UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES: PINHOLE LEAKS IN COPPER PIPES
Why so many pinhole leaks?
The most likely cause of pinhole leaks in copper pipes is a reaction of chlorine to metals in the public water supply, specifically, aluminum. There is no evidence to suggest that the copper pipe produced in the last 30-40 years is an inferior product, or that installation processes contribute to corrosion, pitting, or pinhole leaks.
This is a nationwide problem. It began in the late 1970s when EPA regulations changed for municipal water supplies. The unintended consequences started showing up in the early 2000s and are now widespread and pervasive almost everywhere in the country.
Water softeners contribute to the corrosion and speed up the process.
Unfortunately, there’s not an inexpensive solution.
If you have experienced pinhole leaks, your best solution may be to replace the pipes.
Damage from pinhole leaks may be covered by your homeowners insurance policy, but the more claims you file, the less likely you are to have your policy renewed. Pinhole leaks don’t occur all at once. You’ll have one or two, followed by more over time. In the long run, it may be best to bite the bullet and get all your water lines replaced.
Before you buy a home, have your insurance agent search their database for water damage claims of any cause for that property. If a claim was ever filed they’ll know about it.
If you haven’t had any leaks, you may want to consider installing a whole house water filter where your water enters the house. A good filter will remove chlorine from your water as well as up to 80,000 other contaminants.
A whole house water filter will benefit and protect your home’s water supply system and your health.
What will a whole house filter do?
Installed where the municipal water enters your home, a whole house filter will remove the chlorine and up to 80,000 other contaminants, metals, and cancer causing particles from your water. There are two immediate benefits.
- Your home’s plumbing water supply system will be much healthier. It will make your water heater last longer. The washers in your shut off valves won’t corrode. The o-rings in your faucets won’t corrode. The rubber seals in your toilet tank won’t corrode. There will be less calcium deposits in valves, faucets, and shower heads.
- Your family’s health will be better, because of the removal of the chlorine, disinfection byproduct chemicals, and other harmful compounds. It will be like drinking, bathing in, and cooking with bottled water at a fraction of the cost of bottled water.
A good whole house filter plus installation will also be expensive, but it’s a proactive expense that will help protect your home, your plumbing system, and your health.