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Copper Pipes Are Not Invincible! Pitting Corrosion and Pinhole Leaks

The most common metal used for residential plumbing pipes today is copper, which replaced galvanized steel in the 1970s. Copper is a more durable material and lasts longer than steel, thanks to its corrosion-resistant properties.

However, it’s a mistake to think that your home’s copper pipes will simply last forever without running into repair problems. There is a specific issue that copper pipes sometimes have known as pitting corrosion, which can lead to insidious pinhole leaks.

“Pitting corrosion”? I though copper didn’t corrode

Copper is corrosion resistant, not corrosion-proof. There are different types of corrosion, and copper is resistant to most of them. But not all of them. Pitting corrosion is a specific type of corrosion that can copper.

The source of pitting corrosion is not fully understood, but it is probably connected to chemicals sometimes found in the municipal water supply. The reaction of these chemical with copper causes the metal to weaken. Pitting corrosion looks like a gray patch along the copper create by tiny pits. These small pits in the metal can lead to pinhole leaks.

Are pinhole leaks a serious problem?

Absolutely. Don’t let the name trick you. Even small drips out of pipes will create serious issues for your home. The build-up of water from these leaks will eat through drywall and lead to the growth of mold and mildew. Pinhole leaks tend to spread along with the pitting corrosion; if pinhole leaks are occurring one place, they’re probably occurring in others as well.

At the first indication that your home has leaks of any kind, call on our plumbers. They’ll perform leak detection to find the pinhole leaks, wherever they are happening. After that, pipe replacements will fix the problems.

Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. has proudly served Central Florida since1975. Contact us for pipe replacement services in Orlando and Winter Springs, FL.

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