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What Exactly Is Corrosion?

Corrosion is the enemy of plumbing systems everywhere. In essence, corrosion is the deterioration of metal due to chemical reactions between the metal surface and the surrounding environment. When it comes to water pipe corrosion, there are several possible causes, including excessive water velocity, mineral deposits, and even microbiological contamination of the water.

Corrosion can cause pipes to leak or damage fixtures and appliances, so homeowners should do everything they can to prevent it. Fortunately, they have a few different methods to do so. Read on to learn about the three most common ways to prevent pipe corrosion!

Protective Coatings and Linings

coatingOne of the most effective ways to prevent pipe corrosion is to coat the pipe with some sort of protectant that forms a barrier between the pipe metal and the environment. Pipe coating is commonly used for underground pipes to protect against abrasions and corrosive materials in the soil. A few common types of pipe coatings include zinc, polyethylene, polypropylene, and fusion-bonded epoxy.

While coatings protect the outside of the pipe, it may also be necessary to add protection to the inside. This is done using a protective lining such as liquid epoxy, Teflon, or cement mortar. A pipe lining is commonly used to repair corroded or damaged sewer lines without digging a trench and removing the old pipe. Similarly, one can use a special liquid epoxy in water supply pipes to seal the pipe interior against corrosive materials in the water.

Water Softeners

softenerWhile coatings and protective linings can be great for protecting the pipes, it may also be necessary to address any corrosive materials in the water supply directly. That’s where a water softener comes in. Water softeners use an ion exchange process to remove dissolved minerals from a home’s water supply as it enters the home. 

Minerals like calcium and magnesium can form hard deposits inside the pipes and cause corrosion, so removing these substances from the water can go a long way toward corrosion prevention. A water softener can also help extend the lifespan of the pipes as well as fixtures and appliances by preventing mineral scale buildup.

General Plumbing Maintenance

Another way to protect the home’s plumbing from corrosion is with professional plumbing maintenance. A pro plumber can thoroughly inspect the home’s plumbing system for signs of corrosion, identify the underlying cause, and address the issue before it gets worse - whether using one of the above solutions or something else entirely.

For instance, excessive water pressure may be the problem, or an overly high temperature setting on the water heater. An improperly installed pipe fitting or joint may be causing water turbulence that has gradually scoured the pipe and exposed it to corrosion (a phenomenon known as erosion corrosion). A qualified professional can spot these problems and recommend solutions to not only repair the corroded water pipes but also prevent corrosion in the future.

About Apple Valley Plumbing Company

The Apple Valley Plumbing Company has been providing award-winning service to the Apple Valley community for over a decade. They offer same-day service, up-front pricing, and free estimates so every customer can return to their routine quickly and with no unpleasant surprises. They also guarantee 100% satisfaction on every job, so homeowners know they’re in good hands when they call Apple Valley for plumbing maintenance in Apple Valley, MN!

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