What causes pinhole leaks in copper plumbing anyway? This is what you should know and how you might be able to prevent it.
The ceiling sags slowly, the bulge forming over days, and when you finally notice and decide to do something about it—SPLASH—it has dumped all over your entertainment system. Taking a closer look at the ceiling, you see a tiny leak spouting a thin stream of water out of your copper pipes.
Could that pinhole leak really cause that much damage? Absolutely. All it needs is time.
What causes pinhole leaks in copper plumbing?
Hard water and unbalanced pH are the most common causes of pinhole leaks in copper pipes. When your home’s plumbing system has hard water running through it, calcium and other minerals tend to build up and corrode the inner lining of copper pipes, eventually wearing through in places. Likewise, if your water is too acidic or basic, the water within your plumbing can slowly eat away at the pipes.
Additionally, any abrasive materials, such as sand and dirt, that move through your pipes can wear down the copper on the inside of the pipes. Over time, the pipes can wear thin enough to spring a leak.
Can you prevent leaks from happening?
Depending on the age of your home’s plumbing, you may be able to prevent leaks from forming. If your pipes are only a decade or two old and you have only had one or two pinhole leaks form, you may be able to minimize the damage they sustain from mineral deposits and unbalanced pH.
First, have a plumber test your water for hardness and pH. Once you know for sure what the problem is, then you can implement a solution. For instance, if you have hard water, you can install a water softening system to reduce the presence of calcium and other minerals that cause damage to pipes. If your water is too basic—i.e., it falls above a seven on the acidity scale—a water softener will also address this problem.
For acidic water, you may need to consider installing a filter with calcium carbonate to neutralize the acidity. Another common solution that homeowners use to fix pH imbalances and hard water is to install a reverse osmosis filtration system. Reverse osmosis pushed the water through a semipermeable material to filter everything out except for the water.
Don’t know what to do about the pinhole leaks in your plumbing? We can help.
If you have had to fix more than a few pinhole leaks in your home’s plumbing, it’s time to find a real solution, not just put a bandage on a systemic problem. We are here to help you diagnose and fix your plumbing problems. Get in touch with Custom Plumbing of Arizona today to set up an appointment. We’ll send one of our plumbing experts to your home as soon as possible.