Pinhole Leaks

Big trouble can sometimes come from little things. It’s easy for most homeowners to underestimate pinhole leaks. They’re the size of pinheads: What harm could they really do?

The truth is they can destroy a house if they’re not dealt with in time. They may be tiny but they can have a HUGE impact on your home.

At Boydco Plumbing, we’ve seen what can happen when a pinhole leak isn’t caught in time. It isn’t pretty. If you’re wondering why pinhole leaks can be dangerous, read on as we break them down.

Related: Plumbing 101: Breakdown of Pipes

What Is A Pinhole Leak?

Pinhole leaks can occur in copper pipes. Copper pipes have been one of the most commonly used plumbing materials for almost sixty years, due to their ability to resist most forms of corrosion. There is one form of corrosion that they are vulnerable to, however: A localized copper corrosion called pitting corrosion.

Pitted corrosion tends to focus on a very small area of the pipe. It works from the outside inward. It opens up a small leak in the pipe, known as a pinhole leak. They’re called pinhole leaks because the leaks are often the size of pinheads. They are usually only large enough to leak one or two droplets of water at a time.

What Can Cause A Pinhole Leak?

There are all sorts of reasons why a pinhole leak might materialize. Here are some of the most common causes of pinhole leaks:

  • Faulty Installation
  • Age of pipes
  • Chemistry of local soil
  • Poor chemistry in the copper itself
  • Water treatment chemicals hasten the breakdown process

Why They Can Be Dangerous

What makes pinhole leaks so dangerous is that they’re subtle. Most plumbing problems are fairly obvious: Clogs and ruptures often display large symptoms that are hard to ignore. Pinhole leaks  are so small and easy to overlook, however, that there’s no way to tell if you have one without examining the pipe. Since the leaks aren’t usually caught as they happen, this gives them time to inflict water damage over a wide area, drop by drop.

It’s easy to think that pinhole leaks are harmless: After all, what harm could a few drops of water do? The answer is: PLENTY. Left unchecked a pinhole leak could do extensive damage to your home, including:

  • Damage to plaster and sheet rock
  • Damage to flooring
  • Damage to walls
  • Damage to insulation
  • Mold and mildew growth
  • Corrosion in other parts of your plumbing system

Related: Why Your Dishwasher Is Starting To Smell

For more information about our services, give Boydco Plumbing a call at 602-335-0323.