Piping and human health

Ever thought about the piping in your home?

Apparently galvanized pipes were popular for a few decades last century, which can easily corrode and are known to be pretty hazardous to drinking water. Makes sense, I’ve heard stories of rusty looking water and stuff. They’re banned now.

Regular copper pipes back then, usually, had lead solder to join the fittings and pipes together. (it’s much easier to work with) This lead solder could leach into the water, if it was poorly applied, and potentially cause lead poisoning. You can only determine if it’s present by a chemical analysis.

This practice was made illegal by the mid 90’s but any home older than that is likely to have some lead soldered joints. I wonder if there’s a correlation between poor plumbing and health problems….

Nowadays many homes are, apparently, plumbed with different types of plastic piping as copper piping has gotten too expensive for many builders. So lead is not an issue anymore in these homes.

But there’s the question of bio accumulation in the pipes, since plastic does not have the same antimicrobrial properties of copper. Like really old homes with cast iron pipes, if you’ve ever seen a picture of that where it’s gunked up.

Apparently the best material is stainless steel for water pipes. Though it’s unlikely you’ll ever find that, in a residence, outside of a custom built and spec’ed home.

It’s cool to realize there’s entire hidden worlds of technology underlying daily life.

Edited from original post on facebook, December 2018