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Ken Neyer Plumbing, Inc. Blog

Copper, Corrosion, and Water Treatment

leaking-water-pipeAre you at the mercy of leaking pipes in your house? One of the most likely causes of consistent pipe leaks is corrosion.

At this point you might say, “But I have copper pipes. Copper doesn’t corrode.”

But that’s not actually true. Copper is corrosion resistant, not corrosion proof. It won’t corrode under most common circumstances (metal and oxygen in the presence of water) like steel and iron will. But exposure to certain chemicals and compounds sometimes found in water—especially water coming from a well—will create specific types of corrosion in copper.

Galvanic Corrosion (Bi-Metallic Corrosion)

This type of corrosion occurs in copper pipes due to contact with steel or aluminum pipes. This might happen due to amateur plumbing errors and installations (yet another reason to always contact professional plumbers with experience for any plumbing job). Contact between these two metals will trigger corrosion in copper. The best way to deal with this is to have plumbers replace all the affected piping with new material.

Pitting Corrosion

Pitting corrosion is the most common type of corrosion in copper. The source is contact with chloride, hypochlorite, or bromide ions suspended in the water. Pitting corrosion starts in small patches on copper lines that look like greenish spots of discoloration. This corrosion gradually weakens the metal and leads to pinhole leaks, an insidious kind of leaking that it hard to locate—but which can inflict a large amount of damage and water waste during that time. When you suspect there are pinhole leaks somewhere in your home’s plumbing, call our team for service for your piping in Cleves, OH.

Water Treatment as a Solution

There are a number of waterborne pollutants that will increase the likelihood of corrosion gnawing at copper pipes: oxidizing acids, sulfur and ammonia compounds, and heavy-metal salts, sulfur. If these are present to a high degree in your water, the solution to your leaking pipes may not be continuing with repairs, but arranging for the installation of a whole-house water purification system or filtration system.

The first step is to arrange for water testing services. Our experts will take samples of the water from around your house and send them to a lab to analyze. We’ll return with a list of results and advice about what water purification systems you can have installed to lower the presence of heavy metals, sulfur, ammonia, and acidity in the water. Putting in a water treatment system isn’t only good for your pipes; it’s good for all of the plumbing and the health of your family.

This Especially Concerns Well Water

If your fresh water comes to your from a ground well, rather than the municipal system, your pipes are at a high degree of corrosion danger because of pollutants in the water. We strongly recommend that you arrange for annual testing for your well water with us. You’ll probably require a water purification system, not only to protect the pipes, but to guard your family’s health from impurities that can seep into well water.

Ken Neyer Plumbing, Inc. serves the Greater Cincinnati area with the highest quality residential and commercial plumbing.

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