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Galvanic Corrosion - Your old rusty pipes might need changing

Galvanic Corrosion in Old Water Pipes in South African Homes and the Prevention of Pinhole Leaks

In South African homes, pinhole leaks in water pipes are a common issue, and they can cause significant damage to your plumbing and infrastructure. Here’s a brief explanation of galvanic corrosion, the causes of pinhole leaks, and options for pipe replacement.

Galvanised pipe burst on seam
Galvanised pipe burst on seam

  1. Galvanic Corrosion:

  • Galvanic corrosion occurs when two different metals come into contact and create an electrical current. This often happens in older homes where copper and steel pipes are used together.

  • The electrical current leads to corrosion in the pipes, eventually resulting in pinhole leaks.

  1. Causes of Pinhole Leaks:

  • Poor Water Quality: High acidity, alkalinity, excessive minerals, or corrosive chemicals in the water can cause pinhole leaks.

  • Pipe Corrosion: Age, exposure to chemicals, or improper installation can promote corrosion.

  • High Water Pressure: Excessive pressure can damage pipes and lead to leaks.

  • Movement and Vibrations: Pipes that move or vibrate can develop pinhole leaks.

  • Normal Wear and Tear: Over time, pipes can weaken and start showing leaks.

  1. Prevention and Replacement:

  • Water Quality: Test your water regularly and install a water softener if needed.

  • Pipe Inspection: Look for corrosion and discoloration on the pipes and replace old pipes.

  • Choose Corrosion-Resistant Materials: Copper, PEX, or PVC are good options.

  • Consider Whole-House Repiping: If there are many pinhole leaks, consider replacing all the pipes in your home.

Remember to maintain your plumbing regularly and promptly address rusty pipes and pinhole leaks. Doing so will protect your home’s infrastructure and prevent unnecessary damage .

Rusty water pipe wall thinning
Rusty water pipe wall thinning


Galvaniese korrosie in ou waterpype in Suid-Afrikaanse huise en die voorkoming van pinhole-lekke

In Suid-Afrikaanse huise kom pinhole-lekke in waterpype dikwels voor, en dit kan ernstige skade aan jou loodgieterswerk en infrastruktuur veroorsaak. Hier is 'n kort verduideliking van galvaniese korrosie, die oorsake van pinhole-lekke, en opsies vir vervanging van pype.

Rust build up inside old galvanised water pipe
Rust build up inside old galvanised water pipe

  1. Galvaniese korrosie:

  • Galvaniese korrosie ontstaan wanneer twee verskillende metale in kontak kom en 'n elektriese stroom vorm. Dit gebeur dikwels in ouer huise waar koper- en staalpype saam gebruik word.

  • Die elektriese stroom veroorsaak korrosie in die pype, wat uiteindelik lei tot pinhole-lekke.

  1. Oorsake van pinhole-lekke:

  • Slegte waterkwaliteit: Hoë suurheid, alkaliniteit, oormatige minerale, of korrosiewe chemikalieë in die water kan pinhole-lekke veroorsaak.

  • Pypkorrosie: Ouderdom, blootstelling aan chemikalieë, of verkeerde installasie kan korrosie bevorder.

  • Hoë waterdruk: Dit kan die pype beskadig en lekke veroorsaak.

  • Beweging en vibrasies: Pype wat beweeg of vibreer, kan pinhole-lekke ontwikkel.

  • Normale slytasie: Oor tyd kan pype verswak en lekke begin toon.

  1. Voorkoming en vervanging:

  • Waterkwaliteit: Toets jou water gereeld en installeer 'n waterververser as nodig.

  • Pypinspeksie: Kyk vir korrosie en diskleurasie op die pype en vervang ou pype.

  • Kies korrosiebestande materiaal: Koper, PEX, of PVC is goeie opsies.

  • Oorweeg hele-huis herpyping: As daar baie pinhole-lekke is, oorweeg om al die pype in jou huis te vervang.

Onthou om jou loodgieterswerk gereeld te onderhou en vinnig en doeltreffend op pinhole-lekke te reageer. Dit sal jou huis se infrastruktuur beskerm en onnodige skade voorkom.

Metal water pipe pitting and leaking
Metal water pipe pitting and leaking


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