Although copper plumbing offers several advantages to homeowners, as it’s resistant to ultraviolet rays and bacteria, durable, and generally safer for natural disasters, there are several issues that can occur with this type of material that will necessitate repair. Copper is the most widely used material for plumbing systems because of its ease of use, resistance to corrosion, and resistance to permeation of liquids and gases, which may be the sources of corrosion and contamination.
Scientists believe that people should remove old copper pipes from their homes, or else install special filters, because the metal has been shown to build up in your body and cause serious health problems. Tiny traces of copper from pipes mix with tap water and are then consumed. Over the years, copper builds in your body which in turn leads to Alzheimer’s disease, heart diseases and diabetes because your body cannot process the metal. Let’s take a look at 4 common plumbing problems of using copper pipes
- Corrosion (Pitting) and Leaks
There are many types of corrosion, but pitting corrosion is most likely to contaminate, causing pinhole leaks in copper plumbing. While copper is relatively resistant to corrosion, but after all it’s a metal and thus it will corrode when under wrong circumstances. Usually, when copper oxidizes from contact with other substances. Copper pipe corrosion normally gets undetected until there’s leakage, and these small leaks can actually become quite destructive, causing everything from drywall damage to mold buildup. Pipe inspection is always a good preventative measure, particularly if the pipes are old enough. As age increases, the likelihood of corrosion and pinhole leaks increases. Also, it’s important to know that water that tends to be more acidic will usually worsen any corrosion problems that occur in copper pipes.
- Deterioration of Water Quality
Copper slowly begins to dissolve into drinking water, often at microscopic levels, when copper plumbing corrodes. This will produce a bitter and / or metallic taste in the water initially, and it can also result in green stains on plumbing fixtures. If you find copper content in your water, it’s vital to have the issue repaired at once, as it can eventually lead to illness.
- Freezing and Bursting
Copper pipes can be vulnerable to bursts due to extreme temperature exposure. If pipes are exposed to cold temperatures, the water inside the pipes can freeze and expand, causing the pipes to burst and break. Any pipe burst is considered to be an emergency plumbing repair, and needs to be examined and repaired by a professional as soon as possible.
Scaling inside pipes can happen in any type of metal plumbing. Over time, copper pipes inevitable start to scale, resulting in buildup inside the pipe that gradually decreases the pipe’s diameter and begins to block the flow of water. This eventually decreases the efficiency of your plumbing system. The buildup of scale can cause corrosion of the pipes, and thus should be addressed to a professional plumber before the condition worsens.
You should call professionals to perform regular checkups of your plumbing fixtures in time. Ignoring copper pipe issues could lead to several problems and diseases. It’s best to seek for professional help when you find out that there’s something wrong with your plumbing system.