Construction-related failures in plumbing pipes

June 1, 2022
Construction-related failures in plumbing pipes

Metal corrosion is an ever-present problem in the plumbing industry. Common piping materials such as copper, steel, and cast-iron are readily oxidized and thus undergo aqueous corrosion at a rate dependent on the corrosivity of the service environment.

When properly designed and installed, plumbing systems will provide many decades of problem-free service. Careful corrosion engineering management, including attention to details such as materials selection, fluid mechanics, water-chemistry control, protective coatings, cathodic protection, and suitable material corrosion allowance, should ensure these materials comfortably survive their design life. However, actions during the construction or renovation of a building can have unintended consequences that can dramatically reduce the service life of plumbing systems.

This article highlights some recent plumbing pipe failures caused by actions during construction or renovation and discusses methods to avoid such problems.

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