How to Identify Galvanized Household Plumbing

Image of a galvanized pipe.
Galvanized piping is silver-gray in color.
Image of a copper pipe.
Copper piping looks like a penny when scratched.
Image of a plastic pipe.
Plastic piping is usually white in color.
How can I determine if I have galvanized household plumbing?
Galvanized pipes are old, corroded iron pipes.
Galvanized pipes were installed in many homes that were built before the 1960s.
Find where your piping enters your home and scratch it. If the piping is galvanized steel, the scratched area will be a silver-gray color and have threads on each end.
How can I determine if I have copper household plumbing?
Find where your piping enters your home and scratch it. If the piping is copper, the scratched area will have the look of a copper penny.
How can I determine if I have plastic household plumbing?
Find where your piping enters your home and scratch it. If the piping is plastic, it is usually white in color and there will be a clamp where it is joined to the water supply piping.
What should I do if I have galvanized household plumbing?
A plumber can advise you of the type of pipes in your home.
Residents should consider replacing their plumbing if they have corroded (galvanized) plumbing and have or had a lead service line.
If pipe replacement is not an option, choose a treatment device installed at the tap or use a filtration pitcher. Be sure to purchase a treatment device certified by NSF International. You can search the NSF International website for certified drinking water treatment devices by visiting www.nsf.org/Certified/DWTU. Please be advised that DC Water does not certify or endorse specific home drinking water treatment devices.

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