Are you concerned about pinhole leaks in your copper piping? If you’re not, you should be. This is because pinhole leaks can cause damage behind your walls, and if you have enough of them, the water pressure in your building can be significantly decreased, causing your tenants to report an increasing number of maintenance requests. The good news is that by being vigilant, you can catch leaks in a timely manner and prevent future leaks.
Why are Pinhole Leaks in Copper Piping Such an Issue?
Copper plumbing pipes became popular in the 1960s and were the go-to piping material in the 1970s. Today, many are choosing PVC and PEX over copper, but if your building is older, you may still have an abundance of copper piping and the problems that go along with it.
- Leaks behind walls
- Leaks in ceilings and under floors
- Mold and mildew growth that can contribute to sick building syndrome and an increase in indoor allergy symptoms
- Rotting of structural components, like the beans in your walls and floor joists
- Low water pressure
- High water bills
What Causes a Pinhole Leak?
Pinhole leaks in copper piping can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- The age of the copper pipes
- Corrosion from the water flowing through the pipes
- Kinks and dents that have occurred over time
- Improperly wiped flux
- Galvanic corrosion from dissimilar metals in your plumbing system
How Can I Tell If I Have a Pinhole Leak in My Chicago Building?
If the leak is new and slow, you may not be able to tell. However, over time and as more leaks develop or the leak gets bigger, you may notice odd smells or a musty odor. You may also see black spots (mold) or water spots on your ceilings. If the leaks become large or numerous, you may notice higher water bills, and your building may experience a reduction in water pressure, especially on the upper floors.
What Should I Do If I’m Not Sure If I Have Any Pinhole Leaks?
If you’re not sure if you have any pinhole leaks, you can request a plumbing inspection with a camera or one of our Building Pipe Assessments that includes a camera inspection. Camera inspections can help detect corrosion levels, problems with the interior or the pipe, and the pipe’s age. If you choose one of our pipe assessments from our qualified technicians at Nu flow, we’ll include information about your pipes, their ages, and how much time is left in your pipes as well as whether or not you’d be a good candidate for pipelining.
What Do I Do When I Find a Pinhole Leak?
Epoxy pipelining can give new life to copper pipes, sealing pinhole leaks and providing a new, smooth, interior surface that restores flow. Our epoxy lining process accommodates a variety of piping materials including galvanized steel, copper, cast iron, black iron, PVC, and CPVC. The process starts with a thorough pipe cleaning that removes all the corrosion down to the pipe wall. This helps maximize the diameter of your plumbing pipes to ensure proper water flow and pressure.
Pipelining is also much faster than a traditional pipe replacement and doesn’t require any demolition. Your tenants also aren’t left without water while the work is being performed. Instead, we provide mixed hot/cold water that can be used for washing and cleaning.
Epoxy Pipelining With Nu flow
While epoxy pipe relining may be relatively new here in the United States, it has been done for decades in Europe. At Nu flow, we have a 10-year installation guarantee and our epoxy coating used in potable water applications has a rated life of 35-50 years under normal use. It has exhibited a potentially useful life of up to 80 years in accelerated laboratory mechanical testing. Epoxy relining has been completed in government buildings, health care facilities, schools, and even on aircraft carriers. Nu Flow is a worldwide brand with Nu Flow Midwest proudly serving the needs of the Chicago area. Our team is trained and certified in epoxy pipe relining that is safe, long-lasting, and an affordable alternative to pipe replacement.
If you would like to know more about our services, please contact us. Be sure to inquire about our building pipe assessment program. If you are experiencing pinhole leaks in your copper piping, contact Nu Flow Midwest today.