Near the ocean, saltwater affects more than boats and homes on the coastline.
Brackish water, flooding, and other sources of saltwater exposure can
leave home and business plumbing in a corrosive environment. If you live
near the coast, check exposed piping routinely for saltwater corrosion
and invest in corrosion resistant materials for repair work. If in doubt,
call a professional to look at your pipes. Here is what you need to know
about saltwater corrosion:
Piping and Corrosion
Copper is one of the least resistant metals to salt-related corrosion.
Over time, copper pipes will turn bluish-green with exposure and eventually
crumble away. Galvanized steel and cast iron are more resistant to saltwater
corrosion, but exposure over time can still cause damage. Plastic, which
is commonly used in
plumbing today, is one of the most resistant materials when it comes to saltwater
corrosion. When you purchase a home, identify plumbing materials early
so you know where to look in the event of saltwater exposure or unidentified leaks.
Signs of Corrosion
Exposed copper piping that starts to corrode and turn blue-green may indicate
a need to evaluate your system. If you notice red or brown tinged water
coming out of your faucets, that could indicate saltwater related corrosion
in steel and iron piping. Have your system inspected by a professional
Fort Myers plumber if you notice red-tinged laundry or discolored water
that doesn't go away. While this can sometimes be caused by sediment
in the line, it can also be an indication of severe corrosion problems.
What to Do if Your Plumbing Has Been Exposed to Saltwater
Depending on the material that has been exposed, you may need to immediately
take action to prevent damage to your overall plumbing system. To remove
saltwater from pipes, the whole system needs to be flushed and then pumped
on the inside. Clean exposed pipe must on the outside. Without proper
flushing, salt can remain in your plumbing system and will slowly eat
away at the metal.
In addition to your plumbing, check appliances after saltwater exposure.
Salt will continue to do damage even after it dries, so thorough cleaning
is very important. Some appliances and
piping may need to be replaced entirely, particularly if you are working in post-flood
conditions. Saltwater conducts electricity more easily than freshwater,
so seek professional help if you are concerned about a potential electric shock.
Will Saltwater Baths Cause Damage?
Salt has amazing restorative health benefits and are very unlikely to harm
your home's plumbing system, so don't worry about the occasional
salt-bath additives going down the drain. Your only concern should be
for prolonged salt exposure in natural disasters.
Should Saltwater Be a High Concern for Homeowners Near the Coast?
If you haven't experienced saltwater flooding in your home, the chances
of salt causing significant damage to your plumbing is slim. It is always
a good idea to ask your local plumber about materials and the risk of
saltwater corrosion, but most newer homes are protected against saltwater
corrosion damage in the plumbing.
If you are experiencing salt water corrosion, don’t hesitate to
contact The Eco Plumbers. We are the professionals that you can trust with all of your plumbing needs!