Protect Your Home Against Pinhole Leaks

As was stated before, there is no one solution to the problem of pinhole leaks. There are a number of different preventative measures suggested by various parties. None of these however, are completely consistent due to the lack of agreement as the causes.

There is a general consensus that homeowners should consult with a licensed plumber about piping concerns. Should a leak occur, shut off the water supply and have the pipe repaired.

When should a homeowner consider repiping? John Leahy of Leahy Plumbing Inc. says, “If you have three leaks within 6-8 months, I suggest you replace all of your pipes.” This seems to be the general consensus among plumbers.

Virgina Tech researcher Marc Edwards said to talk to your neighbors. If they have leaks, you’ll have a higher likelihood of getting them too.

Copper Pipe Repair Options
The cost of replumbing costs around $3000-6000 to replace all the pipes and $1000-2000 for a partial replumbing.
Fixing Pinhole Leaks In Copper Pipes

The WSSC recommends that new homeowners check their warranty papers to see if copper pipe is covered. They also advise those buying resale homes to inquire about a house’s plumbing history and to inspect visible pipe. If anything looks suspect, try to negotiate an agreement on repairs or replacement.

Insurance companies don’t cover replacement or repair of pipes, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

As for preventing pinhole leaks, there are several camps.

Kevin Black, owner of Arthur M. Black Inc., said if you discover a very greenish-blue corrosion that is not near the pipe joints, it could be the beginning of a pinhole (green stains at the pipe joints are normal).

Richard O. Lewis of Lewis Engineering and Consulting Co. offered these “tell-tale signs” of potential problems:

• Rattling of the pipes when a faucet is closed.
• Green stains on porcelain fixtures.
• Sediment buildup in toilet tanks.
• A persistent, strong chlorine smell in the water.

A number of plumbers disagree though, saying that these conditions are linked to plumbing problems other than pinholes.