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Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Serving all of Chicagoland


Are Copper Pipes Resistant to Corrosion?

One of the most common services we provide is leak detection. Pipes inside your home can start to lose water through corrosion damage, and once the homeowner has realized there’s a problem—which is typically the result of a rise in water bills—it takes skilled and experienced plumbers to locate just where the leak is occurring.

You may expect older pipes made form outdated materials such as iron and galvanized steel to eventually develop rust and other types of corrosion. But what if you have copper piping? This is the most commonly used metal in plumbing today, and it’s corrosion resistant, right?

Corrosion May Still Occur

Have you ever have a watch that’s been advertised as “water-resistant?” If so, you might have been disappointed to find that you went swimming with it only to have it stop working on you. The thing is, water resistant and water proof are two different things, and this applies to corrosion as well. Copper is mostly likely going to outlast iron or steel pipes. However, it can still be impacted by corrosion.

Formicary Corrosion

The particular type of corrosion that can cause leaks in your copper piping are called formicary corrosion. It’s identified by grayish patches on your copper pipes where the metal has weakened. This soon leads to pinhole leaks, which are difficult to detect at first but actually can add up to major problems with your plumbing.

While nobody knows the exact cause of this formicary corrosion, it’s suspected that the copper’s connection to organic acids within the water supply or home’s air is what’s causing it. This type of corrosion is more common in humid climates, where there is a greater amount of water in the air to react with other components.

If you suspect that your copper piping has begun to corrode and that you have leaks, be sure to give our professionals a call to inspect.

For expert leak detection services in Elgin, IL, contact Lifeline Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.