Cast iron was previously used in piping constructions due to its longevity. And, while the metal does last a long time, it tends to break down as it ages. This can cause a wide range of issues, especially if the pipes are installed in your residence. And, you will see some specific issues when the pipes start to wear. Keep reading to learn about what you are likely to see.
Unlike other types of pipes that form holes in the metal, cast iron will start to degrade from the inside out. It does this due to the way that it reacts with the water running through the pipes. The reaction causes oxidation that is similar to the rust that you may see on your car. The rust is flaky and fragile and it is likely to break off in small bits at first. And these bits will cause the water to become discolored. The water will typically appear brown, red, or yellow.
You will see discoloration as your water sits for a bit and the rust has an opportunity to congest in the water. After a few minutes, your water should run clean.
As the corrosion issues continue, the water may look darker when it sits and you may also start to see brown or red water at all times. Once larger pieces of debris break free, you may notice that your kitchen and bathroom faucets are running much more slowly. These are the fixtures that have small aerators that can trap the debris, resulting in a clog.
As previously mentioned, the leaks in the cast iron pipes will build slowly. And, you will see small pinhole leaks across several of your pipes when deterioration advances. The leaks will allow water to accumulate on the outsides of the pipes. The water may look like condensation, but the fluid will accumulate much more substantially than if a normal condensation issue is noted.
The leaking water will often start dripping as the holes progressively start getting bigger and you will see puddles forming on the ground.
Keep in mind that the puddles will signify damage that is significant enough that complete pipe failure is likely. Pipes will start to crack or completely break in half within a matter of months. So, make sure to speak with a plumbing professional as soon as possible about the completion of a repiping.
If you want to know more about the signs of cast iron piping damage, speak with a plumbing professional.