Gal steel Townhome

This townhome has a central water boiler providing hot water and radiant heat to all the units. It appears as the main water line(s) are galvanized steel. All the water lines in the unit are copper and a little pex. I am going to write up the gal steel. What is your opinions? Thanks

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What would you write? Does your jurisdiction prohibit the use of galvanized steel for supply lines?

I’m with Jeff…

What’s the problem with gal steel?

gal steel rusts from the inside out and has higher probability of water leakage and poor water quality in potable water piping. In my area it is typically uninsurable.

I havent really seen it as a primary supply line and copper through-out the unit/building.

You guys dont call out gal steel supply piping?


Virtually any pipe is going to have it’s problems over time. Yea, in 40 years the supply might have to be replaced. But if it’s copper it might have to be replaced too. So to answer your question in a word… No.

In my particular jurisdiction, galvanized steel pipes are no longer approved for re-pipes or original construction, however, California’s building code still allows it.

If there are no current issues with the piping, there’s no reason to “write it up” unless it’s prohibited by the AHJ.

Having said that, all the galvanized piping I have ever seen has been close to, or in need of replacement. I have not seen galv in newer construction.

I’ve look at that picture for a while now and maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t that black pipe and cast iron fittings. If I’m right neither are approved for supply piping anywhere in the country (I could be wrong, but not sure cast iron fittings were ever approved for supply.
Someone with better eyes set me straight.

Not sure where it came from, but I hope this is useful as I often refer to this .

Galvanized pipe was commonly used for water supply lines many years ago, but over time many have filled with scale, which is why some older homes suffer from low water pressure. Hard water greatly reduces the life of steel pipe.

This is a common mistake. Pressure is not affected by pipe size or material. The static pressure is the same whether the inside diameter is 1/16 of an inch, or 3 inches, or 3 feet.

Flow, or volume (GPM) is reduced by pipe diameters.

The following, however, is true.

Some Chicago inspector had a blog entry titled “Is it pressure or flow” - can’t recall who, though. :wink: :stuck_out_tongue:

Pressure (PSI) and flow (GPM) are two, completely separate items, and should be inspected as such.

I agree with everything you’ve said. However, there were some dramatic failures of non-domestic galvanized pipes in our general area, Korean galvanized (I think), which were springing pin-holes leaks due to an inadequate annealing process. Also, if I remember correctly, some copper mains in Canyon Country were failing prematurely due to acidic soils and builders were substituting them for galvanized ones. This is not a recent phenomenom, and I wondered if you’d heard about it. The Korean galvanized were infamous for awhile, and would inform my clients about its history of leaks, and always deferred to a specialist.

Yes Kieth, I am aware of the sub-standard Korean piping that was used. My area (Santa Clarita) was one of the areas significantly affected by this particular piping.

There was a large class-action lawsuit filed against builders in our area for using this pipe, which was settled for $41 million, affecting more than 5,000 homes.

Here is a snippet from one article published about the lawsuit.

There were even allegations that water-softening systems were partially responsible for the premature failure of this piping. Several suppliers of these systems were included in the lawsuit and contributed to the settlement.

In any event, since 1994, the use of galvanized piping has been discontinued in the Jurisdiction of Santa Clarita.

Okay, I’ll ask one more time, anyone else think that large black steel pipe is not Galvanized. It is actually black steel pipe. Oh and BTW there are no insulating unions in that picture.

That’s what it looks like to me, black steel. It looks like most gas lines in my area.

Thanks Chris
Thought I was going crazy. Well, maybe I am anyways.

I agree. That’s how it looks to me as well. You’re not crazy :wink:

Jack what are insulating unions?:smiley:

Dielectric unions insulate between steel and copper or ferrous and non ferrous metals.:cool: