Pinholes in Copper Pipe
Pinholes are a common cause of a copper water line leak. Over time, minerals in tap water can build up inside copper pipes. This leads to corrosion, and corrosion causes pinhole leaks. These repairs are usually best left to a professional to fix as they know how to repair pinholes in copper water pipes.
Pinhole leaks are more problematic than they may sound. If a pipe bursts, the damage can be dramatic but it appears quickly. Pinhole leaks can go undetected for days, weeks or even months, depending on their location. That’s why pinhole leaks are serious and need to be fixed as quickly and effectively as possible.
How To Fix Pinhole Leak In Copper Pipe
It is always prudent to talk with a plumbing professional before repairing a pinhole leak in copper pipe. They know how to stop a copper pipe leak, and how to repair a pinhole leak in a copper pipe in the most effective and efficient way.
Still, it’s important to understand – in general terms – how to fix a leaky copper water pipe.
There are two methods of repairing a pinhole leak in copper pipe: replacement and lining with epoxy.
To know which is the best option for you, consider the three major aspects of copper pipe leak repair:
- Disruption (includes how long the water will be off and cutting into walls and/or ceilings to gain access to the leak)
- Durability (how long the repair will last)
- Total cost (includes fixing the walls and/or ceilings after the repair in addition to the pipe repair itself)
Let’s first explore how to fix a copper pipe pinhole leak by replacement.
How to Fix a Pinhole in Copper Water Pipe by Replacement
The replacement method for repairing pinholes requires removing the leaky segment of copper pipe. To do this, the plumber needs to open up a large portion of the wall or ceiling at the leak site. Extra space necessary to safely cut, remove and ultimately reconnect the pipe with solder.
With the damaged segment removed, a new piece of copper or plastic pipe can be sized. Once the new piece of pipe has been placed, the plumber solders it to the existing pipe. Soldering is done with a flame, one of the reasons for removing large sections of wall or ceiling.
Copper pipe repair by replacement is straightforward and it’s easy to see the repair. This can give home and business owners comfort. But one thing replacement can’t do, is prevent pinhole leaks in other parts of the copper pipe. And, over time, the replacement piece could also corrode.
It’s worth noting that in some jurisdictions, property insurers will cover only the first instance of pinhole repair. This is something to consider when assessing the cost of repair.
To avoid lengthy repair times, many home and building owners want to know how to fix copper water pipe leak issues without having to replace their water pipes. Fortunately, many cases are candidates for epoxy.
Let’s now explore how to fix a copper pipe pinhole leak using copper pipe epoxy lining made from epoxy.
Epoxy Lining For Copper Pipe Repair
The epoxy lining method of copper pipe repair also requires that the wall and/or ceiling at the leak site be opened. But the amount of space needed is small compared to the replacement method.
To properly apply the epoxy lining, the plumbing professional dries, then cleans the entire length of water distribution pipes. Specialized equipment makes these steps relatively quick.
The final step is to flow the epoxy so that it lightly coats the inside of the copper pipes. When the epoxy cures, all the pipes in the water distribution system are sealed. This means that there will be no further corrosion, which is appealing in terms of insurance coverage. Plus, the epoxy lining prevents copper from leaching into the water.
The epoxy for copper pipes is proven safe for drinking water and will last 40-60 years.
CuraFlo plumbers are trained to know exactly how to fix copper pipe leak issues, whether the solution is replacement or an epoxy lining.