Upgrading Your Pipes

The Proper Way To Fix Pinhole Leaks In Copper Pipes

Since 1963, over 5.3 million miles of copper pipes have been used for plumbing systems in about 80% of buildings throughout the United States. These pipes are projected to last up to 25 years, but professional plumbers will tell you that pinhole leaks are very common throughout the life of copper pipes. These leaks start out as pit corrosion, and are most often found in the hot water pipes laid after the water heater. This is because heat speeds up the corrosion process.

If the leak is left alone, you'll soon have a mold and mildew problem. As time goes on, the water dripping from the leak will continue to accumulate and cause drywall damage and can ruin your flooring. Luckily, it's easy to fix a pinhole leak in copper pipes. In fact, most DIY homeowners like yourself can complete this easy project in less than 20 minutes. Keep reading to learn how to properly fix a pinhole leak in a copper pipe:

Tools And Supplies List

  • Copper pipe repair clamp
  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver
  • Dry rag

Step 1: Measure the pipe.

Repair clamps come in several different sizes, so you'll need to measure the leaky pipe to ensure you buy the right one. Write the size down so you don't forget it, and take it with you to your local hardware store, plumbing supply shop or home improvement store. Then buy a copper pipe repair clamp that will fit your leaky pipe.

Step 2: Turn off the water.

Before you begin the repair project, shut off the water supply to the entire house. This will help ensure a tight seal, because you won't have to contend with dripping water. In order to shut off the water supply to your home, find the outside shut-off valve. It's usually right next to the water meter. If it's not there, the valve is probably close to the house. If you can't find your main water supply valve, contact your local water department and they will be happy to tell you where it is. When you find the valve, turn it to the right to turn off the water.

Step 3: Clean the pipe

Since this is a water pipe, you want to make sure the repair seal is as tight as possible to stop the leak. The cleaner the pipe is, the tighter the seal will be. So, use a dry rag to clean the area around the leak. Make sure the entire area that will be covered by the repair clamp is free of dust and debris.

Step 4: Put the repair clamp over the pinhole leak.

Use your screwdriver to unscrew the screws located on the side of the copper pipe repair clamp and open it. There will be a rubber pad on the inside. Place the clamp over the pinhole leak, ensuring that the rubber pad is over the center of the hole. Then close the clamp and tighten the screws. The clamp should be tight enough to stop the water leak, but not so tight that it damages the copper pipe.

Step 5:Turn the water on.

Turn the main water supply back on by twisting the valve to the left.

Step 6: Test your repair.

Once the water has been restored to your home, check the repaired pipe and verify that the leak has ceased. If water is still dripping from the area you repaired, tighten the clamp until the water stops leaking.

Now you can see just how easy it is to fix a pinhole leak in your copper water pipe. This is the same method professional plumbers, so you can be confident that your repair will be successful. If you can't get the leak to stop, or you over-tighten the clamp and the pipe breaks, it's contact a local licensed plumber through a site like http://www.newportnewsvaplumbers.com. He or she will be happy to come to your home and fix the leak for you.