How to Replace a Galvanized Steel Pipe

What You'll Need
Eye protection
Work gloves
PVC piping
Pipe cutter

Most homes built in the 1960's or earlier were built using galvanized steel pipe for the plumbing. It was a popular building material, because it was made to last a long time. Some areas, however, have water that is very acidic, and so is considered hard water. This type of water can eventually damage galvanized steel pipe. Because of this, if a galvanized steel pipe wears out or becomes corroded due to hard water, it’s best to replace it using polyvinyl chloride, or PVC piping.

Step 1 – Preparation

Be safety conscious and put on eye protection goggles and work gloves to protect your hands. Get all your tools and supplies together and close to you, and then move to Step 2.

Step 2 – Turn off All Water Sources

Before you start, make sure to turn off the water source, so you won’t have a mess on your hands when you replace the old pipe. Look for the shut-off valve on the water main. It usually looks like a little wheel. Make sure you check to see if there is more than one water valve, as sometimes there is both a water main in the basement for example, and a separate water valve near the sink where the pipe is to be replaced. Turn the wheel(s) with your wrench, until it is tightly in the off position.

Step 3 – Take out Old Galvanized Steel Pipe

Use the wrench and take out the pipe or pipes you plan to replace with PVC pipe. Sometimes it may be necessary to cut the pipe to remove it. You can’t cut galvanized pipe with a torch like some other kinds because it would release dangerous fumes, but instead, you must cut it with a pipe cutter. Pipe cutters come in the sizes based on the size of the pipe you have to cut. You can get one at a hardware store.

Step 4 – Install an Adapter for PVC Type Piping

Since you are switching from galvanized steel pipe to a PVC pipe, you have to use an adapter, to bridge the gap where the  2 pipe materials meet. Make sure you buy the right type of adapter that fits to a PVC type pipe. Fit the adapter piece into the line where you removed the old pipe. The new PVC pipe will be fitted into the adapter piece.

Step 5 – Fitting the New PVC Pipe

Cut the PVC pipe to the correct length to replace the entire galvanized steel pipe sections of your plumbing line. You should measure each section with a measuring tape to be sure that it is the proper size for the area of piping you are replacing.

Step 6 – Putting in the New PVC Pipe

You must first clean the part of the PVC pipe that fits to the adapter part. Next, put glue made for attaching PVC pipes on the end of the pipe and fit the pipes into each other and onto the adapter. Twist to make it tight and let it dry.

Step 7 – Turning the Water Back on

Now it’s time to turn the water sources back on to see if it flows smoothly through the pipes and doesn’t leak. Be sure to turn on all valves you turned off.

If everything went well, you now have successfully replaced your galvanized steel pipe with PVC pipe.