Copper plumbing systems are widely recognized as being long-lasting and high-quality. Because it is strong and doesn't weigh much, it is often used to make pipes that bring water into buildings.
Although copper is not easily corroded, it does degrade with time, especially in areas with water that is high in minerals.
Copper plumbing has its own problem: pinhole leaks. Pinhole leaks are caused by corrosion and show up as tiny holes in pipes over time. They may be a sign of a bigger plumbing problem.
With the information provided here, you'll be able to identify the source of pinhole leaks in your copper pipes and take measures to prevent them from occurring. If and when the time comes, we will advise you on replacing your copper pipe.
Get in touch with us if you're having problems with your plumbing due to pinhole leaks and you've read this far. What we'll do is discuss your choices with you.
In what ways do pinhole leaks in copper pipes occur?
A pinhole leak happens in a pipe when corrosive substances inside the pipe slowly wear away the metal, making a small hole.
Pinhole leaks are most often caused by the way the water in your plumbing system is made. Copper pipes can corrode because of things like hard water (which has a lot of calcium and magnesium dissolved in it) or water with a low or high pH.
Minerals in the water supply can erode pipe linings when pushed through pipes at high pressure, particularly at points where water has to make sharp turns, such as couplings and elbows.
Minerals and water velocity are factors, but they aren't the only ones. Copper pipes can corrode from the inside out if the water contains sand, sediment, or other debris.
The obvious signs of a leaking copper pipe
As a gradual leak, pinholes in copper pipes can cause damage to your home's insulation and wall cavities without you ever knowing it was there. If the pinhole leak is allowed to continue, the hole will enlarge and more water will flow out. The leak grows increasingly noticeable and pressing over time.
Plumbers recommend having your copper pipes checked for pinhole leaks once a year because these leaks are difficult to spot.
When properly maintained, how long do copper pipes usually last?
Depending on the type, the average lifespan of a residential copper pipe is between 20 and 50 years. Some varieties of copper pipe corrode more readily than others. If you are concerned that your home may have a thinner, more easily degraded variety, a plumber can help you figure that out.
Are the pipes in your home older than twenty years?
If you've found pinhole leaks in a home built before the 1980s and you've seen them before, it's clear that there's a bigger problem. Pipes made of aged copper lose strength in their inner lining and develop pinhole leaks more easily. Repiping could be the least expensive solution.
Pinhole leaks in copper pipes: how to repair or avoid them?
There are several precautions you can take if your pipes are younger than 20 years old and you have not seen any leaks or have only noticed a couple.
To begin, you might choose to slow the water's pace through the copper pipes in your home. Corrosion can be reduced by slowing the water's flow, which also slows the movement of minerals.
As a second step, have a licensed plumber check the diameter of your pipes. If they're too small, the water will have to work harder to get past the pipe's interior. If you hear banging sounds, it may be because your pipes are too small. Using larger-diameter pipes can reduce velocity.
One option is to get a water softener for the house.
Think about installing a whole-house water softener if you live in a region with hard water or if you use well water in your home. Before they can damage your copper pipes, these systems filter out harmful minerals from your water supply.
Starting with a precise examination of your water's pH, hardness, alkalinity, and total dissolved solids will help you choose what steps to take next. You can use the findings to figure out how to modify the chemical make-up of the water in your copper pipes. Get pipe repairing service in Boston from experts or get new pipes installed to avoid any issues.