I am getting slow leaks where the old water intake pipes are beginning to rust through. I consulted with a plumber who said that the situation is like a deck of cards. The pipes are so brittle that he could be working on one section and go to turn the union and another section may break. It sounds like it may be expensive, especially if the pipe breaks off up inside the wall. Is there a quick, easy fix for this, like a spray sealant similar to Flex Seal (the handyman in a can as seen on TV)? I looked in the local hardware store and they just gaped at me when I asked for plumbing sealant.
Sorry, but I don't know of any quick fix for rusted galvanized pipe. And replacing with more galvanized steel is a laugh! Some places allow PVC to be used for the house incoming pipe underground, and there may be better materials such as PEX.
Inside a house the galvanized hot water pipe usually goes first, and if it is under a concrete slab, it can be an expensive mess when it does go. Copper is no better under concrete.
Bob nails it. I'd look at going with PEX plumbing. It can be fished into walls like electrical wiring so there would be less disruption to your house. You could possibly drain the old plumbing and leave it in place once you get the PEX in.
Galvanized supply lines are good for 30 years or so, if yours are older they are a major leak waiting to happen. Sorry for the lousy Christmas gift.
Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.
My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
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