Excess flux - Pin Hole Leaks?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by floatsonwater, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. floatsonwater

    floatsonwater New Member

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    I developed my fist pin hole leak just after the water meter and before the sediment filter and Kinetico water softener. We are on a community well so for the most part the water is pretty good other than having a hardness around 21. I cut out the section of pipe with the pin hole leak to repair and wonder what this white substance is. This isn't at a joint (see red circle in picture for location) but wonder if this might be excess flux? I noticed some of the other sections in this area are really turning green on the outside so I plan to replace everything in the picture with PEX. I'd like to better understand the root cause though since the house is not that old.
     

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  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    1. Do you have a water test that includes corrosivity?
    2. What is the pH?
    3. Is there red, blue or green ink on your pipes?
    I would think there should be some support for both sides of the water meter. I am not a plumber.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
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  4. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

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  5. floatsonwater

    floatsonwater New Member

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    I had attempted to calculate the LSI before and it came out to 0.82. These are the measurements I have (pre-water softener)
    PH: 7.8 @ 20.3 deg
    Hardness: 19
    Calcium Hardness: 250
    Total Alkalinity: 280
    TDS: 350
    Chlorine: 0
    Cynurac Acid: 0
    Cu: 0.2 (Free, mg/L)
    Cu: 0 (Total Dissolved, mg/L)

    I agree about the support under the meter. When I removed the leaking section you could tell there was a lot of weight being supported. I will address that when I replace all the pipe in this area.

    The staining color on the pipes is green.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  6. floatsonwater

    floatsonwater New Member

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    Is there a way to test the white stuff? Pre-water softener calcium hardness is 250 ppm. Post softener it's 0.

    I've always wondered about the current being an issue. What is considered too much? Tonight I'm only reading 0.025A, the other day I saw as high as 0.045A.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2019
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

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    Vinegar will dissolve calcium deposits, but I don't know how much time to allow.
    Calcium deposits will not burn or melt.

    Your LSI and pH would not explain the pinhole.
     
  8. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

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    There is alway a little current. All electrical items do have a leakage rating though no one really needs to worry about it unless you're on the international space station. Another cause, and most likely, is the difference between earth ground and the electrical neutral from the power company. You alway want then to be the same. Get some flex split tubing and wrap it around the ground cable to isolated from the copper pipe. It cheap and sold at home depot in the low voltage section for telephone and data components.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Gardner...-ft-and-10-ft-Combo-Pack-FLX-538C10/205588197
     
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  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Not all vinegars are created equal, but I'd expect you'd see a significant amount dissolve overnight. IT will go quicker (assuming it's calcium deposits) if you break it up into smaller pieces allowing the vinegar to surround it all rather than working in from the outside of a fairly big chunk.

    Pinhole leaks can be caused by improperly done joints where they did not ream and straighten out the end of the pipe from cutting it. It can cause turbulence downstream that, over time, can erode the inside of the pipe. It may create a series of holes approximately the same distance apart. If the pipe is somewhat undersized or the flow is higher than it should be (the Copper Institute's recommendation is NGT 8fps velocity), that will make the problem worse.

    Your pH is basic, if it were acidic, the water quality might be suspect of aiding it.
     
  10. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

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    How old is the copper line? What grade copper is it? M,L or K. Copper doesn't last forever.
     
  11. floatsonwater

    floatsonwater New Member

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    This is interesting, the white stuff is soft like butter. I would think Calcium build up would be hard/brittle?

    The copper is only 17 yrs old and is Type M.
     
  12. johnjh2o1

    johnjh2o1 Plumbing Contractor for 49 years

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    Type M is the lightest weight copper you can buy. I have seen many pin hole leaks in type M in less time then 17 years.
     
  13. Sylvan

    Sylvan Still learning

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    Type M I never used not even for heating . Type L above ground and type K for under ground


    If the failure is by the joint it could be one of the following

    1- Tubing not soldered properly (not cleaned prior to soldering)

    2- Acid / self cleaning flux was used and taken for granted the fitting /tubing did not have to be cleaner

    3- Failure to ream the copper after cutting

    4- If it was excessive velocity then the tubing wooed have also failed
     
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