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The Problem with Pinhole Leaks

Posted on: June 13, 2016

Since 1963, copper piping has replaced galvanized steel and cast iron as the principal metal used for plumbing systems. There are many reasons for making the change over to copper: it’s lightweight, more flexible, and corrosion-resistant.

However, copper pipes can corrode under specific conditions, and they aren’t as invincible from damage as their reputation may make them seem. One problem that copper pipes encounter is a condition called pinhole leaks, and it’s a problem that the copper piping in your home may be suffering from at this very moment.

What Are Pinhole Leaks?

Small leaks that occur across copper pipes in areas that are suffering from a type of corrosion known as pitting corrosion. This corrosion creates a series of small pits along the copper surface, which to the naked eye looks like a gray patch along the metal. The pits eventually create small leaks along the pipe, allowing water to drip out.

What Causes This?

Studies into pinhole leaks are at the moment inconclusive. The condition is increasing, however, which would indicate that a chemical in the fresh water—possibly formaldehyde—is reacting with the copper to create this corrosion.

Are the Leaks Too Small to Be an Issue?

There is no such thing in plumbing as a leak that’s “too small.” All leaks are a potential problem. Even a small amount of water escaping from the pipes will start to pool and cause damage to building material. Pitting corrosion will also spread, leading to even more leaks. The leak needs to be fixed with a pipe replacement as soon as it is detected.

If you suspect that your home is suffering from hidden leaks, you need to call for skilled plumbers who offer leak detection services. You can count on our team to locate your corroded pipes and have them replaced.

Bud Matthews Services offers excellent plumbing in Durham, NC. Call us for all your home service needs!

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We recognize that our services are of a special and often emergency nature, and we remain fully committed to fulfilling the needs of our community even as potential demand for our services may increase with more families either choosing to or being required to remain home for extended periods of time. More importantly, the safety of our employees and customers is always our highest priority, and we recognize that heightened diligence and focus on health and safety is required during these challenging times. We are actively monitoring updates from the CDC, WHO and local health officials; and we have been proactively and continually implementing measures and developing plans to prioritize the health and well-being of our employees and customers. Including:

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