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rvonclausburg
Pin-Hole leaks in copper water lines
rvonclausburg

We have a house that is 24 years old, we have a well as our water source and copper water lines. 5-6 years ago we had a pin-hole leak in one of the water lines in the basement and we called a plumber to repair the leak. The plumber said at the time that it should be an isolated incident. In the past 2 weeks we have had 3 pin-hole leaks in our water lines, thankfully they we all in the basement and could be easily repaired.

I did some reading on the internet and found articles that stated that copper water lines have a life expectancy of 20-15 years. The pin-holes are created by corrosion of the pipe due to the chemical makeup/PH levels of the water.

Do copper pipes only last 20-25 years? What are some practical solutions for resolving the issue? I could put a plumber and drywall guy on retainer, but that doesn’t seem like a good long term solution. Is it practical to remove drywall/cabinets and replace all of the copper water lines with a more modern solution? Has anyone ever heard of e-Pipe? I have read articles that this process sandblasts that inside of the copper pipes and then coats the inside with epoxy. Is this solution reliable?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

dj1
Re: Pin-Hole leaks in copper water lines
dj1

Under certain conditions, copper pipes can develop leaks after 20-25 years.

- Well water may have low PH. You need to test your water often.

- Type M copper may be too thin for your conditions. Type L is a better choice (but more expensive) and should last longer.

- Pipes buried in dirt can develop pin holes quicker. Type L is recommended for underground use.

- Poor installation and poor pipe wrapping can add to the problems you have.

- There are other choices for indoor pipes these days, consult local re-pipe contractors.

- Repairs in underground copper pipes are not your regular copper pipe repairs, they require brazing, not soldering.

Generally, if your copper pipes start developing pin holes, it's a hint to get them replaced asap. Sorry about the bad news.

keith3267
Re: Pin-Hole leaks in copper water lines
keith3267

Copper pipes should last 75 years, but I too have a well and my copper pipes only lasted about 15 years. In my case, my well water has a pH of around 5.5 and I had a defective drain back valve in the submersible pump that allowed for air to get into my water. The pump is fixed now but the water is still 5.5.

I have replumbed my house with PVC and CPVC. I wanted to use pex but this was just before pex was approved for use in my area, and it was hard to get the necessary tools. I live in an area where there are quite a few manufactured homes that had problems with the pex/quest fittings so there was some resistance to pex for awhile. If I were doing it again today, I would use pex.

bill
Re: Pin-Hole leaks in copper water lines
bill

Copper pipes should last 75 years, Says WHO , copper pipe last 15 to 25 years for type m more for type L

keith3267
Re: Pin-Hole leaks in copper water lines
keith3267
bill shack wrote:

Copper pipes should last 75 years, Says WHO , copper pipe last 15 to 25 years for type m more for type L

The people who make copper pipes, thats WHO.

johnjh2o
Re: Pin-Hole leaks in copper water lines
johnjh2o
keith3267 wrote:

The people who make copper pipes, thats WHO.

In there dreams. I have seen type L copper with pinhole leaks after 10 years and that is not uncommon.

keith3267
Re: Pin-Hole leaks in copper water lines
keith3267

Not arguing with you, Bill asked WHO so I told him WHO.

ed21
Re: Pin-Hole leaks in copper water lines
ed21

WHO's on first?
Sorry couldn't resist.
I've repaired a number of leaks on my 30 year old house. I suspect a manufacturing defect on the pipe from what I've seen when I cut out a bad section. I haven't had a leak for a while and I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop.

keith3267
Re: Pin-Hole leaks in copper water lines
keith3267
ed21 wrote:

WHO's in first?
Sorry couldn't resist.
I've repaired a number of leaks on my 30 year old house. I suspect a manufacturing defect on the pipe from what I've seen when I cut out a bad section. I haven't had a leak for a while and I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop.

WHO's on first?

Sorry, I couldn't resist either. The industry reps claim 75 years but mine went out in 15. My brother in law is on city water and the copper pipes in his new house only lasted about 10 years, he now has PEX. My daughters new house is only about 6 years old so we are holding our breath. It's on a slab. On the other hand, my wife's parents house was built in the early 50's and its original copper pipes have never leaked.

ed21
Re: Pin-Hole leaks in copper water lines
ed21

I caught that in too. Typo. The I is right next to the O. :rolleyes:;)

dj1
Re: Pin-Hole leaks in copper water lines
dj1

You should consult local re-pipe contractors about what pipes to use. There is going to be a lot of disagreement, but that's what you have to do. Plumbers know which pipes last long and which pipes fail quickly in your town.

Around here it's all about copper, but it really depends on your city water.

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