Common supply water pipe materials - lead, galvanized steel, copper.   


Common drain pipes materials - cast iron, PVC, galvanized steel.




Galvanized steel pipes





Galvanized steel corrodes over a period of time. Galvanized steel can last roughly forty years until it needs to be replaced. This piping rusts from the inside out. Over time, galvanized steel pipes might corrode to the point where the pipes are completely restricted. Corrosion also occurs to steel when it is connected directly to copper or brass.



Missing dielectric unions

Missing dielectric union

The dielectric unions are used to separate dissimilar metals (such as copper and galvanized steel) to avoid the damaging effects of galvanic corrosion. When two dissimilar metals are in contact with an electrically conductive solution (even tap water is conductive), they will form a battery and generate a voltage by electrolysis. When the two metals are in direct contact with each other, the electric current from one metal to the other will cause a movement of ions from one to the other, dissolving one metal and depositing it on the other. A dielectric union breaks the electric current path with a plastic liner between two halves of the union, thus limiting galvanic corrosion.

Lead water pipes

The greatest amount of lead found in home's drinking water frequently comes from lead service lines. The concern about lead leaching into the water supply from the lead pipe is a possible health threat. The amount of lead depends on the types and amounts of minerals in the water, how long the water stays in the pipes, the amount of wear in the pipes, the water’s acidity and its temperature. Install water filter or replace old lead pipe (replacing the main supply from street to the water meter could involve
significant expense).

Water pipes problems

  • Hammer effect. Hammer effect occurs when you shut off the water suddenly and the fast-moving water rushing through the pipe is brought to a quick halt, creating a sort of shock wave and a hammering noise. Plumbing that's properly installed has air chambers, or cushions, that compress when the shock wave hits, softening the blow and preventing this hammering. The chambers can fail, though, because water under pressure gradually absorbs the air.
  • Low pressure. May be caused by - corroded (galvanized steel), crimped, obstruction in the piping (corrosion), small diameter piping.
  • Leaking. May be caused by - corrosion, building settlement causing the pipe to break, mechanical damage, failed connectors and valves.
  • Freezing. May be caused by pipes runs in exterior walls. Pipes that run against exterior walls are subject to freezing – the water service shouldn’t run in areas where there is a chance of freezing.
  • Mechanical damages.
  • Loose.

Water heater problems

  • Inadequate capacity/recovery rate.
  • Leaking.
  • Corrosion.
  • Inadequate clearance from combustibles.
  • Poor location.
  • Low water pressure and flow.
  • Noisy.
  • Leaky drain and TPR valves.
  • Missing TPR valve and  discharge tube.
  • TPRV discharge tube too short, too small diameter.
  • Improper gas piping (flexible connector).
  • Burner (gas W/H) and heating elements problems.
  • Scorched.


Rotten egg odor

Smelly water and the rotten egg odor may be caused by hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas. Sources of this gas include:

  1. Decay of organic matter or chemical reactions with sulfur-containing minerals in soil and rock.
  2. Sulfate-reducing bacteria which convert naturally occurring sulfate and other sulfur compounds
    to hydrogen sulfide gas.
  3. Water heaters can produce hydrogen sulfide gas by providing a warm environment for sulfate-reducing bacteria to live.