Pin Hole leaks in copper pipes

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    • #275101
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      Hello all,
      I live in the country so i have a water well. We built our house about 21/2 years ago and have now had two major leaks in the slab. Our contractor thinks that it is due to electrolysis caused by the copper pipes NOT being grounded properly. The electrician ran a ground rod from the breaker box to the outside rod but not to the copper pipes. After the first leak, our contractor ran a copper wire from the box and grounded it to the copper water pipes. But, now we have had another leak which is under our kitchen. Not good news. I have heard of at least 5 other houses in my area that are having similar problems. Does anyone know what I can do? I need help! Thanks, Eddie

    • #291101
      Guest
      Participant

      Take a water sample to the agricultural unit, a plumbing/well supplier, or a pool supplier. Check for aggressive water – get a full analysis. Also check the pipe sizes and their flow rate. High water speed through pipe and aggressive water can erode copper tubing this fast. It is doubtful that electrolysis will do this damage throughout the system.

      A remedy may be to treat the water and/or use PEX or CPVC of a generous size that is not affected by the water.

    • #291102
      Guest
      Participant

      Harold Please, I have nothing but the highest respect and admiration for you BUT you said “high speed”

      If we are talking YOUR field of hydronics Yes velocity over 2-3 FPS @ 180+ degree F will cause premature piping failures

      Under normal conditions water flowing through coper tubing at 5 to 8 FPS is ok

      Water sampling is always a great idea with well water.

      Plastic piping well see my articles in the PLUMBVIEWS section of this web site. I HATE ,DETEST plastic as putting TOXIC piping underground doesnt appeal to me.

      ILL talk to you later on our PIPDL list young man

    • #291103
      Guest
      Participant

      First you need to determine if the corrosion is occuring from the inside out or outside in. If its from the inside out try one of the following websites http://www.aquasmartinc.com or http://www.copperknight.com. If it is from the outside in try this website http://www.gwebs.com/hcc/

    • #291104
      Guest
      Participant

      More info. pH of water is > 7.0.
      they are now digging under my slab to find the leak. I want the pinhole for future reference. i will find out if it is inside out or outside in. Thanks to all who sent replys. Keep it coming!
      Eddie

    • #291105
      Guest
      Participant

      http://www.copper.org/tubehdbk/design-data-general.html
      QUOTE “Pitting can also be caused or intensified by faulty workmanship which leaves excessive amounts of residual aggressive flux inside the tube after installation. If the joints have been overheated during installation and the excess residual flux has polymerized, the pitting problem can worsen.

      Soft acidic waters can cause the annoying problem of green staining of fixtures or “green water.” Raising the pH of such waters to a value of about 7.2 or more usually solves the problem, but a qualified water treatment person should be consulted. A typical treatment for an individual well water supply is to have the water flow through a bed of marble or limestone chips.

      Excessive water velocity causes erosion-corrosion or impingement attack in plumbing systems. As explained in the discussion of pressure system sizing to avoid erosion-corrosion (and noise) problems, the water velocity in a plumbing system should not exceed 5 to 8 feet per second-the lower limit applying to smaller tube sizes.

      Velocity effects can be aggravated if the water is chemically aggressive due to pH or gas content as outlined above, or if solids (silt) are entrained in the flow. The combination of a velocity that is otherwise acceptable and a water chemistry that is somewhat aggressive can sometimes cause trouble that would not result from either factor by itself.

      Erosion corrosion can also be aggravated by faulty workmanship. For example, burrs left at cut tube endscan upset smooth water flow, cause localized turbulence and high flow velocities, resulting in erosion corrosion.

      Any metal pipe laid in cinders is subject to attack by the acid generated when sulfur compounds in the cinders combine with water. Under such circumstances, the tube should be isolated from the cinders with an inert moisture barrier, a wrapping of insulating tape, a coating of an asphaltum paint, or with some other approved material. With rare exception, natural soils do not attack copper.

      Copper drainage tube rarely corrodes, except when misused or when errors have been made in designing or installing the drainage system. An improper horizontal slope can create a situation where corrosive solutions could lie in the tube and attack it. If hydrogen sulfide gas in large volume is allowed to vent back into the house drainage system, it can attack the tube. “

    • #291106
      Guest
      Participant

      quote:


      Originally posted by Eddie Newman:
      More info. pH of water is > 7.0.
      they are now digging under my slab to find the leak. I want the pinhole for future reference. i will find out if it is inside out or outside in. Thanks to all who sent replys. Keep it coming!
      Eddie


      My (NYC) water is exactly 7.0 and no copper problems.

      Harold was correct about poor design and back filling conditions

      Using a self cleaning flux (acid type) is ok if the installer bothers to realy clean the joints after soldering inside and out.

      Reaming is very important and so is proper pipe sizing (velocity)

      Under ground I never use anything other then K copper and “L” tubing above ground NEVER DWV or M.

      The soil back fill should also be tested for cinders or other know copper eaters.

      Hey good luck

    • #291107
      Guest
      Participant

      More info on the pinhole problem.
      My plumber finally found the pinhile. It was about 2 feet from the nearest connection. The pipe fed my kitchen sink and the pressure runs , at most 40 psi. the hole looked like a corroded, inverted volcano. The hole itself was approx the size of a 0.7mm pencil lead.
      Has anyone had any experience with the “CopperKnight”?
      Thanks,
      Eddie

    • #291108
      Guest
      Participant

      quote:


      Originally posted by Eddie Newman:
      More info on the pinhole problem.
      My plumber finally found the pinhile. It was about 2 feet from the nearest connection. The pipe fed my kitchen sink and the pressure runs , at most 40 psi. the hole looked like a corroded, inverted volcano. The hole itself was approx the size of a 0.7mm pencil lead.
      Has anyone had any experience with the “CopperKnight”?
      Thanks,
      Eddie


      CopperKnight is where WE Master PLUMBERS seek advice. He is the GURU of of plumbing/piping

      He is the BEST…

    • #291109
      Guest
      Participant

      I have a property with a copperknight on the plumbing system. It has not been installed long enough for a true test yet. It is fairly easy to install. If you decide to get it, ask Bud if he can supply you with a variable resistor to fine tune the current to the anode. It helps to reduce the gases that the copperknight may produce and will probably lengthen the anode life. I also have another property with a phosphate feeder, its been installed 3 years and seems to be working. The chemical in the phosphate feeder also descales the inside of the piping system.

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