Pinhole Leaks: The Copper Pipes’ Worst Enemy

A pinhole leakOne of the most common plumbing problems are leaks. This kind of plumbing issue will require the experience and expertise of technicians, such as A-Plus Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. You need to have one on speed dial to provide prompt and reliable services because water seeping out will start small, but will eventually lead to big problems.

Left untreated, leaks will cause water damage and you end up with expensive utility bills. Even with prized plumbing material, copper, leaks could still occur. How do pinhole leaks happen?

Chloramine

This is the combination of chlorine and ammonia. Water treatment is necessary, but it can cause corrosion inside copper pipes.

High Water Pressure

When the pipe is too narrow for the pressure and flow of the water, it can erode the inner lining of the copper. Excessive water flow combined with a small diameter can damage the plumbing system.

Electrolysis

This chemical reaction occurs when copper plumbing is installed. It also happens when a grounded wire touches the water heater’s galvanized connection.

Pitting Corrosion

This is the localized attack on the walls of copper piping. There are three classifications of pitting corrosion:

  • The first one is associated with hard water that has pH levels between 7 and 7.8. This usually occurs in cold water, the deep and narrow pitting results in pipe failure.
  • This also occurs in soft water, where the pH levels are below 7.2. This rarely happens in temperatures below 140°F.
  • The last one occurs in cold, soft water with a pH level above 8.

Old copper pipes can also give way to pinhole leaks. But chemicals and water pressure are primary culprits to this silent, yet damaging problem. You may not realize the leak until you see significant water damage and, potentially, mold growth in your home.

In addition to watching for signs of damage, make sure to call on plumbing experts. You may be handy with a wrench, but plumbing problems can be complex. A single mistake could cost you more than you can afford. There is no substitute to a professional’s experience and expertise.