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Rentmeister Total Home Service Blog

How Formicary Corrosion Affects the Pipes in Your Home

As you’re probably already aware, the pipes in your home are largely made of copper. That is, as long as you have a home younger than 50 years or so. Copper pipes are used because of their resistance to things like oxidization. They can last quite a long time, if properly cared for. However, there is one thing that they are particularly vulnerable to: formicary corrosion. Read on to find out more about how this affects not only your plumbing, but possibly your air conditioning as well.

What Is Formicary Corrosion?

Formicary corrosion, also called “ants nest” corrosion, is a type of corrosion that is caused by exposure to acids in the air. Formaldehyde is a common organic acid, which is found in many homes across the country. It uniquely interacts with the chemical composition of the copper, causing it to degrade quickly. Unlike other kinds of corrosion, like pitted corrosion, formicary corrosion cannot be seen with the naked eye. This makes it extremely dangerous, as you probably won’t even notice how weakened your pipes have become until they spring a leak or rupture completely. This is also a problem for your air conditioner, as most air conditioner refrigerant lines are made from copper.

What to Do About Formicary Corrosion

With an indoor air purifier, you can typically reduce the levels of formaldehyde in your home’s air. This is not a complete solution, though. The most prudent thing to do would be to have all of your copper pipes inspected at least once a year. You won’t always be able to prevent a leak from happening, but at least you can catch any leaks early before they have a chance to get worse.

Call your heating and plumbing experts at Rentmeister Total Home Service today! We offer pipe inspection services throughout Salt Lake City, UT.

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