Yellow brass pipes, valves and pipe fittings have lately come under strict scrutiny, especially after the increasing number of lawsuits by most home owners. Using these components in the plumbing systems can result in high-level damage. Each and every composition of this pipes are being questioned as they are waning away after they have been used for some time. Most of the houses their plumbing system are made of these pipes; therefore, if your pipes somehow start to wear out, the system quickly dilapidate. As a home owner, you should know all the problems associated with them, together with the methods to deal and identify them.
What is Yellow Brass:
It is an alloy of zinc and copper, with more than thirty percent being zinc. Yellow brass has been used for the past 15 years because:
- It’s much cheaper compared to traditional materials like copper
- It’s easy for installation and machine
The valves and fittings made of Yellow brass are also used to connect PEX pipes, which can further lower the cost for the developers.
Issues Related with Yellow Brass:
Constant flow of water through yellow brass components lead to dezincification, a process by which zinc leaches out, leaving behind copper with low mechanical strength. A white powdery substance starts accumulating on the inside of the fitting. The process further leads to the following situations:
- The overall plumbing system weakens and may fail prematurely
- Pipes may derail, leading to flow of water into walls, floors and ceilings
- Formation of zinc oxide which get deposited in the pipe, thereby blocking the flow of water.
How to Identify the Issues:
Experts believe that recognizing the defects caused by yellow brass pipe fittings are difficult to detect. However, the following signs can help you in this:
- Formation of mold at places like kitchen entry and laundry room back side should be treated as an indication of dezincification.
- Pinhole leakage points which may take no time to become bigger are an indication too. These small holes can get bigger and problematic over a period of time.
- White powder deposits of zinc oxide outside the pipes.
- Reduced water supply to water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and other appliances are a signal that it is time of inspection of pipes.
Dealing with issues of pipe fittings may be extremely costly. However, the only alternative is re-piping, which involves complete replacements of the components.