Are your pipes showing signs of rust and corrosion? Learn the common signs, if you can repair it yourself, and if a home warranty will cover the repair.
Rust and corrosion: two of the major contributing factors to plumbing issues. Nobody wants to have to deal with them. But, unfortunately, they’re inevitable issues for many of us. Wondering if your home may be experiencing pipe corrosion? And, better yet, is it covered under a home warranty? Here’s what you need to know.
First, what causes corrosion and rusted pipes?
Have you ever taken a close look at your plumbing pipes to see what material they are made of? Chances are, if you live in an older home, your house is outfitted with cast iron or galvanized steel pipes. Rust, which leads to corrosion (the breaking down of metal), is a natural byproduct that occurs when metals react with oxygen and other ordinary minerals found in water. And, unfortunately, those cast iron and galvanized steel pipes are prone to rust. The worst part? Galvanized pipes rust from the inside out, so by the time you notice rust on the outside, that pipe has long been compromised.
Note: Even if you have a newer home with copper piping, you could still be a victim of corrosion. Have PVC (or polyvinyl chloride) or PEX (or crosslinked polyethylene) pipes? Lucky you! You’re likely in the clear, since your pipes aren't made of metal!
What are some typical signs of rusted and corroded pipes?
Aside from the obvious (visible rust and corrosion as well as water leaks), here are some other signs that you may be dealing with compromised pipes:
- A loss of water pressure
- Frequent clogs
- Discolored water
- Metallic-tasting water
- Cracking in cast-iron pipes (usually on the top or in a seam)
- Unexplained wet areas in crawlspace underneath the house[JJ3]
Is rust and corrosion something that the typical homeowner can repair?
Here’s a hint: According to the 2016 AHS National Contractor Survey (CONE PR Insights), nearly three out of five of American Home Shield’s network of service contractors surveyed commented they are often called in to fix homeowners’ DIY repair attempts to major systems or appliances. What’s more, the service contractors said that leaky pipes, showerheads or toilets rank as the No. 1 issue homeowners try to fix themselves, and plumbing ranks as one of the top three systems those service contractors say they wish homeowners would stop trying to fix themselves and leave to the trained experts to service. As great as it would be to recommend a simple DIY “patch” job, we’re dealing with water here, and if not repaired correctly by a professional, there could be a lot of costly damage to your home.
So, does a home warranty cover pipe corrosion repair?
Possibly. And we say that because, when it comes to plumbing issues, it’s imperative that you do your homework when searching for the right home warranty for you. Some home warranty companies like to be extra picky about what they’ll cover — and rusted and corroded pipes sometimes don’t make the cut. The same goes for homeowner’s insurance companies. The good news? Unlike those other companies, American Home Shield Home Warranties with plumbing coverage do cover plumbing issues related to rust and corrosion. You can rest assured.
Want to see what else we cover? Check out all the AHS® Home Warranty coverage options today.