Pipes snake from business to business and from house to house. They are essential for the delivery of oil, gas, and even water. Without pipes, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the same luxuries in life. After all, no water does change your standard of living.
But, it’s not just between properties, pipes are also present in your home. Their main purpose is to carry water around your home and deliver it where you need it. It’s something that most people take for granted despite the fact that approximately 1.8 billion people still don’t have access to adequate sanitation facilities!
Of course, you’ll quickly pay attention to your pipes if they burst, flooding your home and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. Alongside the physical damage, there is also mental anguish, especially if sentimental items have been destroyed.
The most common cause of burst pipes is not frozen pipes, it’s corrosion. Metal pipes, water, and oxygen are the perfect ingredients for rust to form. This corrodes the pipes, weakening them. When they are weak enough the pipe will split, allowing water, or any other substance in them, out. This is why you should have your pipes checked regularly for corrosion.
One thing you can do is to inspect your pipes visually. You’ll want to pay particular attention to any joints, these are where corrosion and leaks often first appear.
Corrosion on copper pipes is generally a blue-green color. The older your pipes the more likely it is you’ll see some. This tells you the pipe is weakened, although it won’t tell you how close they are to breaking.
There are several techniques that can help you to inspect your pipes properly but magnetic particle testing is probably one of the best. It uses wet magnetic particles and allows them to flow across the surface of your pipes.
The pipes are then studied with ultraviolet light. The magnetic particles allow the UV light to map the surface, showing every contour and deviation. As a pipe should have a smooth surface these deviations are of great interest. They are a sign that your pipe is already experiencing corrosion, even if it’s not visible to you.
You’ll want to monitor its progress in order to know when to replace it before it causes damage.
It’s also worth noting that corrosion will often appear on the inside of your pipes first. This is harder to inspect but not impossible. You can purchase small cameras to insert through the pipework, these will allow you to inspect the interior of the pipes and spot any corrosion.
Alternatively, you can disconnect joints to look into the pipes yourself. Of course, if you’re disconnecting joints and you find corrosion it’s best to replace the affected pipe while you have the water supply turned off.
The aim is to prevent an unexpected and unwanted interruption in your water flow by preempting issues. It’s an effective approach.