In the early 1960s, galvanized steel was moved from its lofty position as the piping metal of choice. Because it was prone to corrosion, it was replaced with lightweight, durable, inexpensive, and corrosion-resistant copper pipes. Although plastic pipes (PEX, CPVC, PP) are also popular now, copper is still a top choice for new home construction.
But copper pipes are only corrosion-resistant. They are not corrosion-proof. There is a specific kind of chemical corrosion that comes from impurities in municipal water that can weaken copper. It’s called pitted corrosion. It’s hard to recognize, but the results are major problems: pinhole leaks. Even the smallest sized leak can turn into serious water damage and water waste for a home.
How Can I Tell I Have Pinhole Leaks?
Since these leaks are small and often occur in pipes that are hidden behind walls and maintenance areas of the house, picking up on their presence is tricky at first. Watch for a rise in your water bills that you can’t account for otherwise. Spots of discoloration on the walls, bumps under the floorboards and carpet, and the appearance of mold and mildew in the house are all indications of water leaking somewhere.
What Can Professional Plumbers Do?
A licensed plumber will use leak detection tools to pinpoint where the leaking is occurring. Rather than replacing the leaking pipe, plumbers can use a variety of tools to first stop the leak, and then slice the pipe apart at the pinhole and reconnect them with soldering. The result is a sturdy pipe with no leaks, the repairs done in no time at all.
Never hesitate to call for piping repair when you have suspicious of pinhole leaks—or any kind of leak. The sooner the problem is resolved, the less water damage you’ll have to repair, and the less chance of the damage spreading.