How to Fix Pinhole Leak in Copper Pipe?

Pinhole Leak in Copper Pipe

The copper pipes are very durable and reliable because the companies claim that they last for over 20 years. Unfortunately, this is not true that the lines run accurately for 20 years.

There is a problem known as a pinhole leak that only appears in the copper pipes within just a short period of two years. It is the worst example of corrosion in copper pipes.

If you are facing the problem of a pinhole leak in your copper pipes and searching for the method to fix the problem, then you have come to the right place because this article will take you from general instructions to the best solution.  So keep reading this article to equip you with current information.

How to Fix Pinhole Leak in Copper Pipe?

The most suitable method to fix pinhole leaks in copper pipes is the sweat replacement method. You can do this job yourself if the leakage is only in the ½ inches of the line.

Otherwise, you should call a professional for more prolonged leaks. Do it as follows.

  1. Gather all the required materials like propane torch, cotton rags, solder wire, measuring tape, coupling replacement pipe, etc.
  2. Detect the leaky spot and mark it. Be sure to turn off the water supply and drain water from the pipe.
  3. Take a tube cutter and cut ½ inches of the infected pipe.
  4. Scrub the sides of the pipe using cotton rags after cutting the infected part. It is essential to make the sides smooth.
  5. Measure the gap between the pipes and cut the sweat coupling replacement pipe accordingly. It should be 1 inch longer than the actual measurement. And smooth the edges of the replacement pipe as you have done with the installed line after cutting the infected pipe.
  6. Insert the replacement pipe in the installed edges of the pipe and make sure you give it a perfect fit at ½ inches.
  7. Wrap the solder wire at the edges and use a gas torch to melt it until it looks separate. 
  8. In the end, you should check the pipe by turning on the water supply.

Pinhole Leaks in Copper Pipe Causes

There can be numerous causes of a pinhole leak in copper pipes. Some of the most common reasons for the culprit in the pinhole leak are discussed below.

  1. The main cause of leaks in your copper wire is chemical damage. If the ph level of your home water found interacted with bacteria, sulfate, and piping metal, then it means there are more chemicals in your home water. This chemical can easily damage copper pipes. These chemicals will eat the inner protective layer of the pipes which results in a pinhole leak in them.
  2. Heavy metals in the water can also come in the pipe that restricts the way the water and water get out by using the cracked part of the pipe.
  3. The poor protective layer inside the pipes can also lead to pinhole leaks in copper pipes.
  4. If you have two types of pipe fittings in your house and they join each other at someplace, then it can create tension, and the copper will affect more than the other pipes. It can cause leakage in the copper pipes that are known as a pinhole leak.

How to Detect Pinhole Leaks in Copper Pipe?

If you have suspect that there is a leakage in your copper pipe, then check it for the following signs.

  1. If you are receiving a high water bill every month, this is a clear indication of a leak in the pipes.
  2. The pressure of water has decreased from its average level means a leak in the pipes.
  3. If you often hear dripping sounds from your pipes, then there is sure a pinhole leak causing low water pressure and high water bills.
  4. The damage of walls around the pipes
  5. Mold growth around the pipes

Temporary Fix for Leaking Copper Pipe

When you have a pinhole leak in your copper pipes, you can use the following method to fix it in an emergency. You will need the following things to repair copper pipe leaking temporarily.

  • Duct tape
  • Hose clamps

Wrap the duct tape around the leaky spot and fix it using the hose clamps.

One thing to note is that it is only a temporary fix that you can stop water dripping until the plumber comes and fix it for the long term. So do not only rely upon this quick fix.

How to Prevent Pinhole Leaks in Copper Pipes?

When you recovered from pinhole leaks, then you will also take some actions to prevent the pinhole leak in the future. You can do it as follows.

  1. Adjust the water softener to restrict chemicals coming into the water.
  2. A water softener will also be good for preventing contaminants that can cause damage inside the copper pipe. 
  3. The damaged pipes should be replaced in order to prevent the leaks.
  4. If the installation of pipes then it will be good to reinstall them accurately.
  5. If there are two types of pipe fittings in your house, then replace one of them so that you can avoid pinhole leaks.

How to Fix a Leaking Copper Pipe without Soldering?

If you do not want to use solder wires to connect copper wires, you can do the same method by using the copper press-fitting method. In this method, you can join the pipes with compression instead of soldering.

Fixing Hairline Crack in Copper Pipe

Sometimes copper pipes contain a small crack like a hair in them. You have to fix it before it gets the shape of a pinhole and starts leaking. If the problem is resolved temporarily, you can replace it whenever you want, but if you do not fix the crack, you may need to replace the pipe in an emergency. Do it in the following manner.

  1. Take flux paint onto the cracked portion of your copper pipe.
  2. Now tight it with a propane torch and lead-free solder.
  3. You can also use epoxy putty and hardener on the cracked spot. But be sure to use the epoxy putty that is allowed to use with the copper pipes.

If you come across a pinhole leak in copper pipe, you are advised to go through the methods given above to get rid of it.

About the author

Collin

Collin is an Electronics Engineer & loves doing repair and maintenance tasks. He has a passion for learning new stuff and teaching others.

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