5 Warning Signs of Pipe Corrosion You Shouldn't Ignore

Modern pipes don't corrode nearly as easily or often as older ones, but this problem hasn't been totally eradicated. Corroded pipes can lead to substantial leaks and other plumbing emergencies, so heavily corroded pipes should be considered a serious plumbing issue in their own right. With that in mind, you should learn to spot these five early warning signs.

1. Reddish-Brown Water

Probably the most obvious sign of pipe corrosion is reddish-brown water. Unfortunately, this is usually only noticeable when you first turn on a tap. Water that has sat waiting to come out will have been exposed to corrosion long enough for flakes to come off. When you first turn on the water, it could be reddish-brown for just a second before returning to clear. It can be easy to ignore such a fleeting colour change; instead, take it as your first warning sign.

2. Stained Fixtures

Even if there isn't enough corrosion to produce a noticeable difference in water colour, you might still notice discolouration. If flakes of rust are getting into the water, you might spot brownish stains around the drain of your sink, shower or bath, as well as around the bowl of your toilet. Such stains can occur when water with a small amount of corroded particles is allowed to sit.

3. Blue Stains

Most people worried about pipe corrosion only consider reddish-brown stains on their pipes to be a cause for concern—after all, that's what people imagine when you talk about corrosion. In reality, blue stains are more likely if pipes are suffering from internal corrosion. If any piping is exposed, check for blue stains and build-ups. Be particularly vigilant around connections to fixtures.

4. Restricted Flow

At first, corrosion won't produce any noticeable pressure changes. However, severely corroded pipes will start to restrict water flow. When you turn on your shower, you might notice that the stream of water is weaker than it used to be. Baths and toilet cisterns may take longer to fill, and your taps might not seem as powerful.

5. Strange Taste

Pipe corrosion is associated with oxidation, which means the water takes up too many minerals. This is something you might notice when you take a drink of water. If there's a strange taste similar to very heavy mineral water, pipe corrosion could be the culprit. Of course, any funny tastes are a cause for concern, so contact a professional plumbing company like Tai Irwin Plumbing & Draining immediately.