Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>Pin holes in copper pipe, residential
7 posts / 0 new
Last post
Pin holes in copper pipe, residential

What is cause of frequent recurring new pin holes in copper pipe.

I have heard of cases where people have replaced their entire plumbing system to stop constant recurrences.

Re: Pin holes in copper pipe, residential

One of the most common causes is the over use of flux when soldering. When heated it has a tendency to splatter droplets. These droplets settle on the inside of the pipe. Flux is acidic , and these droplets eventually eat through the pipe.

Re: Pin holes in copper pipe, residential

I agree with JLMC.

Two other possible causes could be: 1) hard water that has a lot of minerals that eventually eat thru the copper.
2) Excessively high water pressure from a city main.

Pressure over 60 psi will often scour the insides of the pipe until pinhole leaks occur.

HD/Lowes or a plumbing supply house has a low cost psi gauge attached to a female hose bib fitting you can attach to your outside faucet to check the house pressure.

If this is the cause, it's easy enough to have a pressure reducing valve installed where the water main comes into the house.

Re: Pin holes in copper pipe, residential

I don't Know about that water pressure jazz. Our city water pressure is 60 psi static and my house will turn 60 next year. Type L soft piping is original and fine. Minerals are most likely the cause or your piping is at its expected service life. Nothing lasts forever. Pex is the highest at 110 years and a very sexy price too. The only thing close to that in our area is brass pipe and maybe K copper but that is in the Memphis city limits where our water is amazingly pure and free of minerals and our treatment plants are marvels. Pex is the new king of water pipe. By all means repipe. Then go to sleep.

Molly Pitcher
Re: Pin holes in copper pipe, residential

I strongly disagree with i m plummin.

We live in a relatively new development in Michigan in a part of the city that has low elevation and high water pressure.

The whole subdivision has had problems with pipes corroding that the city inspector called impingement damage.

A settlement with the builder was finally reached to install pressure reducing equipment, but the homeowners had to pay for the damaged piping.

Re: Pin holes in copper pipe, residential

I'm on a well with pressure on/off set to 40/60 lbs, type L copper and no leaks for over 20 years. My son is in a city and their pressure is 80 lbs. no leaks. Pin hole leaks are caused as stated above not by pressure. I two would recommend Pex.

Re: Pin holes in copper pipe, residential

Well water in my area tends to be have a low ph (acidic)sometimes as low as 6.0 & likes to eat through copper pipe if left untreated.
Excessive amounts of flux inside the tubing can also corrode copper. It will happen near fittings and more in cold water lines since hot water will tend to dissolve & dissipate the flux.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.