Florida is well known as the thunderstorm capitol of the United States. Here in the lightning belt, we get particularly severe thunderstorms and lightning. Apart from the dangers of being caught out in one of these storms, did you know that lightening can cause expensive damage to your pipes? Studies conducted by the Orlando Utilities Commission have shown that lighting can cause pinhole leaks in metal piping. In a study done in 1991 the Orlando Utilities Commission found extremely high levels of copper in a home’s water supply and sand crystallization surrounding pinholes in copper pipes after lightning strikes-further proving the damage done to plumbing during these storms. When lightning strikes it follows the path of least resistance, seeking the most conductive substance it can find. When an electrical charge traveling through the ground comes in contact with a home’s copper piping or ground rod it travels along this line until it hits another non-conductive material. At this point the charge needs an outlet, “a minilightning strike occurs within the pipe as the charge jumps from the copper to the water – leaving a hole behind. The stronger the bolt, the bigger the hole”. Some home owners see immediate damage to their pipes, to which they are often alerted of by the hissing sound of water under pressure leaking through these pinholes. Other times it can take months to discover the damage.
If you are concerned that lightning has damaged your plumbing, or about potential damage call Modern Plumbing Industries for advice on the best methods of prevention and testing for pinhole damage. We have proudly been providing top quality plumbing service throughout Central Florida since 1975.