Copper pipe repair and corrosion

Copper pipes corrode slowly over time.  If pipes are not maintained, they can cause millions of dollars worth of damage.  Epoxy is a cost effective long term solution to repair copper pipes and prevent corrosion.

Copper Pipe Repair

If you discover a leak in a copper pipe in your home or business, it’s wise to call a plumbing professional as soon as possible. Leaks can be the result of pinholes, puncture holes or burst pipes.

Regardless of the cause, a plumber knows how to repair copper pipe and can answer questions about cost, disruption, and prevention of future leaks.

Still, you should know the basics of how to fix copper pipe with a patch. Patching can stop a leak until a more permanent copper water line repair takes place.

How To Patch a Copper Water Pipe

Patching copper water pipe is like “first aid” for a pipe with a hole. It will stop the leak and allow you to keep the water flowing until the pipe can be repaired. Patching is a particularly effective temporary measure for repairing a pinhole leak in copper pipe.

Before patching, turn off the water supply to the leaky spot. Drain remaining water from the pipes by turning on all the faucets on floors above the leak until the water stops flowing.

Clean outside of the pipe near the leak. If there is any external build-up or rust, remove it with plain steel wool.

There are several copper restoration products that can be used to patch copper water pipe. These include:

  • Pipe Patch Kit
  • Water Pipe Tape
  • Water Pipe Epoxy

Supplies are available at most hardware and home improvement stores. Be sure to only use products approved for patching drinking water pipes.

Product packaging usually offers instructions for how to patch a copper pipe. A well-applied patch over a hole in copper pipe can last up to a few weeks. The goal is to stop the leak until a plumber who is qualified to repair copper pipe arrives.

How to Clean Corroded Copper Pipes

The most common cause of copper pipe corrosion is excess oxygen suspended in water, usually caused by hot water. Suspended oxygen attaches to copper and causes oxidation. Oxidized copper has a bluish-green patina.

Corrosion inside copper pipe can also be caused by water that is too soft, too hard, or has high levels of chlorine. Over time, corrosion can lead to pinhole leaks.

The most common signs of corrosion are:

  • Leaks
  • Discolored water
  • Water has a metallic odour
  • Particles or sediment in water

If you suspect there is corrosion inside of your copper pipes, contact a qualified professional like the team at CuraFlo. We have extensive experience with cleaning copper pipe corrosion and can identify any areas that might need a permanent copper pipe fix.

Using video equipment, we inspect the inside of the pipe to assess the extent of corrosion. If cleaning is warranted, we would use specialized equipment to clean away the corrosion quickly. That might be all you need to restore your water quality. But if there is a leak or corrosion is so extensive that it weakens the metal, copper water pipe repair is necessary.

Our team knows how to repair copper water pipe by replacement or copper epoxy and can advise you on which is the best method for your situation.

External Corrosion

If you have exposed pipes (for example, in a basement ceiling), you can remove small spots of external corrosion yourself. Make a paste of equal parts white vinegar, baking soda, and salt and apply it to the corrosion. Ten minutes later, wipe away the paste. Most, if not all the corrosion will also be wiped away. This is a temporary solution. The corrosion will likely reappear and continue weakening the pipe. Eventually, you will need someone experienced in copper pipe corrosion repair to provide a permanent fix.