Because of the age of certain homes, galvanised tubes are a standard problem. If you have old tube in your plumbing, you’re best off swapping them out. Allow us to explain why, then if you need new supplies from an ERW steel tube supplier in the West Midlands, speak to us.
Galvanised tubes are steel but have been given a protective zinc coating to stop rust. The tubing was common in houses, especially in the US, prior to 1960. They were a much safer alternative to lead tube for water supply lines. In more recent history though, we can see that decades of water exposure can lead to rusting on the inside. That can cause issues.
No tubing system lasts indefinitely. Saying this, galvanised tubes come with a lifespan of between 40 to 100 years. Let’s say your home’s plumbing is from the 1960s or earlier. If so, it could be coming to the end of its functional lifespan. It can pose a risk to your health if you’re not careful here.
By far the most substantial issue with old tubing is the mineral deposits that gather inside. As time passes, it leads to a reduction in water pressure. Also, it pollutes your home water supply. When rust and corrosion deepen, they undermine the system’s stability. The result is leaks.
As older and corroded galvanised tubes age, they are able to release lead into your water. Many people are surprised to hear this. However, tube from the 1880s to 1960s was typically dipped in molten, naturally occurring zinc. This type is impure. As a result, it contains lead and other impurities. So, as it degrades, these elements can get into the water.
The lead can result in major health concerns. Ingesting too much can cause lead poisoning. Symptoms include lower cognitive abilities, abdominal pain, constipation, nausea, insomnia, and headaches. High doses are especially concerning with children. It can hamper their brain development and cause lifelong issues. If you need to talk to the top ERW steel tube supplier West Midlands has, let us know.
Know how to identify galvanised tubes
It also helps to know how to tell whether you have galvanised tubes. New tube will be nickel in colour. As they get older though, they will appear far darker, lighter, or duller. It depends on the environment. There will be some homes that have painted tubes too. Identification becomes difficult here.
If you’re unable to tell by looking at your tubes, you can do a quick test. Take a strong magnet and flathead screwdriver. Begin by finding your water line and scratch the exterior of your tube with the screwdriver. With copper, the spot will seem like a penny and a magnet won’t stick to it. For galvanised steel, it will be a silver-grey colour. A strong magnet is going to stick to it.
Think about other parts of the plumbing system
Furthermore, there can be issues depending on other parts of the plumbing system. For example, if your galvanised tubes were ever linked to lead tube or fittings, there is more reason for concern. Plus, if you have any copper tubing upstream, it can make the discharge of lead even worse.
The best solution if you have any concerns is to test the water to get an idea of the mineral content. Typically the wisest option if there is an issue will be to replace all of the old tubing.
A first rate ERW steel tube supplier in the West Midlands
At Union Steel Tubes, we commit to delivering quality merchandise to you. We make sure we do this quickly as well. Our range includes a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as special finishes.
So, if you’d like to shop with the foremost ERW steel tube supplier West Midlands has, contact us today. We’d be happy to advise if you need any help too.