In the steel manufacturing industry, there are steel pipes and steel tubes. On the surface, these items may seem similar, but they are in fact completely different.
Steel piping is commonly used due to its durable nature. It can withstand high pressure and heat alike. For this reason, it’s typically used for plumbing and gas lines throughout residences and commercial buildings.
Steel is one of the most durable and reliable metals in the world. Due to this, it is used for a variety of purposes, such as residential/commercial construction, auto manufacturing, and infrastructural development. While steel can be very durable and last for a long time, it does require some maintenance.
One of the more serious issues that can affect steel is rust. This occurs when a steel pipe or other steel material begins to corrode. The corrosion process refers to when steel comes into contact with water or oxygen for an extended period of time. Since it is a naturally occurring process, it can be hard to completely control. Fortunately, there are measures you can take that will aid in preventing rust from damaging your steel materials.
Clean the Steel Regularly
While certain paints, primers, and other coatings can do a good job of preventing rust from occurring, you will still need to conduct regular maintenance. One of the most basic types of maintenance for steel is to simply clean it on a regular basis. If steel begins to look dirty, it could be the first indication that rust will begin to form. Because of this, you should use steel cleaners to make sure that they are clean of all debris when possible. There are a variety of industrial steel cleaners today that will do a good job of protecting the steel. You can also use a variety of more natural solutions, such as a mixture of water, salt, and lime. White vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda paste are also viable options.
Consider Galvanized Piping
Galvanized steel pipes are coated in zinc to protect against rust formation. These are primarily used to transport water and can last decades. They’re more affordable than copper piping but still more durable than plastic, making them a top choice for large construction projects and outdoor uses where large amounts of water will be carried. The only problem with galvanized piping is that their diameter gets smaller over time, as sediment reacts to the zinc barrier and can begin to accumulate, restricting water flow. If this causes a clog, hammer out the sediment and other minerals from the outside of the pipe and flush the pipes out.
Remove Evidence of Rust
Since rust is a naturally occurring element, it can be hard to completely prevent at all times. However, if you do begin to see signs of rust, it is important that you react right away. When you notice a small section of rust growing on a piece of steel, you should go to your local hardware store. Purchase a steel brush to scrape off evidence of the rust. You can also use WD-40 to break down the bonds between the metal and the rust, making the removal process easier. Doing this will help to prevent the rusting area to corrode any further. After removing all of the rust, you should reapply a new primer and paint to prevent any rust from coming back. There is no perfect piping, but it is crucial to equip yourself with the right knowledge for prevention and maintenance.
Old buildings look charming from the outside, but inside their walls and beneath the foundation, disaster can be brewing by way of the original plumbing. With time and lack of maintenance, water pipes in older buildings experience corrosion, rust and decay, making it necessary to have the plumbing replaced.
If not, it could get leaks that cause flooding of water or raw sewage. This damage could add huge expenses for the repair of the building and the replacement of your belongings.
Making the Decision to Replace Old Pipes
It’s important that you find out what kind of plumbing your older building has. That way, you can determine how long you expect it to last and how safe it is.
Any inspection reports available for the building can help you see what kind of pipes were used when it was first built.
If that proves difficult, you can also seek the services of a trusted plumber to do an inspection and help you discover what the overall health is of your older building’s plumbing system.
Why Replace Old Pipes
If your older building’s plumbing is old, it probably has water pipes made of lead or iron, and if it has lead water pipes, they should definitely be replaced.
Lead pipes have highly toxic and corrosive elements that leak into the drinking water system of a building, which can affect your health negatively and maybe even cause death. Old iron pipes should also be replaced, as they tend to rust with time.
Many modern buildings use steel pipes, which are considered the superior choice.
Steel vs. Copper Pipes
Steel pipes for plumbing have always been a preferred choice for use in buildings because of their durability. They can last a lifetime. Other advantages are cost-effectiveness and resilience from extreme hot or cold temperatures, plus they’re also not affected by salt water washing over them.
Carbon steel is a more commonly used form of steel as it is less expensive to install.
Copper pipes have also been known to be used in plumbing. A known disadvantage to installing copper pipes is that copper can’t handle extreme cold temperatures. It causes the copper fittings to split.
This is also a much more expensive option than using steel pipes, because copper plumbing fittings are a lot more costly than steel ones. If you’re sticking to a particular budget, having copper pipes installed can blow it out of proportion.
Also, if the water in your building contains high levels of acid, the acidity can cause corrosion in copper plumbing.
The decisions you make for choosing the materials you plan to replace old pipes with depends on your budget and the kind of quality you want in the plumbing in your home.
One thing is for sure – when you’re certain that you need to replace your building’s pipes, getting more than one opinion from experts and learning as much as you can about the pros and cons of replacing your building’s pipes is advisable.
Federal Steel Supply: The preferred steel pipe provider of the global community since 1979.