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  1. #1
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Pin Hole Leaks in Copper Pipes

    I just discovered my second pin hole leak on my 14 year old house. I have not done much research on the fixes for this (besides the obvious re-pipe).

    Any info would be helpful.
    JF

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Peoria Arizona
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    Default Re: Pin Hole Leaks in Copper Pipes

    Interesting Reading: Pinhole Leaks in Copper Plumbing

    http://www.dhcd.state.md.us/Website/...r_Plumbing.pdf


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pin Hole Leaks in Copper Pipes

    Jack, that's a huge and on-going problem here in Florida. If a house has 2 or more pin holes and its 15 years old, it time to re-- well, you the rest.

    The next pin hole leak may be inaccessible or go unnoticed for an extended period of time. Repairing weakened copper can cause more pin holes nearby a short time later.

    Dom

    P.S.

    I forgot to mention that after the third pin hole leak in my house, I replumbed. It was 16 years old at the time.

    Last edited by Dom D'Agostino; 08-19-2007 at 03:25 PM. Reason: Added P.S.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pin Hole Leaks in Copper Pipes

    Jack I would replace the copper with Wirsbo or PEX.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pin Hole Leaks in Copper Pipes

    Both leaks have been on the hot water side. The first one bring just behind the water heater on a vertical run. The newest one is on a horizontal run in the basement.

    The good thing is I have an unfinished basement (at least the part where the pipes are, so most of the plumbing is accessible. However, I do have a bathroom on the second floor.

    I really don't relish the thought of re-plumbing the house. Searching the web I found a repair where they put an epoxy coating on the inside of the pipes (a two day process). It also said the cost is about the same as a repipe. If it is, I'm probebly better off with a re-pipe.

    On the other side, I'm thinking of selling in the next year, but then I have that whole disclosure thing to deal with.

    JF


  6. #6
    Bob Murphy's Avatar
    Bob Murphy Guest

    Default Re: Pin Hole Leaks in Copper Pipes

    Check out ace duraflo. They do epoxy relining. Their whole business is based around pin holes. The website says they do not have an affiliate in your area. But there is no guarantee that the site is up to date. Certainly worth a shot before you start ripping out walls.
    ACE Duraflo - The repiping Alternative
    Bob


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pin Hole Leaks in Copper Pipes

    I recently attended an educational seminar, where one of the speakers was a plumbing contractor describing the epoxy coating process. He freely admitted that the price to epoxy coat the piping in a typical house far exceeds the cost to re-pipe, but the mess and wall repair is virtually eliminated. He mentioned that commercial jobs are really where the pipe coating is a savings, for example, high rise apartments, condos, etc.

    I think Id prefer new pipes rather than coating older pipe in my own house.


    Dom.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Pin Hole Leaks in Copper Pipes

    A big problem with the coating of the pipes, is you can not do any repairs, since it will mess up the epoxy (read that on the web site).

    Since both of my leaks are on hot water pipes, I'm thinking there is some electrolosis (sp?) going on. I can not see any galvanized anywhere on the system, but I can not see the nipples on the top of the water heater, so they might be galvanized.

    I'm also wondering if the anode rod has gone bad. Anyone have an idea of the life of those, and do they go bad often? I had the dip tube replaced when the recall was in effect.

    I have also seen a gaget that goes on the water line after the main valve and does something with the electrolosis. Costs about $600.

    By the way, I do not have a circulation pump on the plumbing.
    I appreciate the comments. Thanks
    JF


  9. #9
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
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    Default Re: Pin Hole Leaks in Copper Pipes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    I'm also wondering if the anode rod has gone bad. Anyone have an idea of the life of those, and do they go bad often?
    Typically about the length of time as the guaranty is for.

    That (the life of the anode rod), of course, also relates to the quality of the water.

    As Fritz said, it's more likely related to the pH, if I remember correctly, its to acidic and that's what eats away at the copper.

    Also, if the pin holes are near fittings, it could well be that the pipe was not reamed out. Those burred edges of the pipe (when not reamed out properly) create mini turbulence in the water flowing over the burrs and erode away the copper on the downstream side of those joints/fittings.

    Once you have had one or two pin holes, you are likely in for more sooner rather than later, because the entire pipe is being effected, the weakest parts with the most effect leak through first.

    Kind of like what I did shortly out of high school at my first house with the water heater. I had little money, was married for about 2 years, had a baby daughter, and the water heater (gas) would leak at a pin hole. I would drill that pin hole out to a larger size to get 'good metal' and run a screw into the hole. I did that for about 40 holes before I could finally afford to replace the water heater. (Which was about 40 years old, the house was built in 1894 and the water heater replaced during a previous remodeling - about 40 years before we bought the house.)

    There is nothing like trying to live in an old house when you are just starting out and have no money. Talk about DIY OJT.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
    Thom Walker's Avatar
    Thom Walker is offline Member
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    Default Re: Pin Hole Leaks in Copper Pipes

    There is nothing like trying to live in an old house when you are just starting out and have no money. Talk about DIY OJT.
    __________________
    Jerry Peck
    Ormond Beach, Florida

    And there's nothing like knowing I'll never have to do it again! Freezing my butt off, laying on concrte in sub zero weather, working on a furnace and boiler that took up half the basement of that little place. I think half the asbestos in Maryland land fills comes from when I busted that thing up and took God knows how many truckloads to the dump. That was about 1974 or 5.

    If anybody has a spare lung, don't throw it away. I have a feeling I may need it some day.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Pin Hole Leaks in Copper Pipes

    Neither leak is near a fitting.
    When I looked inside the section of pipe I removed (from the first leak) there were some blue corrosion spots, but not a lot.


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