The Problems With Copper Piping
Pitting copper replumbs are becoming more and more common in our coverage area. Copper is a conductive material, and 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 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 copper piping replacement with the seller during the home inspection. This mitigates risk of water damage and increases the value of the home. Your real estate agent should be able to walk you through the necessary steps.
How We Can Help You Replace Your
The Team at Replumb Specialties Inc. has replaced Copper, Polybutylene, Kitec, Galvanized, Entran, and other failing plumbing systems across the United States Since 1992. We are the original pipe replacement contractor for the Polybutylene Class Action Settlement. We’ve successfully replaced systems in 20,000+ residencies.