The Secret Behind Stained Plumbing Fixtures and Dingy Laundry

Don’t you hate when your plumbing fixtures begin to have bluish stains as seen below? It’s not very attractive, is it?

Or even worse when your white laundry comes out of the washer with a hint of reddish-brown staining to it? And what’s worst of all is losing water pressure or hot water when trying to shower!

Have you ever experienced these situations in your home? If you have, then you’ve been a victim of corrosion. Corrosion occurs due to a reaction between a substance, such as a plumbing pipe, and its environment. As water is carried throughout the indoor plumbing of your home, the compounds interact with chemicals found within the piping.

Depending on the material that your home’s plumbing is made of (i.e. copper, galvanized iron, etc.), you will experience a different symptom of corrosion. Identifying that your home water suffers from corrosion can help you to combat the annoying effects. Table 1 lists customer complaints found by Environmental Science and Engineering, Inc. and their probable causes.


Customer Complaint Possible Cause
Red water or reddish-brown staining of fixtures and laundry Corrosion of iron pipes or presence of iron in raw water
Bluish stains on fixtures Corrosion of copper lines
Black water Sulfide corrosion of copper or iron lines
Foul taste and/or odors By-products from microbial activity
Loss of pressure Excessive scaling, tubercle build-up from pitting corrosion, leak in system from pitting or other type of corrosion
Lack of hot water Build-up of mineral deposits in hot water system (can be reduced by setting thermostat to under 140o F)
Short service life of household plumbing Rapid deterioration of pipes from pitting or other types of corrosion

Table 1: Customer Complaints of Corrosion and Probable Cause

Source: Environmental Science and Engineering, Inc., 19821

Now that you know what to look for when identifying issues that corrosion causes, how do you prevent it from happening in your home?

According to an United States Environmental Protection Agency study about corrosion, a few ways that you can help control the problem include properly selecting pipe materials and design and modifying water quality to create a less corrosive reaction.

Pipe material such as plastic and copper are much more resistant to corrosion than most other materials. Choosing one of the listed pipe materials along with modifying the water quality in your home (i.e. installing a water softener) can drastically decrease corrosion and hard water, therefore extending the life of your pipes and your equipment.

Don’t tolerate the symptoms of poor water quality and corrosion! Get your water tested today to determine how corrosive the water is on your pipes!

1 source: http://bit.ly/2vy5wRF


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