Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>pin hole leaks in copper pipe
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JLMCDANIEL
Re: pin hole leaks in copper pipe

If the cause was improper installation, that is the tubes were not reamed, you may or may not have more problems a lot will depend on the amount of water flow . If the cause was excess acid flux use, you may or may not have more to worry about. In 20 years I have had one pinhole leak and no others. If it was caused by acidic water you probably will have more problems. Did you inspect the the tubing to determine the cause? Have you had your water tested?
Jack

Fencepost
Re: pin hole leaks in copper pipe

This just goes to show the DANGERS of copper piping. Just think of all that elemental copper and copper compounds floating around in your drinking water. Who knows what kinds of bad things it will do to your body?!?!?!!! I say you should use SAFE, HARMLESS PLASTIC pipe that will last forever. :D

Excuse me while I go wash my tinfoil hat.

hedgeclippers
Re: pin hole leaks in copper pipe

I have been reading some of the posts and have to agree with the majority of them but do think that some of the advice may be an over complication of what may really be happening. I am not a plumber but have had our share of leaky pipes with pin hole leaks. The plumber at first said it must be bad pipe as he had recently been to our house and replaced the same section within a few months. So he used thicker walled copper pipes which lasted longer but still started to leak. Well he and we were getting very frustrated until we found out other people in our area were having the same problem. Finally it was in the news that our water company was using some kind of additive in the water that was causing failure of the copper pipes. After the additive was removed no more leaky pipes. I suggest that people check with their water company first and also their neighbors to compare notes. I wish you good luck!:)

Re: pin hole leaks in copper pipe
Fencepost wrote:

This just goes to show the DANGERS of copper piping. Just think of all that elemental copper and copper compounds floating around in your drinking water. Who knows what kinds of bad things it will do to your body?!?!?!!! I say you should use SAFE, HARMLESS PLASTIC pipe that will last forever. :D

Excuse me while I go wash my tinfoil hat.

lol copper tube is antibaterial and builds a nautural protective film inside the tube.Most pinhole copper jobs i get called to are caused by excess oil based flux preventing patina adhesion from occuring in lieu of unreamed joints and excess system velocity the acteptable limits for cold is about 8 feet per second and 5 ft per second for hot.But in some situations it is the ph of the water as mentioned check with the local water dept.

Jim Minnick
Re: pin hole leaks in copper pipe

Yes you should expect more leaks- I recommend you view two web sites- aceduraflo.com and fixmypipes.com Epoxy coating of copper or galvanized piping without destruction, last longer than copper pipes

Jim Minnick
Re: pin hole leaks in copper pipe
Fencepost wrote:

This just goes to show the DANGERS of copper piping. Just think of all that elemental copper and copper compounds floating around in your drinking water. Who knows what kinds of bad things it will do to your body?!?!?!!! I say you should use SAFE, HARMLESS PLASTIC pipe that will last forever. :D

Excuse me while I go wash my tinfoil hat.

I think a better alternative and less destructive is pipe coating with epoxy- check out aceduraflo.com or fixmypipes.com

Re: pin hole leaks in copper pipe

I thought I had fixed my problem in 2009 when I replaced most of the copper in my hot water recirculation system and added a timer to reduce the amount of time the water circulated. However, today, another leak appeared. I realized that when I had replaced the copper earlier, I had not replaced a short 6 inch piece that came out of the wall. Well, guess where the new leak is? You guessed it. In that 6 inch piece of copper coming out of the wall. I know that I didn't replace the piece earlier because I did not want to open the wall to get at the elbow that the piece was attached to. I now have a hose clamp and a piece of rubber covering the leak. My project tomorrow is to open the wall and replace that 6 inch piece. I am predicting that this piece will have an unreamed end near the elbow. While I am doing this, I will also examine the copper I replaced 3 years ago to see if it is developing thin walls.

The plumber who installed the plumbing in my house used plastic under the house but ran copper up the wall to this system. My guess is that there is a copper elbow in the crawl space that the copper in the wall attaches to. I am considering whether I need to go in the crawl space and check to see if the wall of the copper pipe attached to that elbow is getting thin or leaking. :(

Re: pin hole leaks in copper pipe
johnystrong wrote:

Hello,

I have read your post.Long term ignorance can increase cost.Can you identify Exact reason of pin hole leak in copper pipe?

Go back and read the entire discussion. In 2009, I posted pictures of my system plus pictures of some of the copper that I replaced. The exact reason in my opinion is unreamed ends on the copper plus (until 2009 when I added a timer) 24/7/365 water flow.:)

plumbingjim17
Re: pin hole leaks in copper pipe

Copper the main failures, age is it over 20 years of age? Second whats the water quality? But I have seen wires touching piping, electrical, cable, phone etc.. bare wires or even just touching disimiliar metals causing electrolisis thus causing pinhole leaks one after the other sometimes the easiest way to fix these kind of problems is to go to were the main water line comes in and take out a small section about 2-3 feet and replace with pex or plastic to stop the current from being grounded this has saved many many customer's I have helped.
Hope this helps,

Ben Franklin Plumbing
372 D St
Salt Lake City, UT 84104
(801) 416-3522
http://www.benfranklinplumbingut.com/salt-lake-city-ut/

Re: pin hole leaks in copper pipe

I had thought the leaks in the copper of my hot water re-circulation system were a thing of the past but that isn't the case. Last week, I noticed a pin hole leak squirting water at the wall. The leak this time was in an elbow. See the first picture for the location of the 2016 leak. This time instead of just unsoldering every thing and replacing it, I cut it out and cut the tubing apart to see if there was pitting inside the tubing. I had already made sure there was no un-reamed tubing when I replaced the tubing in 2008.

The only tubing that had severe pitting was the section coming out of the pump to the elbow where this year's leak was. All the other tubing show little or no pitting. The end of the tubing that came out of the pump was missing a section and was paper thin. The inside of the tubing looked pitted. (See the second and third pictures.) I removed the side opposite the pinhole in the elbow so I could examine it. (See the fourth picture.) The water from the pump entered the elbow on the right side of the picture and exited on the left. I stuck a pin in the pinhole. As you can see from the picture, the inside of the tubing and the elbow has very severe pitting. The grey spot before the pinhole is a blob of solder that must have oozed in when the elbow was soldered to the tubing. The pitting appears to continue around the elbow and quit in the tubing soldered to the elbow.

Because it appeared that continuous water flow contributed to the erosion and pitting of the inside of the copper tubing, I had placed a timer on the pump so that the pump only ran a maximum of 8 hours a day. My water does not have a ph problem. I have a water softener that uses salt but I don't think that the trace amounts of salt in my water from the softener contributes to the pitting. At this point, I am feeling that this entire system is a flawed design and my best option is to remove it or replace it with a system using PET tubing.

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