black pipe for water

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Greetings,
I recently purchased a house which has had some of its galvanized water pipe replaced with black pipe. I know that the work is new because there are bar codes all over the pipe. I know that this is "not good" but I would like to have some notion of how bad it is before I decide whether or not to replace the pipe with galvanized.
a) Is this a code violation (if yes, why?) b) What is the life expectancy of black pipe? c) What is the life expectancy of galvanized pipe? d) Are there any other factors?
Thank you for your time and energy, William
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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

The major thing you will have to contend with is rust....lots of it. You'll get tired of the rusty water long before the pipe gives up the ghost.
Galv iron pipe in water service may last from 20 to 100 yrs, depending on water conditions.
I would say that use of blk pipe was inexcusable.
Jim
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wrote: : > Greetings, : > : > I recently purchased a house which has had some of its galvanized water : > pipe replaced with black pipe. I know that the work is new because : > there are bar codes all over the pipe. I know that this is "not : > good" but I would like to have some notion of how bad it is before I : > decide whether or not to replace the pipe with galvanized. : > : > a) Is this a code violation (if yes, why?) : > b) What is the life expectancy of black pipe? : > c) What is the life expectancy of galvanized pipe? : > d) Are there any other factors? : > : > Thank you for your time and energy, : > William : > : : The major thing you will have to contend with is rust....lots of it. : You'll get tired of the rusty water long before the pipe gives up the ghost. : : Galv iron pipe in water service may last from 20 to 100 yrs, depending : on water conditions. : : I would say that use of blk pipe was inexcusable. : : Jim
Probably a cheap effort to get around some other pipe that was in such bad shape it would have affected the sale. My neighbor in Chgo used black pipe once becuase it was cheap and he "liked" the way it stopped leaking on its own if a fitting wasn't quite right. Five years later he was losing pressure and the culprit turned out to the the street ells; they were all filled with rust & junks. Turn the water off to replace something and he'd have to contend with rusty water and useless aerators for days at a time.
I doubt it's a health hazard, but if it isn't already, it sure should be against codes. Black pipe's for gas, not water.
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Don't know

Less th an galvanized. Depends on the composition of your water.

Can last a very long time, bu t depnds on the water.

Black pipe will rust so you'll see plenty of signs of this before you get leaks.
I'd go with copper or plastic.
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Yes it is a code violation an no one who knows anything about plumbing would do such a thing. Black pipe is used for gas and *not* water because it rusts. Black pipe is less expensive.
Which makes me think the previous owner must have done this or hired someone who did not know what they were doing.
I don't think you're going to have the pipe rust away tomorrow or 5 years from now even, but I imagine the water coming out of these pipes would be nasty, especially if water was not run through the pipe for several days.
I wonder what *else* the previous homeowner did or had done? I would check the house over real good, especially electrical wiring and natural gas plumbing if you have it. Check venting for natural gas appliances and fireplace chimney if you have that. Test your smoke detectors to be sure they work.
And I would put it on your list to replace all the black pipe with galvanized. Might want to install a water filter if it goes to a sink and or run the water for awhile before using it for cooking or drinking water.
So far as life expectancy, they use black pipe for fire sprinkler systems and these seem to last. But no one is drinking from these pipes. And when draining or testing these sprinkler systems, the water is nasty. I wouldn't drink it.
" snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com" wrote in message

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Bill wrote:

Black pipe is also used in old hot water/radiator systems. In both cases water is added and left in the system. I think disolved oxygen is a major cause of rust - if so the available oxygen reacts and the process ends because new water is not added.
I would replace with copper or maybe plastic, not galvanized.
bud--
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Bud-- wrote:

