Rotten Copper Pipes…?

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    • #274615
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      I suspect that a copper pipe may be leaking under the concrete slab of my parent’s house. They have just recently noticed the sound of running water, even though every faucet in the house is turned off. There is no sign of flooding. A local plumbing outfit said that this is a common problem in Cape Coral Florida because of the Reverse Osmosis system that we use. They said it actually causes the copper to rot after about 10 yrs. (the house is 7yrs. old) They suggested replumbing the entire house with CPVC for $2500. Is this for real or are they just trying to soak us for a lot of money?

    • #290038
      DP
      Participant

      To establish leaking pipes fill a glass with water from the faucet and isolate incoming water line. Offer the glass of water to faucet mouth and open. If the faucet drinks the water then you know that there is a leak between that faucet and the isolating valve.

      quote:


      Originally posted by Stephen Janson:
      I suspect that a copper pipe may be leaking under the concrete slab of my parent’s house. They have just recently noticed the sound of running water, even though every faucet in the house is turned off. There is no sign of flooding. A local plumbing outfit said that this is a common problem in Cape Coral Florida because of the Reverse Osmosis system that we use. They said it actually causes the copper to rot after about 10 yrs. (the house is 7yrs. old) They suggested replumbing the entire house with CPVC for $2500. Is this for real or are they just trying to soak us for a lot of money?


    • #290039
      Guest
      Participant

      How do you isolate the supply line? What valve needs to be closed?

    • #290040
      Guest
      Participant

      quote:


      Originally posted by DP:
      To establish leaking pipes fill a glass with water from the faucet and isolate incoming water line. Offer the glass of water to faucet mouth and open. If the faucet drinks the water then you know that there is a leak between that faucet and the isolating valve.


      How do I isolate the incoming line? Do I have to close a valve, if so which one?

    • #290041
      GaryPurolite1
      Participant

      If your RO system does not provide for corrosion protection then what the plumber is telling you is true. One of the factors affecting corrosion is the pH of the water. It is a normal thing for the pH of the RO water to be far less than that of the water it is treating. RO water should never be in contact with metal unless there is some corrosion protection included. That could be putting the RO water through additional treatment such as a Phosphate feeder or through a filter media like Calcite. Calcite will dissolve in the RO water and form a protective coating of Calcium Carbonate on the inside of the pipe. Some forms of Phosphate will also coat the pipe. Without that then PVC or CPVC or some sort of approved plastic pipe should be used. This especially where the plumbing is in a concrete slab.

    • #290042
      Guest
      Participant

      Yes, Stephan; there should be a valve near the water meter to shut off water to the house. If a glass of water prevents air from enteriing an open tap upstairs, the water will be drawn in by suction as water leaves below the slab.

      Copper tubes have been in slab houses since the 1940’s. Some of them are still working. The tubing in mine has been working for 26 years. Local damage can occur from shifting, corrosive ash in the cement mix, soldered connections inside the slab, or freezes. It may be time for new above-slab tubing to replace that in the slab.

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