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Plumbing Repair FAQ: Pitting Corrosion

Leaks in pipes are one of the worst problems you can encounter in your plumbing. One of the unfortunate facts about leaking pipes is that they are often hard to detect until serious damage from the escaping water begins to affect construction material and water bills. A particularly elusive but damaging source of plumbing leaks is pitting corrosion, which we will look at in more detail in this post.

Whatever causes the leaks in your home, call for professional plumbing repair in Orlando, FL as soon as you suspect there’s a problem. Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) can deliver the skilled repairs necessary to protect your plumbing and your home from all types of leaks.

What is pitting corrosion and why is it such a problem?

After World War II, copper piping began to replace the older galvanized steel pipes because of the latter’s tendency to corrode over time. Copper is corrosion-resistant and has a longer lifespan. However, copper is not corrosion-proof—pitting corrosion can still affect it.

Scientists do not yet fully understand the source of pitting corrosion, although some chemists hypothesize that it may come from the presence of chlorides, thiosulfates, fluorides, and iodides. Stagnant water appears to encourage it. Whatever the source, pitting corrosion results in localized, small areas of corrosion across metal—including copper-based alloys—that often resemble gray or discolored patches.

Although small, pitting corrosion seriously weakens metal. The action creates tiny pits across the metal, usually only visible through magnification. However, these holes are enough to cause the water in plumbing to begin leaking. Because of their diminutive size, these leaks are referred to as pinhole leaks.

Pitting corrosion is insidious: it will spread across plumbing, creating numerous pinhole leaks. This small amount of water steadily leaving the pipes is still extremely damaging, eating into drywall, warping wood, and encouraging the growth of mold and mildew. You must treat pinhole leaks as seriously as any other leak that can appear in your plumbing.

Detection

Watch for slight bulges beneath wallpaper, discolored spots on walls, poorly-fitting floorboards, and an increase in humidity in your house as possible warning signs of pitting corrosion creating leaks. Observe your water bills closely as well, since pinhole leaks can drain a significant amount of water over time. If you have any suspicion of plumbing leaks, call for professional plumbers to locate the areas of pitting corrosion and replace the pipes.

Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. (MPI) has tackled leaks of all sizes since 1975. For your plumbing repair in Orlando, FL make sure you contact us first.

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