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How Corrosion Affects Your Copper Plumbing Pipes

During the first half of the 20th century, the majority of plumbing pipes were either iron or lead. This was changed to copper in the 1960’s for a number of reasons. Iron rusts and lead is highly toxic, but copper is both resilient and safe. Though copper doesn’t rust in the traditional fashion, it is still susceptible to a number of different corrosion types. It’s important that you be aware of these corrosion types, so that you can protect your plumbing system from them. Read on to find out more about how corrosion can affect your copper pipes.

Pitted Corrosion

Pitted corrosion is caused when chlorine molecules come into contact with copper. The chlorine eats through the copper, focusing on a small area of the pipe. This opens up miniscule leaks called pinhole leaks, which are only large enough to release a few drops at a time. Though these leaks are small, they can do a great deal of water damage over a long enough period of time. Since they are too small to detect without direct inspection, the first time that most homeowners notice them is after they discover the entire surrounding area has rotted out. The only way to really defend against this is to schedule annual inspections, to catch the leaks early.

Formicary Corrosion

Formicary corrosion is caused by formaldehyde particles, which weaken the copper pipes by burrowing microscopic holed through them. Under a microscope, these tunnels vaguely resemble ant hills. Hence the name “formicary.” Just like pitted corrosion, the best defense for this problem is to schedule annual maintenance. This will help to catch any leaks as early as possible.

SPS Mechanical Inc. offers plumbing inspection services throughout Haddonfield, NJ. If you need plumbing services of any kind, call today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert plumbers.

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