Problems with Galvanized Pipes
In Portland, water pipes were being installed with galvanized piping beginning in the 1800s and well into the 1980s. I have personally replaced galvanized pipes in hundreds of homes in the city of Portland.
Why do They Deteriorate?
The Middle of the pipe will never break. It will drip and spray, but not break. Breaks are always where pipe meets the fitting. Why? because the pipe is threaded. The pipe threads are actually cut into the pipe upon installation, so the pipe is already half thick at that point. When the pipe starts rusting from the inside of the pipe, the rust only has to penetrate half the pipe thickness due to the thread cuts. At the same time the rust is forming, scales of rust build up inside the pipe, taking up space that was supposed to be used for drinking water. Now, your pipes act like a filter, reducing your flow of water, trapping sediment, giving the water a reddish hue and a metallic taste.
Fixture shut off valves many times have been replaced onto the pipes, and every time this is done, more micro-cracks form which causes ever more rust to deteriorate the pipe threads.
Eventually the pipe loses its integrity and I have seen these valves fall right off the pipe!
If you have questionable galvanized water pipes, call me anytime at 503-720-2643.