There are a number of vulnerabilities in copper piping that Sarasota area homeowners should be aware of. Repiping is recommended when copper pipes erode from within, forming pinhole leaks or small piping holes that send a continuous spray of water gushing out. Pipe leaks are common near the in-house water main where water pressure is highest, and can be caused by a combination of factors including:
- Age of pipes.
- City water pressure.
- Mineral content of water.
- Pipe configuration and installation (initial plan, layout and design including: elbows, corners and pipe bends.)
Where And How Pinhole Leaks Occur
- Copper piping degrades faster when exposed to minerals and high pressure: Much like your hot water heater and plumbing fixtures, copper piping is affected by mineral deposits. Using water softener to condition the water supply doesn’t eliminate all the minerals.
- Pinhole water leaks are common in and around pipe fittings: Pinhole leaks are quite common in vulnerable areas such as at or near pipe connections, joints, right-angle pipe fittings or pipe couplings. Whenever water passes the pipe joint, it creates strong turbulence. As the water swirls and revolves when moving through the pipes, it results in erosion.
- Erosion in fittings due to installation errors: Pipe is pinched by the pipe cutter, creating a raised “lip” inside, which exaggerates water turbulence and force on vulnerable pipe joints. Poor installation practices like not reaming out the copper pipe after cutting contributes to pipe problems.
The Cure for Pinhole Leaks in Copper Plumbing Pipes
If you’ve had to repair pinhole leaks more than once, you may have a systemic problem – a disaster waiting to happen. Consider full repiping in order to prevent:
- Catastrophic pipe failure.
- Flooding in the home and elsewhere on the property.
- Mold growth.
- Property damage to carpeting, furnishings and stored items in the home.
- Structural damage to the house due to wood rot and insect infestations in moist wood.
- Homeowner’s insurance issues.
- A huge water bill – occurring before leaks are discovered and water supply turned off.
Contact the residential repiping experts at Aqua Plumbing & Air for the highest quality HVAC and plumbing services.
Written by John Miller