Pitting copper replumbs are becoming more and more common in our coverage area. Copper is a conductive material, it does react with the mineral and adverse alkalinity in our water. As this pic (below or above) illustrates, pits form on the inside of the copper wall as the copper is slowly reduced in thickness and strength. GALVANIC CORROSION or the corrosive process that occurs when copper comes in contact with a dissimilar metal will rapidly increase such pitting hence decreasing the life of copper. copper is available in 3 measures of wall thickness: Type K, Type M and Type L.
Types L and M
Types L and M are the ideal pipes for supplying water throughout a home. Type L comes with thicker walls than type M. Type L also 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 the use of type M 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 seen copper water piping systems in place and still functioning well after 60+ years of service. We have also seen 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 manufacture.
Corrosion Chemistry: Copper corrosion is the loss of solid copper metal, Cu0 , to solution. This occurs when electrons, e-, are lost by the base metal and the solid phase is transformed to soluble, dissolved cuprous, Cu+ , and/or cupric, Cu++, ions. The loss of electrons from the solid metal (electron donor) is called oxidation. Anodic Reaction: Cu0 ^ Cu++ (aqueous) + 2eIn metal corrosion, chemical oxidation occurs at sites called anodes where electrons are released (lost). Alternately, chemical reduction (the gain of the electrons) occurs at the cathode. The electron acceptors are called oxidizing agents. Cathodic Reaction: Cl2 0 + 2e- ^ 2ClIn pitting corrosion, the anodes are small, fixed points at which copper metal is lost. The remainder of the entire pipe surface serves as the cathode. Since the electron acceptors are chlorine (the disinfectant residual) and oxygen, the rate of corrosion is sensitive to the concentrations of both of these oxidizing agents. The rates of virtually all corrosion reactions in water are strongly influenced by temperature and pH. High temperatures markedly accelerate reaction rates whereas higher pH reactions normally decelerate them.
WHY CHOOSE REPLUMB SPECIALTIES, INC. TO REPLACE PITTED COPPER
Replumb Specialties, Inc. has been replacing polybutylene pipes in Colorado since 1992. We are the original pipe replacement contractor for the Polybutylene Class Action Settlement. We developed and perfected the ‘containment process’ copied by most replumb contractors today.
Our containment process includes masking and protecting work areas. Furniture is covered and drywall penetrations are cut by hand rather than with a power saw. All penetrations in drywall and tile are professionally repaired and painted to match.
We are licensed and insured and pride ourselves on being punctual and professional. Our crews have been working together for 20+ years. Realtors and home inspectors regularly refer us and account for 70% of our business.