Do you know how to detect improper materials or installation in supply lines? Improper material installation and use for interior natural/propane gas and water supply pipes are common defects found in many houses I have inspected. Many issues can occur from improper material use. Five common issues are covered here.

Gas: Black pipe/black steel and copper are the commonly used materials for interior gas supply piping in the Peoria, IL area.

  1. Galvanized steel pipe used for gas supply. Galvanized steel is NOT rated for gas supply use. This is one of the most common misused materials for gas. The galvanized coating can flake off and send sediment into gas appliances causing gas flow restrictions and damage.
Galvanized Used for Gas and Dissimilar Metal Connection

2. Galvanized steel connected directly to black pipe can cause a dissimilar metal or galvanic reaction between black pipe and the galvanized coating which can cause a leak. It is rare but possible for a leak to occur in this situation.

Galvanized Used for Gas and Dissimilar Metal Connection

3. Old uncoated brass flex gas supply lines still in use. The connectors are known to come apart and are a fire hazard. The brass flex lines have not been made for more than 30 years.  https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/gas.pdf

Gas Brass Flex Line

Water: Copper, Galvanized steel, PVC, CPVC, and Pex are commonly used materials for interior water supply piping in the Peoria IL area.

4. PVC used for hot water supply. PVC is ONLY rated for COLD water use and is not rated for hot water use. It has a maximum rating of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures above this can cause the PVC to break down leading to pipes thinning, leaking or bursting. CPVC is rated for cold and hot water use. It has a maximum rating of 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

PVC Used for Hot and Cole Water Supply

5. Old lead supply pipes still in use. Lead can leach into water sitting in pipes and is a possible health risk. Hot water can leach higher levels of lead from pipes than cold water. Congress restricted lead usage in plumbing supply pipes in 1986.

Lead Water Pipe

If you’re interested in more information or would like to have an inspection – call 309-360-5664 or email cchomeinspect@hotmail.com and ask for Joe.