It May Be Copper Pipes That Are Causing The Issue
If you notice water in your home where it shouldn’t be, it’s a reason to be concerned.
Copper pipes are often used in a home’s construction because they are generally resistant to corrosion and plumbers can easily shape them. They use them because they are durable.
However, copper pipes can also get what is called a pinhole leak.
Copper pipes leak due to turbulence. Turbulence enters your system in several ways:
- Through velocity – Plumbing code restricts cold water velocity to 8 feet per second and hot water to 5 feet per second.
- Through fittings – Plumbing code states how close together pipe fittings can be, usually with 5 pipe diameters. If they are too close together, turbulence in the water flow increases.
- Through corrosion – While it isn’t conclusive what causes pitted corrosion, some theories show high levels of chlorine, corrosion particles from rusted water heaters, high water pressure, high pH levels, and other chemical factors may be the culprits.
How do you tell if you have a pinhole leak in your copper pipes?
- Your pipes look dimpled
- The copper pipe takes on a weathered look
- You hear dripping
- You see water stains
- You see discoloration on nearby walls
- You find mildew or biological growth
If you suspect you might have a leak, the best course of action is to call in a plumber immediately. They can help you determine how far spread the problem is.
If this is your first pinhole leak, your piping is relatively new, and the leaks are all within one area of your home, you may be able to fix the pipe in the area. If the copper pipes aren’t fully corroded, you may have years left with the copper pipe in your plumbing system.
However, if you begin having pinhole leaks in several locations, or they reappear several times in a short period of time, your plumber may recommend repiping your home. We recommend replacing copper pipes with PEX piping, as they resist corrosion and are cheaper and easier to install than copper pipes.
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