One of the primary functions of our homes is to provide us with an adequate supply of fresh water for all of life’s necessities. From doing dishes and laundry to flushing toilets and taking showers, we use a lot of water. So naturally, it can be very distressing to turn on a faucet only to find a less than abundant supply of H20 lazily trickling from the spout. Especially when it is in your soon to be dream home that you have had such high hopes for thus far. “Oh no, where’s the water” you think, just before your mind goes down a rabbit hole of imminent disaster what if scenarios.
While yes, there may be many possible causes, more often than not we find reduced flow to be attributed to one thing: galvanized piping. Although not used today, it was commonly used in homes built before 1960 and is still quite prevalent in older homes that have not been renovated. The problem with galvanized pipes is that over time it corrodes from the inside, restricting flow much like a clogged artery. This condition gets worse over time and in most cases this type of plumbing is at the end of its useful life and in need of replacement.
If low flow is observed at an older property look for galvanized piping. Often you will find that some or much of the piping has already been replaced with copper or PEX except for 1 or 2 sections where galvanized still remains, causing issues only in a specific area or at a specific fixture. Sometimes these older sections are harder to find or access which is why they were not replaced when the rest of the pipes were updated. In other cases, older pipes may have only been replaced only in part, at different times as needed at specific failure points. This often leaves a Frankenstein system of galvanized to copper to PEX back to galvanised, etc. Either way, if you spot galvanized piping you have likely solved the case!