Copper Piping - Why Should I Repipe?
Pitting copper repipes are becoming more and more common in our coverage area. Copper is a conductive material as it reacts with the mineral and adverse alkalinity in our water.
As the following picture illustrates, pits form on the inside of the copper wall as the copper is slowly reduced in thickness and strength. Galvanic corrosion – the corrosive process that occurs when copper comes in contact with a dissimilar metal – will rapidly increase such pitting thus decreasing the life of copper. The Galvanic Series of Dissimilar Metals illustration below shows us how metals react with one another dependent of their placement on the table. Protected or inert metals corrode much slower than anodic or active metals. To sum it up, dissimilar metals will react with one another, the severity of that reaction (corrosive process) will depend on how far apart they are on the illustrated table.
For all of you nerds like ourselves, click here for the chemistry of copper corrosion.
The majority of corrosion in copper piping develops on the inner walls. The presence of oxidizing acids – heavy-metal salts, sulfur, and ammonia – and a number of sulfur and ammonia compounds can cause corrosion to set in. Water that comes from a well is much more likely to contain these materials and corrode copper lines—but it can take place in the civic potable water system just the same. Corrosion eventually thins the copper enough to create pinhole leaks.
Copper is available in 3 measures of wall thickness: Type L Type M, and Type K. Type L copper is the ideal pipes for supplying water within a home. Most copper installations to date are type M copper and subject to deterioration at a quicker pace. Type L copper has thicker walls than type M copper, has a higher rating in terms of pressure than type M. Some local plumbing codes only allow the use of type L and don’t allow type M copper to be installed in homes anymore.
Type K copper piping is available in both soft and rigid configurations and is used in applications that require high tolerance to pressure. These pipes are ideally suited for large-scale water supplies, compressed air pipes, fire protection systems, heating and cooling system use and industrial conduits.
We have serviced copper water piping systems in place and still functioning well after 60+ years of service. We also see homes in our area with 20 year old copper systems that are pitted and failing from thinned walls, dezincification, or obvious high zinc content in the copper during the manufacturing process.
Buying A House With Copper Piping?
We recommend negotiating the repipe with the seller during the home inspection. This mitigates risk of water damage, solidifies insurability and increases the value of the home. Your real estate agent should be able to walk you through the necessary steps.
Why Choose Us To Repipe your Copper System?
Family owned, the Team at Replumb Specialties Inc. has repiped Polybutylene, Kitec, Copper, Galvanized, Entran, and other failing plumbing systems across our service area since 1992. We are the original repipe contractor for the Polybutylene Class Action Settlement. Our Turnkey process includes the permit, repipe, drywall, texture, paint and tile repairs. We’ve successfully repiped systems in 28,000+ homes, condominiums, apartments, and hotels – including over 2,200 hydronic heating applications.
“Had my pipes replaced by this company. They did a great job I referred them to my neighbors and they have also used and we are all happy with the price, the work, and would repeat and or give referrals to anyone replacing the pipes in their property.”