Is water forming on your floors or at the base of your walls? Does it seem like there is a leak but you can’t hear any gush of water or serious leak coming from anywhere in your home? There might be a small but serious problem going on. If your home is equipped with copper piping then it is possible you have a pinhole leak. Pinhole leaks are major causes of property damage and could bring with it a hefty repair bill if left unattended to. The causes of the leak are rarely the fault of the homeowner. Most of the time the problem was there before the owner bought the house. In most places they are easily identified and if caught in time they are can be repaired with little effort.
What is a Pinhole leak?
Pinhole leaks are breakthrough points of pitted corrosion on copper plumbing. They are usually a very small leak that is either streaming or seeping out of those breakthrough points. At times they are very hard to detect because of the slow rate the leaks flows. They can occur in any place in the home or building. The potential hazard of pinhole leaks, especially ones inside of walls, is water begins to leak out soaking the drywall or inner walls. Mold begins to form causing an even bigger problem for the homeowner. Additionally there can be damage to electrical systems, flooring and ceilings.
What Causes a Pinhole Leak?
There are different causes for this type of leak that include the mineral content of your water supply, age, pressure or how the pipe was installed. If your water supply has a high mineral content it could cause a reaction to the copper pipe in various areas. Horizontal pipes running through walls are subject to this cause. Most leaks occur near the home’s water main where the most pressure is. Usually at a pipe’s joint i.e., an elbow or coupling. Because there is turbulence in the joint the water will erode the pipe from the inside out. Over time with that much pressure and turbulence water will begin to cut into the pipe. Corrosion and pitting ensues resulting in a leak. If faulty installation is the culprit the pipe was not reamed out when it was cut. When copper pipe is cut a lip is formed. Reaming or flattening out the hole will allow water to flow smoothly. When the pipe has not been reamed out there is constriction to the water flow.
How Can You Identify One?
A greenish-blue corrosion around the pipe’s joint or spots along the pipe are usually sure signs that a pinhole leak is imminent. Green stains are normal around these areas but the greenish-blue corrosion that is building up could mean the pipe is failing. Along with this corrosive material you should see signs of water small pools around the area or the pipe may be wet. Another indication is a distinct chlorine smell in the water.
How Can the Problem Be Fixed?
If you feel there are signs of a potential pinhole leak give Alvarez Plumbing a call. There are a number of solutions to this problem in which our plumbing professionals can give. Prevention of a leak usually includes replacing the pipe up to its soundest point. Replacement of a better grade of copper can keep another pinhole leak from happening down the road. If there is a more serious problem you can rest assured that Alvarez Plumbing can meet the demand. We employ the strictest of standards in our installation process ensuring customer satisfaction.