Pinhole Leaks In Copper House Lines

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Sbude57

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I initially came across this problem at my brother's place in the Southeastern part of the state. He began to get tiny leaks on his horizontal runs of copper. I'd repair the leak, and a few months later another would appear in a different spot. Finally after a few more I went in and replaced his exposed copper runs with pex. That seems to have taken care of it as he's had no problems since. He's on a well system, so I thought that the water might be a problem, or the run of copper when the house was built, sometime in the 70's.
I live in the central part of the state and have been seeing more and more of the same issue in my area. Newer homes, probably 1990's and up, on Municipal water systems. It only seems to occur on horizontal runs. Half inch and three quarter copper. Asking around, others in the trade all seem to have different answers, with no two alike.
Any body else run across the issue, and might have a reason for it?
 

JohnCT

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My house has a well, and I started getting pin holes on horizontal sections as well. I found out after replacing a couple of sections that the pipe was almost paper thin due to low pH of my water (approx 6.2). The other symptom was a blueish green deposit left on fixtures.

Later, I started getting more leaks on vertical sections as well. I added an acid neutralizing tank but the damage was done, so I repiped. I don't know why it affected the horizontal sections first (other than me having a higher percentage of pipe running that way) but I think if you go long enough, you'll have some vertical leaks as well.

I've heard that new copper pipe isn't nearly as good as the old stuff, and maybe that's true.

John
 

Tuttles Revenge

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We just fixed a couple dozen pinholes in a 15 unit condo in Seattle. All horizontal mostly on the hot side.

So many theories as to why it happens.. Choramine, bacteria, rust nodules, electrolosis... nothing conclusive for us.
 

John Gayewski

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You'd need an expert to find out the exact reason for an individual case of this. But there are many reasons that could all be causing this.
 

Sbude57

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Thanks for the replies. My first thought was the well water, but then I'm seeing the problems in areas with city provided water. Tuttles answer is pretty much what I've been getting, no one is really sure why it is happening. Job security , I guess, lol.
 

JohnCT

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Thanks for the replies. My first thought was the well water, but then I'm seeing the problems in areas with city provided water. Tuttles answer is pretty much what I've been getting, no one is really sure why it is happening. Job security , I guess, lol.

But if he's on a well, the first step is taking the pH. Cheap pH testers are available on Amazon. Once I raised my pH with an acid tank, the pin holes stopped.

John
 
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