Galvanized Pipes

I have an agent asking for guidance. His seller has galvanized pipes and one was discovered leaking. The buyer wants the seller to replace all of the pipes with pvc. If one is leaking does that mean all will eventually? Is it reasonable to expect the seller to replace all of the pipes? How would you advise the agent?

If one is leaking, and the others are the same age, they are sure to follow in a short time. Easier to replace with PEX. Using CPVC still means angles and 90’s that have to be glued. You can’t snake a stiff piece as easy. JMHO.

Get a plumber to provide a quote and scope of work for repairs.

Depending on who calls the plumber there will be two different results:

Sellers plumber will want to patch it with CPVC or PEX.

Buyers plumber will want to do a complete repipe with CPVC or PEX.

Most repipes are done with CPVC since pex tools require more working space.

I think most (and I) will agree with Stephen here, unless the installation of the galvanized supply plumbing is a modern one, replacement is generally warranted.

Please explain.

My manual PEX tool is about the size of a large pair of channel locks. The battery powered ones are even smaller. Space not an issue in the 3 re-pipes I have done.

You never stated how old the house was,nor did you explain the situation such as was the leak caused by electrolysis at a dissimilar metal coupling with missing dielectric.

While galvanized is not normally used for new install it is still sold in great numbers for repair of what still exists.

It could last another few decades for all we know so to say the buyer has a right to a complete overhaul based one one leaky pipe seems rather far reaching .
Squeaky wheel gets the most oil however so all they can do is ask.

My experience is when the joints start leaking then most of it should be replaced. That’s if the system is aged and the leaks are from corrosion of course.

I recently just re piped my parents home. While the pipes looked good, you could just tug on them and they would snap at the fittings. The 3/4 on the hot side was so closed up you could not run a pencil thorugh it. It amazes me how you can get water for so long out of these pipes, when they are corroded so badly inside.

I would recommend that the leak gets repaired and the plumber can evaluate the lines at that time. You know what they will look like but once they are cracked open he will be able to show the seller the true condition.

Then he is the bad guy, right.

We see it a lot. If its clogged OR leaking we recommend repair or replacement. Up here if its in a basement or crawlspace when it first clogs or leaks, they usually replace just the horizontals and elbows which buys them another maybe 10 years before they have to replace the risers.

If its JUST THERE with no stoppage, loss of flow or leakage, here is our sample commentary.

Galvanized water lines were present and these typically indicate an older system. Galvanized pipes are subject to deterioration from the inside out, and significantly clogging on the inside almost like a humans arteries (loss of water flow). Galvanized piping often clogs or rusts out around 35-50 years of age and will need repair or replacement at that time. These types of pipe can clog or fail at any time. Budget for unexpected repairs in any building with this type of older original plumbing.

A true repipe involves all of it, even the hard to get to areas.
Less wall and cabinet damage if CPVC is pieced in rather than trying to snake in long pieces. PEX is not as flexible as many think and should not be overly forced.

A lot of “repipes” are probably like those electrical “upgrades” we see that still use the old wires in hard to access places.

Today’s inspection had galvanized. Turned on the bath sink and not so bad. Then while it was running turned on the tub and the sink slowed down to a bare trickle… My water gauge said 90 psi outside, so seeing the fact about a 3rd has already been replaced, guess it’s time to make them replace it all.

Bruce, cpvc has joints hidden in walls and have to be accessed in order to properly cement the pieces together. PEX does not. Maybe you need a truly professional plumber LIKE THISin order to do the re-pipe. :wink:

I think I just sprung a leak…:wink:


Funny video Stephen

I did not even feel a need for audio.

It is better to replace the galvanized pipes as other may show such types of problem.
Once the water is off you can begin to try to determine what the problem is. If you have an older house you may have galvanized pipe leaks. These are especially tricky because when you fix one you may cause another by disturbing the old pipe.

Brain Reed

Galvanized pipe is only used these days to repair existing installations of galvanized pipe. It corrodes, introduces scale into your water, etc. PVC is a better choice. Hope this help. Cheers

Your solution to galvanized sheets & galvanized pipes matters!


Some people just cannot, or not able to, read dates of threads.

]( Thanks…Roy