Pinholes in copper pipes

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by jimmym, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    New York
    I found pinholes in my copper pipes on Friday night.
    I was changing a toilet fill valve and the water supply pipe was "sweating" water. It wasn't condensate. The holes were so small, it was more like pores than pinholes. After further inspection, I found a couple more spots. So I replaced every last inch of copper with PVC/CPVC this weekend. During replacement, I simply wrung off a couple of pipes with my hands. I used 1" Sch-40 PVC from the well to the boiler area. Then transitioned to CPVC where I split to do to the DHW coil. I had to use copper at the DHW coil and tempering valve, but CPVC all the way after that. While I was at it I added a hot water recirc line. I also plumbed in my acid neutralizer. Since I don't have any media yet, I made a spool piece with a couple of unions to use in it's place until I get it filled.
    Oh well. My hands hurt like hell. I have a lot of respect for you guys that earn a living with your hands.
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    On another site I found the following:

    "A few years ago(25?) there was a grade of copper called "Distribution Copper", and had a white stripe on it for identification. This type of piping is no longer manufactured (to my knowledge) because of many early failures due to pin hole leaks."
  3. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    There are many large areas of the US that have severe problems with pin holes leaks in copper tubing after only as few as 2 years. There are many causes of pinholes; bacteria, acid water, electrical grounds and use of water lines as the building's ground electrode, erosion corrosion due to high velocity, high TDS, DO and CO2 content waters, hot water recirc systems, and I'm probably forgetting a few. All these things cause an increased level of copper in the water; too much is a serious health concern.

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates
  4. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    New York
    Not any more. Now I just have to worry about Vinyl Chloride, Tetrahydrofuran, M-E-K, etc, etc, etc.
  5. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    I've never seen anything more than someones wild imagination mentioning any problems with any plastic used for potable water lines. ;)

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates
  6. madmadscientist

    madmadscientist New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Oakland CA
    so lets say I have the pinhole leaks in my copper pipe. I don't want to replace them what can I use to seal the leak? Is there some kind of epoxy or something that I could use that would be permanent?
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,834
    Location:
    New England
    Not likely...patching a leak from the outside is really hard to next to impossible.
  8. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    Nothing permanent exists. The problem is that a leak means zero thickness at that point. There are other points where it is almost zero thickness. It would be more trouble draining/cleaning/fixing the pipe than replacing it with new copper. There is nothing short of soldering that would have any possibility of working and I wouldn't try that because you would be doing it again in some other place.

    Altenatives: Solve the cause of the problem and replace with copper; or replace with acceptable form of plastic such as CPVC or PEX. Either of the plastic solutions should be a nearly system fix, not a piece of pipe here and there.
  9. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    New York
    In the morning when I run the water, I can smell a hint of solvent. This will go away soon I'm sure.
    I was mostly joking about the greenie, crystal grippin' hippies screaming about vinyl siding and their lung cancer. I'm sure it has nothing to do with smoking a bale of pot every month for the last 15 years. No, can't be that! Must be the synthetic siding on the house nextdoor.
  10. Gary Slusser

    Gary Slusser That's all folks!

    LOL. Note their favorite beverage, water, is packaged in PVC plastic bottles.

    Gary
    Quality Water Associates
  11. khayes

    khayes New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA.
    I lived in Orlando for 5 years. Our hot water heater was in a large utility room and I noticed the same pinhole leaks in our supply lines. I cut out the leaky sections and re-soldered new copper. Noticed the same problems in several lines going to outside faucets. Some of the leaky pipe was in fact, paper-thin. Plumbers in my area were making careers out of replacing copper. Most of the explanations ranged from heavy mineral content to frequency of lightning strikes. I managed to keep things patched until we eventually moved but I was always wondering about the pipes I could not see.
  12. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    New York
    Don't you love it. Hipocrisy.
    Save the otters. Save the poor oppressed lab mice! But love my leather shoes.
    Don't burn fossil fuel, don't use nuke, don't dam our rivers! But I want electricity and a warm house. Electric cars are great too! You burn fossil fuel at the power plant that has looser emissions control standards than cars in the 70's, then lose efficiency at generation, conversion, transmission, re-conversion, storage, and at the car's power controller. Now THAT'S progress! I wonder what the actual miles per gallon/emissions figures are for an electric car.
    But I digress...
  13. ePIPE

    ePIPE New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Seattle,WA
    Pinhole leaks in copper tube

    Ace Duraflo relines copper pipes with epoxy (fixmypipes.com)
  14. thats pretty pricey

    I got a cd info disk about this epoxy system that
    peopel are touting right now and its a pretty pricey
    affair,

    supposedly cheaper than changeing out all the pipes

    thats if its even available by a reputable plumber in
    your area....


    right now they are just trying to sell the franchises to
    plumbers
  15. Robertqiu

    Robertqiu New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    China
    please view the beautiful copper sinks

    Have you seen the absolute handcraft copper sinks? I earnestly long for get it, achieve my wishes,when i have search for internet. Now, i will introduce them to everyone that like handcraft article. if you interested, you can visit this website: http://www.china-sinks.com you can see multifarious copper sinks.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  16. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I didn't know this was a sink sales forum.
  17. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    cpvc

    Unfortunately, if you check any CPVC manufacturer's site, they tell you not to use CPVC when there is a circulating line because the material does not respond well to being under continuous high temperature.
  18. marksman

    marksman New Member

    Messages:
    3
    I had pin hole leaks in my copper pipe about 15 years ago, and I was told that the cause was 'electrolysis'.

    I cut out the bad pipe and replaced it with new copper.

    I then went looking for the source of the electrolysis and found out that my electrical service ground was faulty. I put in a new ground rod and connection and have experienced no more problems....33 years in the same house.
  19. Those copper sinks have pinholes in them.
  20. jimmym

    jimmym New Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    New York
    This has to be some sort of sick joke. NOWHERE have I ever seen anything about limiting time above a certain temperature. I'll be recirculating 130F water at 65 PSI. I just went through Charlotte Pipes site ( I used FlowGuard). None of their literature/specs suggest not using it for recirculation. At 130F CPVC is rated at ~225 PSI.
    Can you provide some links to this information?
    See this link (Page 13)
    http://www.charlottepipe.com/Documents/FGG_Tech_Manual/FGG_Tech_Manual/html/FGG_Tech_Manual.html
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2005
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