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Galvanized Pipe Problems in Salt Lake City

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A clogged and corroded galvanized pipe
A clogged and corroded galvanized pipe

Are you concerned about the possible problems that may affect your Salt Lake City home's galvanized pipes?

Here at Repipe Specialists, we've repiped thousands of homes across the USA. Repiping is all we do. Replacement of corroded, old galvanized plumbing is the single most common reason our customers choose to repipe.

In this article, we will cover the common problems with galvanized piping in Salt Lake City, how hard water can affect the lifespan of galvanized plumbing, and whether copper pipes or PEX tubing are better suited to Salt Lake City's water.

What are the Common Galvanized Pipe Problems in Salt Lake City?

In Salt Lake City, and across the state of Utah, many residential properties still have galvanized steel pipes. Most galvanized pipes have exceeded 40 years in age, reaching or surpassing their expected service life. There are various issues related to outdated galvanized plumbing in Salt Lake City, including:

  1. Low or Unequal Water Pressure: Many homes in Salt Lake City still rely on aging galvanized pipe systems installed decades ago. The cumulative effects of corrosion and mineral buildup increase the likelihood of reduced water pressure and eventual system failure. Hot water outlets and those farthest from the water supply are typically most affected by restricted flow.
  2. Water Leaks: As galvanized pipes age, their protective zinc coating deteriorates, leaving the underlying steel vulnerable to corrosion. Corrosion within the pipes can progress to the point of causing leaks in pipes and connections. These leaks may start slowly and remain undetected for extended periods, potentially leading to mold buildup in wall cavities.
  3. Rusty and Discolored Water: Galvanized pipes in Salt Lake City may contribute to water quality issues due to corrosion, causing rust and scale particles to appear in a home's water. Beyond compromising the integrity of the plumbing system, these contaminants can affect the taste, odor, and color of the water supply.
corroded, old galvanized plumbing
Corroded, old galvanized plumbing

It is crucial for Salt Lake City residents with aging galvanized pipes to address these issues to ensure the integrity and safety of their plumbing systems.

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How Does Salt Lake City's Hard Water Affect Galvanized Pipes?

Salt Lake City's hard water poses significant challenges for galvanized pipes, impacting their longevity and structural integrity:

  • Corrosion Acceleration: Salt Lake City's water supply is characterized by high levels of dissolved minerals, primarily calcium and magnesium. These minerals contribute to water hardness, which accelerates the corrosion process within galvanized pipes. The presence of hard minerals causes chemical reactions that erode the protective zinc coating of galvanized pipes, exposing the underlying steel to corrosive elements in the water. If you want to learn more about what galvanized steel is, you can read our article here.
  • Mineral Buildup and Scaling: Hard water contains elevated concentrations of dissolved minerals, which can form scale deposits within galvanized pipes over time. The buildup of mineral deposits, known as scaling, narrows the internal diameter of the pipes, restricting water flow and increasing pressure on the pipe walls. This buildup exacerbates corrosion by trapping corrosive particles against the pipe surface, leading to localized deterioration and weakening of the metal.
  • what you see here is also inside your pipes
    What you see here is also inside your pipes.
  • Reduced Lifespan: The combined effects of corrosion and mineral scaling significantly reduce the lifespan of galvanized pipes in Salt Lake City's hard water conditions. While galvanized pipes were once widely used for their durability and resistance to corrosion, the aggressive nature of hard water accelerates their deterioration, resulting in premature failure and costly repairs or replacements.
  • Increased Risk of Leaks and Pipe Failures: As galvanized pipes corrode and accumulate mineral deposits, they become increasingly susceptible to leaks, pinhole corrosion, and structural failures. The buildup of internal pressure from scaling and the weakening of pipe walls from corrosion create vulnerable points along the pipeline where leaks are more likely to occur.

Salt Lake City's hard water significantly affects the life expectancy and performance of galvanized pipes. It's not a matter of if, but when, all your galvanized plumbing will need replacement.

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Are Copper or PEX Pipes Better Suited for Salt Lake City's Water System?

