Dezincification…not just a fancy word.

If you are a Realtor in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area, or have bought a house in the last couple of years you may have seen this long and confusing word on one of your home inspection reports.  What the heck is dezincification?  This blog post is to give you some basic information in layman’s terms.  If it has been brought to your attention that you have dezincification of your plumbing connectors in your home, it is best to have a licensed plumber that has dealt with this issue to review your plumbing lines to give you professional advice on the subject.

Dezincification

In a nut shell dezincification is a plumbing joint defect that has been brought to home inspectors attention over the last several years.  It is typically found with PEX brand piping in the 1990’s and 2000’s.   Dezincification is a process in which the brass connectors/joints in your plumbing lines begin to show signs of premature corrosion.  Brass is made up of a mix of copper and zinc.  When some manufacturers begin to put too much zinc in the mix, the brass connections begin to leach out zinc (dezincification) which makes the connection more susceptible to corrosion and possibly premature failure.   One of the concerns is that the connector is beginning to corrode from the inside out, therefore it may be hard to determine how far along the issue is.   There have been several instances of class action lawsuits against several of the manufacturers over the last several years.  If your house is showing signs of corrosion around these joints it is recommended to have a professional plumber assess your situation.   We have included some pictures of the examples we have seen in the past several years during our Raleigh home inspections.