Have you noticed pinhole leaks in your plumbing? Do you want to know what makes copper pipes leak and how to prevent leaks?
There are various types of plumbing pipes used in homes. If you’ve got modern copper pipes, they should last for over twenty years. But that does not happen when they become victims of pinhole leaks.
There is no doubt that pinhole leaks in copper pipes are more common than you think. And the entire process of preventing pinhole leaks can be challenging. One obvious sign of small leaks in your pipe fitting is an increase in your home’s water bill. It is best to attend to these tiny holes problem as soon as possible before you suffer complete pipe failure.
In the worst-case scenario, when there is too much hard water or extra water turbulence, the copper pipes can develop pinhole leaks in less than two years. So, once you have tested and identified the leak, read this guide to learn what pinhole leaks are and how to deal with them when they appear. We list a few reasons you might have pinhole leaks, plus your best solution for a permanent fix.
Let’s begin with how you can prevent future pinhole leaks!
How To Prevent Pinhole Leaks In Copper Pipes
Two Types Of Situations In Which Pinhole Leaks Might Occur
To help you understand how to deal with pinhole leaks in copper pipes, we focused mainly on two types of situations that you might face when looking at what causes pinhole leaks.
First, we will discuss what to do when your pipes are over fifty years old. And then, we will take a look at what you need to do if you notice pinhole leaks in copper pipes that are less than fifty years old.
1. When Copper Pipes Are More Than Twenty Years Old
If your copper pipes are over fifty years old, so is your entire plumbing system. In that case, spending money on fixing the leaks does not make sense.
As copper ages, the inside of the pipes becomes weak, and the chances of them developing pinhole leaks increase manifold. If that’s the case in your house, we suggest not spending any more money fixing the leaks; instead, hire a professional for pipe replacement or pipe relining.
2. When Copper Pipes Are Less Than Twenty Years Old
When the copper pipes in your home are relatively new, you can take two preventive measures to ensure that they do not develop a pinhole leak.
- Install water softeners for your whole home
- Take steps to reduce turbulence in the pipes
A. Install The Right Water Softener
If you ask a plumber, they will tell you how pitted corrosion is one of the main reasons for pinhole leaks in copper pipes. Manage to find the right whole-home water softener, and you can tackle this issue quickly. Let us give you more detail if you do not know about pitted corrosion.
Put pitted corrosion is localised corrosion due to hard water. It destroys small areas on the interior surfaces of copper pipes. Residents often face the problem of pitted corrosion because of the high instances of hard water.
If you are new to the world of plumbing, you must now wonder, what is hard water? And how does it end up corroding your water pipes, eventually leading to a pinhole leak?
Hard water can damage your skin and hair and reduce the longevity of your copper pipes. It has a high amounts of minerals like metals, calcium and magnesium. And it is these high levels of metals that collect over time and have the potential to damage the inner lining of the copper pipes.
When the pipes are left untreated for too long, small pinhole leaks will develop sooner rather than later.
A good whole-home water softener will help remove the dissolved minerals and metals from the pipes. If there are no metal build-ups, there’s hardly any chance that your pipes will corrode and develop leaks.
If you have not installed a water filtration system, it is best to do it soon to balance ph levels and eliminate hard and acidic water.
B. Reduce Turbulence
Water travels through copper pipes at an inconsistent speed, which causes turbulence. And more often than not, this results in copper plumbing developing pinhole leaks.
Water isn’t free of minerals, and when it gets pushed through the copper pipes at high speed, there’s always a chance it will corrode the inner linings. Internal corrosion mainly occurs in areas where the water flow changes direction quickly, especially pipe fittings and elbows.
To tackle water turbulence and high water pressure in copper pipes, you must ensure that the water velocity does not exceed five fps for hot water and eight fps for cold water. Unstable velocity can cause severe damage to your copper pipes. Also, ensure that the pipes you are using are of the right size to ensure there is no friction between the water and the linings of the pipes.
You Can Prevent Pinhole Leaks in Copper Pipes
Pinhole leaks are more common than you think and a significant worldwide problem. Unless you treat the pinhole leaks in time, the copper pipes will keep rusting and wreak havoc on the inner linings of your plumbing system. Plus, you will be paying extra on your utility bills. If you want to prevent pinhole leaks, one tip we will mention; if you are waiting to call a plumber and want to solve the problem quickly, you can use epoxy putty to stop the leak temporarily.
Corroded pipes are complicated for homeowners to fix, and it is a job best left to professionals. Once a professional plumber comes and inspects the pipes, they can suggest the best solution to fix the issue. Improper installation by an unqualified plumber may cost you more water damage and repairs. But remember to keep an eye on your water pressure.
Give us a call for all your pipe problems. Here at Fixed Fast Plumbing, we offer various plumbing services to care for pipes and fix pinhole leaks for good. From our CCTV drain cameras and leak detection services to check for leakages to our pipe relining, a no-dig and cost effective option to repair your pipes, you can be confident your pipes are in good hands. Plus, we offer fast and efficient drain cleaning services to ensure your water supply is of the best quality and your pipes are healthy.
Until next time, we hope you enjoyed our few ways to prevent pinhole leaks and keep your pipes healthy!