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  • pinholes in copper water lines

    You were all so helpfull on my last problem I thought I would run another one by you. I worked at a customers house last week who had a couple pinholes in his copper in the basement. I replaced a section about 6 feet long that had two holes in it. After I turned the water back on I found another had started up about 6" away from one of my couplings and so i cut alittle further and fixed that one too. When I cleaned the copper I noticed that it almost looked like brass. The collor of the copper had changed over the years. It was very dark just like brass. I guess my question is...I have heard about pinhole developing from grounding problems and was wondering if any of you had any insight into this. Or have any of you noticed this color change in copper. As I told the customer, I would hate to be comming back all the time to replace a small section of pipe, However I guess it is job security....... Any thoughts? Thanks, Mark

  • #2
    Re: pinholes in copper water lines

    honestly mark the only pinholes i ever see here in copper are when people use type M copper for domestic water. only time i ever seen it.

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    • #3
      Re: pinholes in copper water lines

      Same thing here guy type M in potable water. I have never seen pin holes in type L.

      Originally posted by mtburdick View Post
      honestly mark the only pinholes i ever see here in copper are when people use type M copper for domestic water. only time i ever seen it.
      WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE,
      ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE

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      • #4
        Re: pinholes in copper water lines

        I had a pinhole in type L copper. There was a big green blob (flux?) on the inside of the pipe right over it.

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        • #5
          Re: pinholes in copper water lines

          Is there any electric current running through the pipes.I have had that happen before? 240 volts ac running through a gas pipe,and small residual voltage of 15 volts in water pipes Is the pipe thermally insulated condensation on the pipe could be reacting with a corrosive environment .Faulty batch of pipe(do the neighbours have the same problem if the houses were built at the same time and plumbed with the same batch of pipe. Very thirsty rats?

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          • #6
            Re: pinholes in copper water lines

            hi mstrplmr,

            how old is the house?

            when you say, "It was very dark just like brass.", do you mean black or very dark brown? if so, that's normal, oxidation.

            up here, we have to use 2 water service lines. one is a recirc back to the main.

            i've crushed type M in my hand that was worn out. there was about 6 pinholes in a 1' section of the service.

            erosion.

            Vince

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            • #7
              Re: pinholes in copper water lines

              are they on a well?
              Mike
              Clark County Plumbing And Drain
              www.plumbinginclarkcounty.com

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              • #8
                Re: pinholes in copper water lines

                Originally posted by Vince the Plumber View Post
                hi mstrplmr,

                how old is the house?

                when you say, "It was very dark just like brass.", do you mean black or very dark brown? if so, that's normal, oxidation.

                up here, we have to use 2 water service lines. one is a recirc back to the main.

                i've crushed type M in my hand that was worn out. there was about 6 pinholes in a 1' section of the service.

                erosion.

                Vince
                Why recirculating with 2 lines? is this to keep the water moving to prevent freezing? I assume the 2 lines tie in and the meter is after that point?

                Sorry, a bit off point but interesting.
                INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
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                • #9
                  Re: pinholes in copper water lines

                  i'm not trying to steal the thread.

                  yes Gene, in fact, the whole water main and water services are constantly circulated to prevent freezing. we also warm the water at the pump house via heat exchangers.

                  Vince

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                  • #10
                    Re: pinholes in copper water lines

                    So you have a pump that circulates domestic cold water 24/7 during the winter?

                    I'll bet you get pinholes from that

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                    • #11
                      Re: pinholes in copper water lines

                      is it cold enough that it has to constantly circulate? or can you have it on a timer to circulate for a few minutes every 30 minutes?

                      and on Huge houses we do it on the hot, with "so far" beautiful results. Though I wonder how much it'll shorten the lifespan of the pex.
                      No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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                      • #12
                        Re: pinholes in copper water lines

                        Originally posted by MoJourneyman View Post
                        is it cold enough that it has to constantly circulate? or can you have it on a timer to circulate for a few minutes every 30 minutes?

                        and on Huge houses we do it on the hot, with "so far" beautiful results. Though I wonder how much it'll shorten the lifespan of the pex.
                        i don't know if anybody ever tried a timer.

                        i have found with experience, at least for up here, the less moving parts, less switches the better (KIS).

                        i have noticed with the new vehicles that make their way up here is that they've become to complicated with all of the new fangled electronics. give me a vehicle with manual window cranks and locks anytime.

                        Vince

                        -43 with the wind right now, that should keep the perma-frost nice and frozen

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                        • #13
                          Re: pinholes in copper water lines

                          I have written in other threads: I have a 50 year old house with "M" copper and NEVER had any leaks-ever. Now I'm on Toronto City water (obviously pH controlled, etc) and no recirculating anything in the plumbing. 99%of houses in Toronto that have copper pipes ----> have "M" copper not "L".

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                          • #14
                            Re: pinholes in copper water lines

                            Is the house on city water or on a well? Around here pin hole leaks in horizontal runs of copper on well water is a common problem. The condition of the well water will eat the pipe from the inside out.

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                            • #15
                              Re: pinholes in copper water lines

                              Originally posted by Vince the Plumber View Post
                              -43 with the wind right now, that should keep the perma-frost nice and frozen
                              At that temp it's probably better off with no timer. That sir, is Cold

                              And yeah, I have fewer problems with my 12 year old ford truck than most people I know with brand new vehicles. Granted, their aren't that many features on it to break.
                              No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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