Galvanized piping in your Atlanta house can deter buyers.

Galvanized piping in your Atlanta house can deter buyers.

house pipelines

How can you sell your house with galvanized piping?

If your Atlanta house was built before the early 1970s, it’s probable that it has galvanized plumbing. Galvanized piping can cause plumbing and health problems, and replacing galvanized piping is expensive.

An inspection of your house by a certified inspector will reveal if your house has galvanized plumbing, but there is an easy way to tell for yourself. Scratch your pipe at the beginning of your water line with a sharp object. If the scratch is a silver or gray color, it is probably galvanized steel. Galvanized pipes will also attract a magnet. Georgia has the 5th lowest median home age in the U.S. That means that a huge portion of houses in Atlanta have galvanized piping.

What is galvanized plumbing?

Galvanized pipes are steel pipes that are coated with a layer of zinc, and they were a popular form of plumbing from the mid-1800s to the 1970s. The zinc layer was added to prevent corrosion, but with the passage of time, the pipes have proven to develop rust and build-up. These deposits in the pipes impede water flow and sometimes produce rusty water. 

Far worse than discolored water and poor water pressure is the fact that lead can leach from the zinc coating and cause health risks. The zinc used to coat the steel pipes was naturally occurring molten zinc, which contained impurities, one of which is lead. When the zinc erodes over time, lead begins to seep out and into your water supply.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Exposure to even low levels of lead can cause damage over time, especially in children. The greatest risk is to brain development, where irreversible damage can occur. Higher levels can damage the kidneys and nervous system in both children and adults. Very high lead levels may cause seizures, unconsciousness and death.”

Another heavy metal—cadmium— can also seep into water from galvanized pipes. High levels of cadmium can cause cancer, kidney issues, and musculoskeletal problems.

Does lead leach from cast iron or copper piping?

Copper pipes are durable and resistant to erosion and contain no lead. Copper is also heat resistant and is a good choice for plumbing. Cast iron plumbing, typically used for drainage plumbing, is not coated with lead and presents no problems. When replacing your plumbing system, it’s essential to replace all the galvanized steel piping, not just parts of it.

What is the cost of replacing all galvanized plumbing in an Atlanta house?

According to, “Replacing galvanized pipes requires removing and disposing of the old pipes and installing a completely new system. Expect to pay prices on the high side of the spectrum for this work.” They go on to break down some of the prices:

  • Copper pipe costs an average of $3 per linear foot.

  • PEX piping costs an average of $1.15 per linear foot.

  • CPVC averages $.98 per linear foot.

  • PVC piping used for drainage, waste and venting averages $2 to $4.50 per linear foot.

  • Permit costs are $50–$500 per project for plumbing.

  • Wall/floor repairs after the plumbing is done (because lines run through walls and under floors) costs $40–$100 per hour for a contractor.

  • Access to piping affects labor costs, but you can expect to pay $60–$200 per hour for plumbing replacement labor.

Replacing galvanized pipes in a house is an expensive endeavor. For a fair quote, contact several plumbers who have good reviews in the Atlanta area.

Selling a house with galvanized plumbing

It’s possible to sell a house that has galvanized plumbing, but many potential Atlanta house buyers will balk due to the inevitable corrosion and health hazards. It may not be very easy to find a buyer. If you are already experiencing trouble with your galvanized piping, you legally have to disclose it in what’s called a “seller’s disclosure notice.” Not doing so can lead to your being sued even years later.

Additionally, many insurance companies won’t insure a house that has galvanized plumbing until after pipe replacement. The risk is that real. So, what are the options for selling a house with galvanized plumbing? You can either foot an exorbitantly expensive bill for pipe replacement before you sell, or you can sell your house in "as is" condition to We Buy Ugly Houses®, an Atlanta cash house buyer.

We Buy Ugly Houses buys houses in all sorts of conditions, and that includes houses with plumbing problems.

How to sell your house to We Buy Ugly Houses®

Selling to us is easy! Simply contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. One of our friendly, local Atlanta property specialists will meet you at your house, take a tour, and answer your questions. We can frequently give you a fair cash offer right then and there. If you accept our offer, you’re on your way to a fast closing and no more worries about your galvanized pipes! We often close in as little as 3 weeks.

We’ve been in business since 1996 and have bought many thousands of houses since then. We have terrific reviews from our sellers. Our streamlined process is seamless and convenient. Our high rating—we have a 95%* satisfaction rate—testifies to our outstanding customer service and top-notch work ethic. We Buy Ugly Houses charges no hidden fees or commissions.

Call us at 866-200-6475 and leave your plumbing problems behind. We look forward to working with you.