Galvanized Pipes

Are Galvanized Pipes Safe?

Galvanized pipes are steel pipes that were common in homes that were constructed prior to 1960. These pipes are made of steel and dipped in a zinc coating that helps prevent rust and corrosion. It was a great alternative to lead when it was first invented, but today’s experts have learned that it might not be so great, after all.

The problem is that the inside of these pipes is exposed to decades of water (and potentially other substances). Eventually, that leads to corrosion and rust inside the pipes, where they can’t be seen. Even though these pipes technically have a lifespan between 40 and 100 years, once they start to rust, they become a danger.

This is part of the reason galvanized pipes aren’t used in modern construction anymore. They pose too much of a risk to people’s health and the water supply in homes across the country.

Mineral Deposits

Second to the rust and corrosion is the concern of mineral deposits. Galvanized pipes have these deposits that will accumulate over time. This can reduce water pressure significantly and pollute the water supply in the home. The more that builds up, the more unstable the pipes become and the more likely your system is to fail.


Galvanized pipes can release lead that has accumulated within them into the water of a home, which can create serious health risks. Lead poisoning can lead to several symptoms like nausea, fatigue, headaches, and even reduced cognitive function. It’s especially important to protect kids from lead exposure because it can create lifelong issues and hinder the development of the brain.

How Can I Tell?

Galvanized pipes are usually gray or silver in color and if you stick a strong magnet to them, it will stay put. They are sturdier-looking than lead pipes and can be found in several homes constructed before 1960. If you’re not sure, you can also contact a plumber to find out.

They will identify any potential galvanized pipes or lead pipes, as well as other plumbing issues that need to be addressed or updated. Then, they will be able to advise you on the best course of action so that you can keep your home and family protected. If you have galvanized pipes, even if they “seem fine,” you should call Elk Grove Sewer & Plumbing and discuss getting them replaced as soon as possible.


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