Do you have copper pipes in your Chicago building? Copper pipes were and are a popular choice due to their versatility, resistance to corrosion, and anti-bacterial properties. While they have a lot of positives, including their expected 50+ year lifespan, they also have their downsides.

Are Copper Pipes a Health Issue?

While copper pipes are considered safe, they can still leach copper and other heavy metals into your drinking water. This is especially true if your older copper pipes have had their joints and seams sealed with lead solder, which is no longer allowed for drinking water plumbing pipes.

Health Problems Associated with Excess Levels of Copper

Copper is found naturally in the environment as well as in copper pipes. Copper molecules can leach into your drinking water if you have acidic water. While small amounts of copper are not harmful to human health, large amounts can cause:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Kidney and liver damage

Health Problems Associated With Excess Levels of Lead

There are no safe levels of lead. If your copper pipes were lined with lead solder, it’s best to have them replaced or lined with epoxy to prevent lead leaching. Lead can cause:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite or weight loss
  • Memory loss and irritability
  • Weakness

It’s important to note that lead exposure is particularly harmful to young children and pregnant women. Young children and babies can experience developmental delays and neurological damage.

Is There a Solution to Heavy Metal Leaching From Copper Pipes?

If you need to improve the safety of your copper pipes, Nu flow, serving Chicago, offers pipe lining. For potable water pipes, this involves cleaning your pipes down to the pipe walls and blowing an epoxy coating that’s safe for drinking water into the pipe. As the coating moves through the pipe, it covers the exposed metal and seals small leaks and cracks. This process can improve drinking water quality and extend the useful life of your plumbing pipes.

A Building Pipe Assessment Can Help You Understand the Condition of Your Copper Plumbing Pipes

If you’re not sure if you need epoxy pipelining for your copper pipes, we offer a Building Pipe Assessment. With this program, we investigate your building’s pipe history, materials, and repairs and conduct a camera inspection.

Once we complete the inspection, we will then provide a complete written assessment of the health of your building’s plumbing. If the problems are significant, we can plan a multi-year, prioritized program to reline your copper plumbing pipes. Once we reach an agreement on your plan, we will take over ownership of your building’s pipes, addressing unscheduled fixes as needed. Once we are working in your building, you can have peace of mind that your pipes are being repaired while also being made safer. Our copper plumbing pipes have an installation guarantee for 10 years, and studies show pipe relining can last two to three times that.

How Does Pipelining Work for Potable Water Pipes?

During the pipe relining process, the interior of the copper plumbing pipes are first scrubbed with an abrasive grit that is shot through your pipes via air pressure. This cleaning process clears out sediment and corrosion, which maximizes the diameter of your plumbing pipes and restores normal water flow. Once cleaned and thoroughly rinsed, hot air is introduced to dry the pipe’s interior. Then a safe, epoxy-based resin is introduced, filling in weak areas and leaks. Once the process is complete, you are left with a clean, smooth interior surface that could provide decades of additional service.

Can You Line Plumbing Pipes Buried in Concrete?

If you are only experiencing problems in certain areas of your building’s pipes, our pipelining technicians can address specific pipe runs, even those located in concrete, and our process does not involve jackhammering the concrete in order to reach the pipe. Instead, we utilize access points that allow us to attach our equipment without causing a mess or destruction to your building.

If you are concerned about your tenant’s health and the impact aging copper pipes can have on your building’s potable water, contact Nu Flow Midwest. We would be happy to discuss your Chicago area building and the potential problems you may be facing. We will fully explain our process and how we work to minimize tenant inconvenience. Stop copper pipe corrosion problems in their tracks with pipelining from Nu Flow by calling 815-790-9000.