Pros, Cons, and Considerations of Galvanized Steel Pipes

Galvanised steel pipes are tough metal pipes coated with zinc to fight rust. They can last up to 40 years outside which is really long! These strong pipes are great for building big things and watering crops on farms.

But they’re not perfect. Even though they are hard, they can crack, and sometimes stuff builds up inside them slowing down the water flow. They also cost a bit more, and if they break, you have to get new ones instead of just fixing them.

In California, people try not to use these pipes because they’re not good for the environment. There’s something else called flexible plumbing hoses that might be better because they’re cheaper, easy to put in, don’t get blocked easily by minerals, and might even last longer than galvanised steel pipes.

If you pick galvanised steel pipes anyway, remember you need to check them so nothing bad builds up inside. A group called 1800Bollards says using a zinc primer is better for those round posts on pavements – it’s kinder on our planet too!

Now let’s look closer at what makes these metal pipes good or bad!

Advantages of Galvanised Steel Pipes

Galvanised steel pipes offer a suite of benefits that make them a popular choice for many plumbing applications. They are celebrated for their robustness and the substantial protection they provide against corrosive elements, contributing to their extensive service life.


Galvanised steel pipes last a long time. Outdoors, they can serve for up to 40 years. The zinc coating slows down rust and gives the pipes extra life. However, these pipes need regular checks and cleaning.

Over time, minerals build up inside them which can lead to blockages.

Careful maintenance extends their lifespan even further. Plumbers often check galvanised pipes for signs of age or damage. They clear out any mineral deposits that could cause problems in your plumbing system.

With proper care, these pipes remain an enduring part of homes and buildings.

Resistance to Corrosion

Moving from the longevity aspect, galvanised steel pipes also boast a strong defence against rust. The zinc coating acts like a barrier, stopping corrosive substances from reaching the steel.

This protection means that structures and plumbing systems using these pipes are less likely to suffer from leaks caused by rust.

Galvanised pipes handle tough conditions well. They fend off corrosion even when exposed to moisture and oxygen, which usually speed up the rusting process. This makes them ideal for outdoor applications or places with high humidity levels where other metals might fail quickly.

Their ability to resist corrosion contributes significantly to their overall strength and durability in various environments.

Strength and Durability

While galvanised steel pipes stand strong against corrosion, they also boast impressive strength and durability. These pipes are tough and can hold up to heavy use and pressure. This makes them ideal for large construction projects where sturdy materials are a must.

They work well in farm irrigation systems too because they can handle the stress of moving water over long distances.

Galvanised steel’s strength comes from its manufacturing process which includes coating iron or steel with zinc. The zinc acts as a protective barrier not just against rust but physical wear too.

Pipes made this way resist damage from impacts and environmental stresses better than many other piping materials, making them a reliable choice for infrastructure that needs to last decades without much repair.

Disadvantages of Galvanised Steel Pipes

Despite their popularity, galvanised steel pipes come with a set of drawbacks that can affect both performance and longevity. Some of these downsides include a propensity for internal corrosion over time which can lead to restricted water flow and the laborious efforts required during installation or remodelling due to their weight and rigidity.

Restricted Flow

Galvanised steel pipes often suffer from limited water flow. Over time, minerals in the water can build up inside these pipes. This build-up narrows the pipe’s opening and slows down the water.

Cracks or chips in galvanised pipes make this problem worse.

These problems are serious. In places like California, experts advise against using galvanised steel pipes because of these issues. They fear for both the environment and people’s health if the water flow gets blocked.

Prone to Corrosion

Zinc coating on steel pipes helps fight off rust and corrosion. But over time, this protection can fail. Water carries dissolved oxygen, minerals, and sometimes even acidic substances.

These elements attack the zinc layer. Eventually, the pipe’s iron or steel gets exposed to moisture and oxygen.

This exposure triggers a chemical reaction. The metal begins to rust and corrode from the inside out. Telltale signs include discoloured water or reduced water pressure. Corrosion rates climb if hot water flows through regularly.

It can lead to leaks, blockages, or even burst pipes in severe cases.

Difficulty in Handling

Galvanised steel pipes are a lot heavier than plastic pipes like PVC. This can make them tough to carry and fit into place. Workers might need more time and tools to install or repair these pipes because of their weight.

Cutting and joining galvanised steel also requires special skills. You have to use a flame for soldering fittings together, so it’s not as easy as working with plastic pipe systems that just need glue.

Pipes made of galvanised iron can be bulky and awkward on job sites, especially in tight spaces or when they must go up several floors. Unlike flexible options such as ABS piping, which are easier to manoeuvre during installation, galvanised pipes often mean extra work for plumbers handling them.

Considerations When Using Galvanised Steel Pipes

Before choosing galvanised steel pipes, weigh the costs against other materials like copper. Copper is pricier but may last longer without needing a replacement. Keep in mind that zinc can sometimes clog water lines due to mineral build-up.

Regular maintenance helps prevent this blockage and keeps your water flowing smoothly. Hire experts for installation and upkeep of these pipes to ensure they are correctly fitted and remain free from corrosion for as long as possible.

Alternatives to Galvanised Steel Pipes – Benefits of Flexible Plumbing Hose

After exploring considerations for galvanised steel pipes, let’s look at flexible plumbing hoses as an alternative. These hoses offer unique benefits over traditional piping.

  • Flexible plumbing hoses last longer and cost less to maintain. You won’t have to replace or repair them as often.
  • They are lighter and easier to work with. This makes installing them faster and reduces labour costs.
  • These hoses resist mineral build – up inside them. So, they stay clear and don’t get blocked like some pipes can.
  • Even though they’re tough, it’s best to get a pro to install and look after your flexible plumbing hose. This keeps them working well in all sorts of places.


Galvanised steel pipes offer strong rust protection and can last a long time. However, they do have drawbacks like potential corrosion and difficulty to work with. When choosing galvanised pipes, think about the environment and repair costs.

Always weigh up these points against other options such as eco-friendly bollards from 1800Bollards or flexible plumbing hoses. Make sure you pick the best pipe for your needs and situation.


1. What makes galvanised steel pipes resistant to rust?

Galvanised steel pipes are coated in zinc through a process called galvanising, which provides corrosion resistance and protects them from rusting.

2. Can galvanised pipes last as long as other materials?

Galvanised pipes have good pipe longevity but may not last as long as materials like stainless steel or PVC plumbing pipes because they can eventually corrode.

3. Should I replace my old galvanised pipes with PVC ones?

Replacing old, corroded galvanised pipes with PVC pipes is an option; these polyvinyl chloride tubes are eco-friendly and offer excellent resistance to corrosion without the risk of dezincification that happens with yellow brass.

4. Are there environmental concerns linked to using galvanised steel?

Yes, during the production of zinc oxide for the process of galvanising, carbon dioxide is released, impacting the environment negatively compared to more eco-friendly options like ABS or PVC pipe.

5. Could blocked sewers be caused by issues with galvanised piping?

Blocked sewers can occur if your older galvanised steel plumbing corrodes inside out; this could decrease water flow or cause leaks that block or damage your sewage system.

6. How do you connect fittings onto a length of a newly installed piece of Galvanised Steel Pipe correctly?

Soldered fittings attach securely to new lengths of Galvanised Steel Pipe after preparing the surfaces properly which might include brushing off any excess Zinc Oxide left from when it was originally treated, then applying an air knife before attaching fitting pieces together tightly ensuring a tight seal.

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