Pinhole leaks occur when corrosion inside copper pipes finally breaks through to the outside of the pipe.
Many homeowners ask, “I thought copper was one of the most durable materials for pipes, how is it they can leak?”
It’s true: copper pipes are frequently used and preferred by plumbers because they’re generally resistant to corrosion and plumbers can easily shape them.
If that’s the case, how can copper pipes leak?
The #1 reason why copper pipes leak is due to turbulence. Turbulence enters your system in 2 ways:
Velocity: Plumbing code limits the velocity within your piping system to 8 fps (feet per second) for cold water and 5 fps for hot water. Limiting the velocity reduces the turbulence in the pipes that creates pinholes.
Fittings that are too close together: Fittings that are too close together increase turbulence, which causes pinhole leaks. When fittings are too close together, turbulence in the water flow increases, which means the water grates against the inside wall of the pipe causing it to leak.
Another reason why your copper pipes have leaks is what’s called pitted corrosion, an extremely localized type of corrosion that attacks small areas on the inside surface of copper pipes.
Well, there hasn’t been a conclusive study on what causes pitted corrosion, here are some possible theories:
High levels of chlorine in the water supply
Corrosion particles from rusted water heaters
High water pressure
High pH levels in the water
Other chemical factors in soil and water (microbial activity)
How do I know I have pinhole leaks?
If you notice any of the following signs, you may have pinhole leaks…
Your pipes look dimpled
The copper is starting to look weathered
Your water bills are more expensive
You hear dripping
You see water stains or discoloration on your walls
Your home has developed mold or mildew
Those are signs that point to already severe pinhole leaks. A plumber can inspect your piping to confirm you have pinhole leaks. However, because early signs of pinhole leaks are difficult to detect by the naked eye, the best way to check your copper pipes is by having annual plumbing maintenance by a certified plumber.
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the expertise and equipment to quickly restore your property to pre-water damage condition. They use a scientific approach to water removal and water cleanup that emphasizes monitoring and documenting the drying process from beginning to end.
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Every water damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. You can click on any of the steps below to learn more about that process.
Step 1 - Emergency Contact
When you call, our representative will guide you through several questions that will help the SERVPRO Franchise Professional respond to your water emergency more quickly and efficiently. This initial contact is an important part of a fast, effective restoration.
Step 2 - Inspection and Water Damage Assessment
They carefully inspect your property’s water damage, determining the type of water damage and the areas affected. This is a crucial step to creating an effective plan of action that will result in a successful restoration.
Step 3 - Water Removal / Water Extraction
Typically, hundreds or thousands of gallons of water are removed using our powerful pumps and vacuums during the water removal process. The SERVPRO Franchise Professionals start this process as soon as possible to minimize further damage and to help prevent mold growth.
Step 4 - Drying and Dehumidification
After the bulk of the water has been removed, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals use specialized equipment to target the water that’s harder to access. They use less intrusive, scientific drying methods to draw the remaining water and moisture from your property with air movers and dehumidifiers.
Step 5 - Cleaning and Sanitizing
Water damage also affects your belongings, like furniture, clothing, and personal items. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can clean restorable items using a number of specialized cleaning techniques. They also sanitize with antimicrobial treatments and remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
Step 6 - Restoration
The last step is restoring your home or business back to its pre-water damage condition. The restoration step can be relatively minor, such as replacing a few drywall panels, or could include major reconstruction, such as rebuilding entire rooms of a home or business.
Catastrophic floods may grab all the headlines, but more common water damage from plumbing systems end up costing homeowners, renters, and landlords billions of dollars every year. Plumbing problems (including leaking or damaged tubs, toilets showers and burst pipes), leaky roofs, washing machines, water heaters and frozen pipes result in thousands of people of water damage insurance claims annually.
Even with an annual plumbing inspection, careful routine maintenance, and emergency planning, you can't be everywhere water might make an unannounced, unwelcome—and potentially very expensive—appearance.
That is were we come in. We make it like it never happened.... Just call us... 714-342-1774