pipes used in construction. They’ve handled many pipe replacement services to help homes enjoy the best in health and sturdy, durable plumbing.

Make an appointment with us today for piping services. Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC has been trusted for over 30 years.

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