If your home has copper drain pipes and is relatively old, you might start experiencing leaks in these pipes at some point in time. While copper pipes can last a very long time, they can also wear out. Here are several things you should understand about copper drain pipes and the problems you can experience with them.
How They Corrode
Copper pipes were commonly used in homes years ago and are still used today; however, a lot of plumbers now use plastic pipes instead. Plastic pipes do not corrode, which means they may last longer than other types of pipes.
When copper pipes are used to transport water, they can eventually corrode from several things. The first is water quality. If your water has a lot of minerals in it, the minerals might start affecting the durability of the pipes. A second cause of corrosion is from transporting waste. The acids and materials in human waste will also cause corrosion with copper pipes.
Signs You Have Problems
If you think you might have a leak in your home, you may want to look for these particular signs:
- Wet walls or floor – The most obvious sign of a leak in a plumbing pipe is water on the walls or floors. A pipe will not usually burst open when corrosion begins, but instead a pinhole might develop. This pinhole is usually big enough to let water out, but small enough to conceal the leak for a long time. Eventually you will notice water on your walls or floors though.
- Warm spots in walls or floors – Another common sign of a plumbing leak is warm spots. When copper pipes begin to form holes, they can allow heat to escape, and this will lead to warm spots along your walls.
If you believe you have a leak, the best thing to do is call a plumbing contractor.
What You Should Do
The plumbing contractor may have to cut through your drywall to get to your pipes. Once this is done, the plumber will be able to see the condition of your pipes. If your pipes look corroded and have holes, the plumber may suggest re-plumbing the entire house. This is something you will likely have to do at some point if you have copper pipes, and it could save a lot of damage in your home if you agree to do it now.
If you have any type of plumbing problem, contact a plumber now. Unaddressed leaks can lead to a lot of damage, and you can avoid this by getting the problems fixed now.