Because of their relatively low cost and ease of installation, copper pipes line the underside of homes across the country for plumbing purposes. Unfortunately, copper pipes can see damage a lot more quickly than a lot of the most modern materials such as PVC an steel-flex piping. This is because copper has a tendency to compromise when it is exposed to other materials.
If you have copper pipes in your home, do not be surprised if a free plumbing checkup with a professional reveals you have a leak, or even several pinhole leaks. Avoiding this hassle with your plumbing is all about learning what is causing the copper pipelines to fail. Here are two of the most likely culprits.
Water Softener and Copper Pipes May Not Be a Good Combination
Many homeowners will have copper lines in place for years without an issue, but when a water softener is installed, it seems as if their copper pipes are falling apart all through the house. You probably already know that most water softeners use sodium to absorb hard water minerals in your water like calcium. What you probably do not know is this sodium can wreak havoc on copper pipes. You may start to notice pinhole leaks in areas where water tends to situate in the pipes for a span of time. The easiest way to resolve this issue is to opt instead for a salt-free water softening system that uses reverse osmosis to eliminate minerals.
Your Local Water Supply Could be the Culprit
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a neighborhood of homes that have issues with deteriorating copper pipes could be related to chemicals in the local water supply or the chemistry that is used during treatment. If you are having repeated issues with failed water, it is a good idea to talk to your neighbors to find out if they have had issues. The local water company can often offer insight as to what could be causing the corrosion of your copper lines.
If you suspect that the local water supply is in fact the culprit, an entry point water filtration system can help. Be sure to look for a whole house system that is designed to remove biological and chemical contaminants that are present in your water source.
Copper lines may be more prone to issues, but they can still function well in the home when the water supply is truly clean. Talk to your local plumber about doing an exam of your water lines to track down the true source of the problem.