pin-hole leaks in copper pipes

Home Forums Public Forums General Plumbing pin-hole leaks in copper pipes

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #273647
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      Anyone know of a preventitive measure? How about sacrificial anodes? Do they work?

      thanks

      pense

    • #288214

      Mssr. Pense: All water heaters in this country have a sacrificial anodes inside. They are placed there by the manufacturers to protect the inside of the tank from pin hole leak failures during the warranty period. They are so effective, that if you remove the anode, the warranty is void.
      Sacrificial anodes are used to protect buried steel gas and water
      lines from corrosive attack.
      Steel bridges..oil wells and ships also use the Sacrificial anode concept to protect against premature failure from corrosion.
      This same protection is some times called “Cathodic Protection”
      The part being protected is the “Cathode” and the sacrificial metal is the “Anode.”
      Different types of metals are used for different applications..
      Zinc is used primarily for the protection of steel piping.
      Magnesium is the metal of choice for the protection of water heater tanks and piping that comes in contact with potable water supplies.
      Sacrificial anodes can be either passive or active. The water heater anode is a passive type. Active anodes have a Positive DC voltage applied to it,to excellerate or increase its’ effectiveness.
      Akmed

    • #288215

      Thanks for a very intelligent reply. However, I still have this problem: My leaks (there have been two over a 3-month period) are not in the water heater but in copper piping some distance from the water heater.

      Could the loss of the anodes in the water heater be causing these leaks? If so how do I go about replacing the anodes in the heater? Are they easily accessible? Would the be available in a plumbing supplier or would I have to order them from the heater manufacturer?

      thanks

      pense

    • #288216

      quote:


      Originally posted by Akmed:
      Mssr. Pense: All water heaters in this country have a sacrificial anodes inside. They are placed there by the manufacturers to protect the inside of the tank from pin hole leak failures during the warranty period. They are so effective, that if you remove the anode, the warranty is void.
      Sacrificial anodes are used to protect buried steel gas and water
      lines from corrosive attack.
      Steel bridges..oil wells and ships also use the Sacrificial anode concept to protect against premature failure from corrosion.
      This same protection is some times called “Cathodic Protection”
      The part being protected is the “Cathode” and the sacrificial metal is the “Anode.”
      Different types of metals are used for different applications..
      Zinc is used primarily for the protection of steel piping.
      Magnesium is the metal of choice for the protection of water heater tanks and piping that comes in contact with potable water supplies.
      Sacrificial anodes can be either passive or active. The water heater anode is a passive type. Active anodes have a Positive DC voltage applied to it,to excellerate or increase its’ effectiveness.
      Akmed


      Thanks for your reply to Pense. My son just delegated the ttask of finding out what treatment could be applied to avert continued Pin hole problems. His occurred t least two in the past 5 years in cold water lines.And yes they were found inside the walls. Our fix at this time was to use a gasket and hose clamp. This was very effective after tear down to locate them. Your pointing out thr use of thr sacrificial rods in water heaters makes a good augumrnt for building a pass thru chamber into the water line where it enters the house. Perhaps such a thing is already available.
      Thank you
      George email georharg@att.net

    • #288217
      joe

      I’m not a plumber, but I’ve been involved in the renovation/ construction business for quite some time and I ran across this problem in a house that always sprang leaks on cold copper water feeds. Turns out there were 2 things which may have contributed to the problem.
      #1. The 1/2″ copper pipe used was “M” copper which has a much thinner wall than the typical “L” copper that most plumbers will use for installations in this area (NorthEast USA). In each instance there always was a small amount of green corrosion around the pin hole.
      #2. The mechanical ground for the electrical panel was attached to the main cold water feed to the house using the copper pipe as the grounding rod. An electrician was called in to assess the situation and he installed a new ground rod and re-routed the ground cable so it wasn’t attached the the plumbing system…which is the way it should have been done in the first place. This seemed to have solved the problem as there hasn’t been any pin-hole leaks in about 4 years. So, whether it was the grounding problem alone, or a combination of the 2 is strictly speculation.
      Hope this info is of some help.

Viewing 4 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This