<SNIP>
I don't mean to nit-pick and no offense intended. I wouldn't use copper as it introduces more corrosion between dissimilar metals.
Plastic solves that problem, but may introduce another. If the house is older than roughly 1965, there is a good chance that the cold water piping was used as an equipment ground (switch/fixture boxes in kitchen/bath, for example).
Though such grounding means wouldn't be allowed today, replacing existing piping carries the risk of inadvertently breaking protective grounds.
Jim
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If you replace the entire piping system with copper, the galvanic action problem should not rear its head. If just replacing parts, it could be a problem. If you replace black pipe with plastic, you can use CPVC or PEX on hot or cold lines. Do not use PVC on in house piping per International Residential Building Code P2904.5. PVC is allowed for the service line from the street to the house. Note: Codes in your area may vary, consult your local building inspector.
Stretch
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There is no problem transitioning from Galv to copper if you use a dielectric coupling which can also serve as a union (which is usually also needed) when joining the threaded pipes back together.
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Bill wrote:

.... which makes one wonder why the inspection at time of sale didn't turn it up.

--
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" snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com" wrote:

Others addressed the basic questions so I'll ask another--what is it tied into and how old is the house/existing plumbing?
If they replaced _sections_ of existing galvanized because it was failing, in all likelihood any other galvanized is also on the verge as well if it hadn't been done already. I'd think it worth seriously considering whether the full job shouldn't be done at the time of doing the black replacement rather than just replacing the newer joints of black pipe.
That would include the possible use of galvanized throughout including things like the feeds to the showers, lavatories, etc., that could have leaks develop "any day now" if they're the same age as the replaced.
Just my (cheerful) $0.02, ... :)
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"Duane Bozarth" wrote in message

Good point! Also in some areas, "crud" will build up inside the pipes due to the water for the area. This can reduce the water flow over time. So you look inside a 3/4" pipe and there is 1/4" for the water to flow!
Also old hot water heaters can release crud into the hot water pipes, clogging the valves. Sometimes the pipes can be "back flushed" to solve these problems.
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Someone else is looking for a pipe rebuilder. Maybe you should send your pipe to a pipe galvanizer.
snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

--
Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
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Phil Munro wrote:

Greetings,
First I would like to say thank you all very much.
It sounds like a) if the water is not used I might have to run the faucet to flush the rust b) although it is against code, there is no health danger c) I will have to replace the black pipe early I plan on leaving the black pipe until it start to fail and then replacing the system with copper. In the meantime I will paint the exterior of the pipe. I plan to paint the gas pipe yellow, the hot water red, and the cold water blue. I am sure someone will tell me that I should not wait but if the pipe actually takes 7 or 8 years to fail I would rather have my money invested elsewhere in the meantime. The value of the house will not increase by the cost of the work.
Answers to some questions: a) The galvanized pipes are restricted but water pressure appears adequate. b) The house was built in the late 1800's. I do not know when the plumbing was last updated but there are lead drain pipes and lead joints used for the water pipes so I imagine it is quite old.
Hope this helps, William
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If it takes 7 years to start leaking and it has already been there it may only last 6 months. If you don't know how old the black pipe is, I would not wait to replace it
If it springs a big leak, will the water damage walls, carpets, furniture, floors, electric panesl, etc? Then don't wait. The threads are the thinnest part of the pipe, if it fails there the pipe could come apart and the leak will be VERY big. Could cause expensive damage.
Don't wait any longer than you have to.
Stretch
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Stretch wrote:

The black pipe appears new-ish. It is much cleaner with barcodes.

This is much more of a concern. Maybe I'll perform a yearly tapping stress-test on a "safe to break" pipe in the basement with a hammer.
The threads

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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

PS: I somehow end up always needing a hammer to perform any electrical or plumbing job I do --- but I am never able to determine why it will be necessary in advance of starting the job.
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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

Did you have the home inspected before you bought it? If you did, did the inspector pick up on that black iron piping?
Wouldn't suprise me if your answers were "yes" and "no" respectively. There are a more dummies bearing the credentials of home inspectors than there are knowledgeable persons doing a good job for what they are charging trusting home buyers for.
Jeff
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

Greetings,
I purchased the house "as-is" without an inspection and without homeowner's insurance.
Hope this helps, William
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On 16 Nov 2005 06:33:03 -0800, " snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com"

Black pipe is for gas. Water contains gasses. Just allow the gasses in the water in those sections of pipe rather than the liquid water and you wont have any problems.
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