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Pipe Erosion 101 Causes and Solutions

When you think of the term erosion, you probably associate it with soil as it is washed away by water over time. Your plumbing pipes can also succumb to erosion of the metal as it thins and develops holes and cracks over time due to a variety of factors. Pipe erosion-corrosion is quite common. This type of pipe deterioration usually occurs over time due to the materials of the pipe, the acidity of the water, the temperature of the fluid flowing through the pipe and the velocity and pressure of the fluid. Here is more information on the causes of pipe erosion.

The material of the pipe can be a huge factor when it comes to pipe erosion.


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Metal pipes, especially cast iron and steel, can rust over time. Galvanized steel can develop corrosion, which can both narrow the internal diameter of the pipe and lead to pinhole leaks. Copper pipes can wear down over time, especially at the seams and joints, leading to progressively larger leaks until the pipe completely fails.

High heats can also contribute to pipe erosion. This type of erosion is more common in hot water and steam lines than in cold water lines, especially if the water or steam is traveling at a high rate of speed.
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