What you need to know about pinhole leak in copper pipe
Copper pipes made today should last at least 20 years. Pinhole leaking, a very serious Peoria plumbing problem, can cause this to not always be the case. Pinhole leaks can only be found in copper pipes. Copper pipe can develop pinhole leakage in as little as two years after installation if it is exposed to the right conditions.
A pinhole leak in copper pipes is a common problem throughout the US. Pinhole leaks can occur when the pH value of your water changes. You should be familiar with the basics of a pinhole leak and how to avoid it if you have copper pipes. Here are some places to start:
What is a pinhole leak?
The State of Maryland Task Force To Study Pinhole Leaks In Copper Plumbing defines pinhole leaks as: "The perforation of copper tube or pipe used for domestic water distribution as a result of pitting corrosion initiated at the interior/waterside and the subsequent leakage of liquid."
Pinhole leaks are usually very small, often less than 1/8" wide, and shaped like pinholes. Pinhole leaks are the result of an increasing corrosion problem inside a copper pipe. Pinhole leaks, in other words, are more than a problem. They also indicate long-term corrosion damage.
What are the signs that there is a leak in my copper pipes?
You should lookout for the following signs if you suspect that you might have a copper pipe pinhole leak:
- A higher water bill: No matter how small, all leaks can increase your water bill.
- Lower water pressure - Pressure leaks from pinhole leaks, just like water. This will cause lower water pressure in your home.
- Dripping sounds - If possible, try to match the sound to the actual leak.
- Water damage - Especially around or under your pipes
- Mold and mildew growth: In particular, near your pipes
- Condensation in your pipes: Your pipes' outside should not feel wet or moist.
- Pipe discoloration - If copper pipes appear too brown, green, or blue it's likely that they are partially oxidizing
Remember that pinhole leaks can be difficult to locate. They are very small and can occur anywhere along a copper pipeline. Turn off the water supply and inspect your water meters to find leaks. If the water meter continues to move after you turn off the water supply, you may have a leak. A pinhole leak can be caused by copper piping.
How to stop pinhole leaks from copper pipes
You can avoid the above-mentioned problems by investing a little time and being diligent. How to ensure that each one isn't causing you pain:
High ph values in water are often responsible for the chemical interactions that cause copper pipes to corrode. A water softener is a good investment to prevent copper pipe damage. You can check if your water softener is working properly and make adjustments if necessary.
Water softeners can also be used to remove contaminants from copper pipes.
However, water softeners will not affect your water pressure. You may need to take additional measures if your water pressure is unusually high. You should check the pressure meter at your main water supply. If the pressure seems too high, you can ask your municipal water provider why. To prevent high-pressure damage to your pipes, if they are unable to determine the cause, you can invest in a water pressure limiter.
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