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Sweetwater Plumbing Blog

Pinhole Leaks! Beware Corrosion Gnawing at Copper Pipes

“Wait a minute,” you’re thinking as you look down from the hyper title written above. “Copper doesn’t corrode! That’s why copper is used for modern plumbing instead of steel.”

Well, you’re almost right. Galvanized steel, once the Emperor of Home Plumbing Pipes, was toppled from the imperial indoor plumbing throne in the 1960s because of its tendency to corrode with time, not only leading to breaks and leaks, but also the contamination of drinking water. Copper replaced it: a material that’s not only lighter and less expensive, but also corrosion resistant.

But “corrosion resistant” is the key phrase to focus on. Copper is not corrosion proof. There are still certain types of corrosion that affect copper pipes, and the most common is called pitted corrosion. Pitted corrosion leads to one of the greatest of all plumbing aggravations, pinhole leaks.

Pitted Corrosion and Pinhole Leaks

Pitted corrosion comes about from a reaction between the chemicals sometimes found in water from the municipal supply and the copper pipes in a home. The reaction causes grayish spots of pitted corrosion that weaken the metal enough that small leaks begin to appear.

But small leaks aren’t small problems. Any leak is a source of an immense amount of building material damage and large amounts of water going to waste. If you suspect that you have pinhole leaks occurring in your home’s piping (water bills are higher than normal, discolored spots appearing on the walls, lumps under the carpet, mold and mildew growth) don’t try to find the leaks yourself. Call our plumbers, and they’ll use leak detection equipment to find the pinhole leaks and then apply professional techniques and tools to fix them permanently.

Sweetwater Plumbing serves Anahiem, CA and all of Southern California. You can depend on us for piping service or any other work your home or business needs. We’re ready 24/7 to help you.

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