Did you know that the quality of your home’s tap water can directly affect the lifespan of your home’s pipes and plumbing appliances? There are a number of different water quality issues that can cause all sorts of problems inside if your home’s pipes, leading to both clogging and water leaks. One such quality issue is the corrosiveness of your tap water. Today we’re going to talk about what makes tap water corrosive, how to recognize corrosive tap water and what you can do to make your tap water less corrosive!
What makes tap water corrosive?
Corrosion is a chemical process that occurs when metal reacts with oxygen in water. Overtime, this chemical reaction causes the metal to dissolve, which is why metal pipes develop holes as they get older. All water contains some degree of dissolved oxygen, so corrosion will naturally occur in metal pipes eventually. But the rate at which this process occurs depends on the properties of your home’s water.
The biggest factor that influences the rate at which corrosion occurs in your home’s pipes is the pH level of your tap water. If your water has a low pH level, it is considered acidic. Acidic water is highly corrosive, and it will cause your pipes to corrode much quicker than they would if your water had a more neutral pH level.
In addition, f your local water treatment plant uses chloramine (a mixture of chlorine and ammonia) as a disinfectant, your home’s tap water will be more corrosive because chloramine is much more corrosive than chlorine by itself.
How do you know if you have corrosive tap water?
- Your water tastes metallic. When metal pipes corrode, their materials will break off and leech into the water that comes out of your taps. These particles often make drinking water taste metallic.
- You notice blue/green stains on your pipes or fixtures. A tell-tale sign of corrosion is bluish-green stains both on your pipes themselves and on your plumbing surfaces and fixtures.
- Your pipes are leaking. The most unfortunate way to find out that your water is corrosive is when the corrosion has already eaten through a pipe and your home has a water leak.
These are all good things to look out for, but the best way to know if your tap water is corrosive is to schedule a free water quality test with North Carolina Water Consultants. We can test your water’s pH level and measure for concentrations of other corrosive contaminants, which will allow us to pinpoint your water’s specific problems.
What are the effects of corrosive tap water to your health and your home?
If your home’s tap water is corrosive, it will greatly decrease the lifespan of your home’s plumbing system. Not only will you have to make more expensive repair calls to the plumber, but you’ll also have to replace the entire plumbing system in your home much sooner than you would if your water was not corrosive.
Corrosive tap water also comes with some serious health consequences. When copper, zinc or lead particles break off of your home’s pipes, they will get into the water that you drink. This can cause both short- and long-term health effects.
In the short-term, exposure to contaminants like zinc and copper can cause gastrointestinal issues. Long-term exposure to zinc, copper or lead can cause much more severe health problems, including high blood pressure, kidney problems, liver damage, brain damage and developmental problems in children.
How can you make your tap water less corrosive?
The best way to reduce the corrosiveness of your tap water is to install a whole-house acid neutralizer in your home. An acid neutralizer will raise the pH level of your water, which will take care of its corrosive properties if your water was acidic.
If your water is corrosive due to another contaminant like chloramine, a whole house carbon filter or reverse osmosis system can remove the corrosive chemical(s) from your water before it is sent through your home’s pipes.
If you have any questions about corrosive tap water, or if you’d like a water system serviced or installed in your home, contact North Carolina Water Consultants, your water softener and water filtration system dealer in North and South Carolina. We provide service all over the Carolinas, including towns like Davidson, Kannapolis and Mooresville, NC.