As durable as your home’s copper pipes are, at some point, they will start to break down. Time isn’t a very nice force of nature, after all. Neither is erosion – or for that matter, corrosion. Copper is well-known and highly regarded for its ability to resist rust. But mineral-enriched water can lead to it wearing out. Pinhole leaks only happen to copper pipes; while small at first, they can lead to disaster later on if they are not dealt with properly. Depending on the severity of the damage, you might have to replace your current plumbing system altogether!
The Causes of Pinhole Leaks
First things first, let’s talk about what causes pinhole leaks in the first place. Corrosive materials slowly and insidiously eat through the metal. Although you might scoff at the idea, it’s the water inside the pipes that is the problem. Specifically speaking, it is hard water that you can blame. Minerals and high speeds contribute to the decay of your pipes, but sand, sediment, dirt, and other types of grit can be a doozy on them, too.
How to Identify Signs of Leakage
Now then, let’s guide you through the identification process. As is the case with other aspects of home maintenance, constant vigilance is the key. Since pinholes are slow leaks, they will be extremely difficult to find. Meanwhile, the moisture infiltrates the insulation and wall cavities of your home. Then, bit by bit, the leaks will grow much worse – and much more obvious. An annual inspection by a master plumber can help you find the signs of leakage.
The Expected Lifespan of Copper Pipes
Residential-grade copper pipes normally last for decades. If you think twenty years is a long time, you’ll be amazed to hear that the pipes can last up to fifty! It all depends on the type of pipes you have. However, thinner pipes are more likely to wear down faster than thicker ones. Once again, you should lean on the expertise of licensed and certified professional plumbers to help you determine the strength and durability of your pipes.
Aging Copper and the Prospect of New Plumbing
Let’s assume that your home was built in the 1980s or the 1990s. Pinhole leaks are far more common in older homes – believe it or not, the 90s were almost a full thirty years ago! When copper gets old, the inner linings fray. At this point, you may want to invest in getting all of the plumbing replaced, just in case.
All of Your Plumbing Needs from Master Plumbing
Give Master Plumbing a call at (301) 650-9100, or contact us online to get more information on how our expert plumbers can help you with just about anything plumbing-related! We have received Angie’s List Super Service Award recognition for plumbing and drain cleaning every year since 2007, in addition to the Best Plumber award from Best of Bethesda. We are fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and our service is unparalleled. Give us a call today—you won’t regret it! To see examples of our projects, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!