Replacing Leaking Copper Tubing

Before we get to learn about the ways of replacing a leak in a copper tube, it is recommended that we have an idea of the causes of leaks in a coper tube. There are many who believe that copper as a metal lasts for a lifetime, but that is not the truth because copper is designed to last for something between 20 to 25 years. However, in some cases when you are unfortunate enough they get damaged within a span of even 2 years. The main reasons for wide usage of copper include its ease of use, high resistance to corrosion, and resistance to permeation by liquids and gases.

The first stage of damage in a copper pipe is internal pitting corrosion which in most of the cases is due to the chemistry of the water that runs through it. The pitting corrosion in turn leads to pinhole leaks thus making the copper tube incapacitate for use. The challenge here is to discover a pitting corrosion before a pinhole leak develops. The reasons of such corrosion could hard water, velocity of the water and many others.

It is true that there are several repair options of such leaks or pitting corrosion but none of them addresses the root cause of the problem instead they just correct the symptoms. Moreover all these repair options most of the times are costly.

Most of homeowners use copper tubing in various appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators or even in normal plumbing pipes and the instances of leakages are also quite many. It is true that the best and permanent solution to replace a leak in a copper tubing is welding but most homeowners do not have the tools or the acumen required for welding. Thus, one should be aware of some DIY methods so that you can take care of the leak without much fuss.

Now let us have a look at the steps that you can do at home to repair a pinhole leaking in the copper tubing of your house.

The first thing that you will have to do is cut off the damaged pipe. For that you need to shut off the main water supply valve and use a pipe cutter to cut out a section of the pipe that extends around 1 inches on both sides of the leak. You must keep in mind that when a copper tube leak, corrodes or bursts due to freezing you should repair it soon enough.

The above mentioned method is to replace or repair smaller leaks but in case the leak in the pipe is bigger, the approach will be different. To replace longer sections you can use “sweat” coupling that can easily be found in hardware stores and sometimes also some in good home depots. In the method to replace larger leaks after shutting of the water supply, you can cut out the damaged section and measure the gap in the sweat coupling and cut a piece which is a little longer than the damaged portion and then fix that portion on the gap that has been created on the copper tube after cutting off the damaged portion.

Last but not the least, keep an eye on the copper tubing, the moment you feel a leak has developed, take proper action.



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