How is that possible? We perform slab leak detection services daily and believe it or not, this is not that uncommon. In fact in Orange County just to the north of San Diego there are over a dozen law suits pending with multiple copper pipe pinhole leaks as the reason. There are several class action suits filed by the residents of the Ladera Ranch area, all telling a similar story. Multiple pinhole pinhole plumbing leaks in their copper pipes.
You are likely thinking how in the world does water corrode the inside of a copper pipe? Well, if you think about it, that idea isn't really that far fetched when you think about how water has shaped the surface of our earth. But is that what's really going on in the case of these copper water pipes leaking? Copper pipe has been used for decades without these kinds of issues.
Over the decades these types of plumbing leaks have greatly increased. One community hired a contractor to try and figure out why one could look down their street and see house after house that had experienced a similar water leak in their copper pipe. Nothing could be found, so they began taking a look at the water itself.
What was discovered is that an additive called chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia was used to disinfect our imported drinking water. Now they would like us to believe it is not harmful to humans (don't get me started on this subject) but chloramines react negatively with copper. Mark Edwards of Virginia Tech studied this phenomenon and reported on it.
It's the water. Chloramines are now a common additive to the water coming from our water districts. The water districts claim it is not their problem. Their job is to be sure we have safe drinking water. It is up to us and to the builders to know how water reacts with copper they say. Like we have a choice in that matter.
We have seen plenty of these pinhole size plumbing leaks. Leak Star is called out regularly to do a plumbing leak detection, finding one of these little pinholes spraying water at very high pressure. The hole may be small, but the damage can be astronomical. On the other hand it can be a single drip the goes undetected for possibly months. The damage from a slow drip can sometimes damage can be even worse.
We have long since stopped using copper when re-piping or re-routing water lines for the most part because of this problem. We now use PEX pipe. Good news, it's faster and less expensive to re-pipe a home or re-route around the water leak. Bad news, it's plastic and yes they say it's safe, but again, don't get me started.
All of our municipal water is full of chemicals they say are meant to protect us. For my family that isn't assurance enough. We do all we can to ensure the water in our home is as pure as possible. That is why we installed a whole house water filtration system in our home. It removes many of the chemicals, is Eco Friendly and if you have copper pipe, it will help to remove some of those corrosives that are pitting the inside of your copper lines. If you re-pipe with the PEX pipe it also helps to remove some of those impurities.
It's not a perfect option, but we do what we can. For now it's the best choice. www.LeakStar.com