Choosing the right piping material for your Salt Lake City home requires careful consideration of various factors, including water hardness, durability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of installation.

Both copper and PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) pipes offer distinct advantages for Salt Lake City homeowners repiping their galvanized plumbing.

Copper Pipes

Copper pipes have long been a preferred choice for plumbing systems due to their proven durability, longevity, and resistance to corrosion.

Copper pipes are renowned for their exceptional durability and long lifespan, making them well-suited for withstanding the challenges posed by Salt Lake City's hard water. Copper's resistance to corrosion ensures that it maintains structural integrity and water quality over time, minimizing the risk of leaks and pipe failures.

In the context of Salt Lake City's hard water conditions, certain considerations must be taken into account. While copper pipes can withstand the effects of hard water better than some other materials, they are not entirely immune to its corrosive impact.

Over time, the minerals present in Salt Lake City's water supply can contribute to the formation of scale deposits within copper pipes, potentially reducing water flow and increasing the likelihood of copper pinhole leaks.

PEX Tubing

PEX has gained popularity in recent years due to its flexibility, ease of installation, and resistance to corrosion. When it comes to Salt Lake City's water system, PEX tubing has several advantages:

  1. Flexibility and Ease of Installation: PEX pipes are highly flexible and can be easily maneuvered around obstacles during installation, reducing the need for fittings and joints. This flexibility makes PEX pipes well-suited for retrofitting existing plumbing systems or installing in tight spaces where traditional rigid piping may be challenging to implement.
  2. Resistance to Corrosion: One of the key advantages of PEX pipes is their resistance to corrosion, making them particularly suitable for environments with hard water like Salt Lake City. Unlike metal pipes, PEX does not corrode or degrade over time when exposed to mineral-rich water, ensuring long-term performance ( with an estimated lifespan of 50 years or more) and reliability.
  3. Affordability: PEX piping is more cost-effective than copper alternatives, both in terms of material costs and installation expenses. The ease and speed of PEX pipe installation can reduce labor costs and shorter project timelines, providing homeowners with a cost-effective solution for repiping their properties. We have an article dedicated to the cost of repiping with PEX.

Ultimately, the choice between copper and PEX pipes depends on personal preference. While most of our repipes utilize PEX pipes, if you're still uncertain, you can contact us to schedule a free consult with one of our local repipe consultants.

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With over 75,000 repipes completed, we've perfected our One-Stop Repipe™ for your home.

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Receive a Free Quote for Your Galvanized Plumbing Repipe

Here at Repipe Specialists, we've fully replaced galvanized plumbing in over 75,000 homes since 1991 using both PEX tubing and copper piping. We continually get positive customer feedback from customers about their overall home repipe experiences. We often exceed their expectations on:

  • Speed: Our repipe crews typically complete a repipe in a day, returning on another day for wall patching.
  • Convenience: Through our One-Stop Repipe™ Process, we handle everything from permits, to wall patching, to inspections.
  • Cleanliness: Our crews are trained to protect your home while working (we cover all surfaces with protective sheeting), and to clean up fully at the end of each day.
  • Peace of Mind: Repipe Specialists is a fully licensed plumber in every state we operate in, and we back all of our repipes with a lifetime warranty.
  • Financing programs: To help take the sting out of unplanned repipe expenses, we offer several financing programs.
  • Price: As a specialist that performs hundreds of repipes a week, we can deliver high quality repipes at a lower cost vs generalist plumbers. We have an article that cover repipe cost factors in detail. Our quotes typically range from $4,500 to $15,000 depending on the size and complexity of your project.

Schedule a free in-home consult, and one of our local repipe consultants will explain all your repipe options and provide you with a written, fixed-price quote. Fix galvanized plumbing issues in your Salt Lake City home, repipe now.

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About Repipe Specialists

Expert Repiping at an Affordable Cost

Since our founding in 1991, we've been completing residential and multi-family building repipes to the highest standard.

With over 75,000 repipes completed, we've perfected our  One Stop Repipe™ process: providing you with a high quality and convenient repipe experience while offering significant savings compared to traditional plumbers - plus, our work is guaranteed for life.

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