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Corrosive Water

Have you ever returned from vacation to a leaking pipe? Maybe you have seen blue-green staining in your sinks and toilets.  Or maybe your water heaters do not last as long they did at your previous residence.  If this is something that you can relate to there is a good chance the problem lies with your water.  Water can cause corrosion because of a number of different concerns. However the most well-known reason for corrosion caused by water is the pH level.

PH Levels

We have all been in science class in our younger years and learned about pH, but aside from scientists and chemists we also all forgot what it means.  pH stands for potential of hydrogen and is a measure of hydrogen ions.  pH levels range from 0-14.  By now, this may be starting to ring some bells down memory lane, and as you keep walking you may now remember that 7 is neutral, anything below 7 is acidic, while everything above 7.0 pH would be basic. Another word for “basic” is the word “alkaline”. When we are talking about your water, acidic water is a potential cause of the corrosion of your metal pipes, water heaters or any other metals your water may come in contact with.


Corrosion can be complicated, but to simplify corrosion resulting from pH, lower pH will have a higher concentration of hydrogen ions.  As these ions react with the metal pipes, they oxidize the metal and begin to break it down. As this continues for extended periods of time, the pipes will eventually grow thin and form cracks or pinholes. This can cause water stains in ceilings or flood finished basements. In most cases you will see early warnings such as blue-green stains or pinhole leaks. During these early warnings, even though you may not have flooded the basement it is likely that your water has been contaminated because of the acidic water. Lead, copper, iron or steel can leach from the pipes end up in your drinking water. Depending on the concentration of these metals in your water, your health can be at risk.


If your water is acidic, don’t fret. There is hope. To treat acidic water a neutralizer can be added to your water system. An acid neutralizer increases the pH level by adding calcium bicarbonate to your water.  Adding this compound will increase your pH level.  Typically, we like to see water pH levels range from 7.0-7.5. 

Martin Water Conditioning

If you are noticing any signs of corrosion, we would love to help you!  Although corrosive water is not always a pH problem, a simple call to one of our water specialists would start the process of finding out exactly what is causing the corrosion.  After a proper diagnosis, we will be able to recommend the right equipment for your water and your household. 

Call any of our locations for more information on solving corrosive water problems!