What is a Pinhole Leak?
How does a tiny pinhole leak turn into a big plumbing problem? Pinholes may leak continuously or dribble intermittently, apparently sealing themselves only to begin leaking again later. What’s most important about pinhole leaks is not what you see, but what you don’t see. Very often, pinhole leaks in a water supply line are external evidence of much more extensive internal deterioration. No leakage from a water supply line, no matter how insignificant, should ever be considered “normal” and ignored.
The ongoing process of corrosion and pitting inside water supply lines eventually causes an external pinhole leak. While the leakage may appear minor, it’s a major red flag that indicates serious weakening of the pipe. Water pressure inside your household supply lines is anywhere from 45 to 80 psi (pounds per square inch). Corrosion indicated by a pinhole leak could, at any moment, cause the weakened pipe to totally rupture, releasing hundreds of gallons of water and causing severe damage.
Corrosion in water supply lines may occur for several reasons:
- Galvanized steel piping: Once common in residential construction, this kind of pipe is very prone to corrosion over the years and will eventually rupture. If you have old piping in your house, it’s a good idea to have it evaluated by a qualified plumber. If it’s galvanized steel instead of more contemporary copper, PVC or PEX, discuss options for re-piping.
- High mineral content: Minerals in your local water supply — typically calcium carbonate — can accumulate and harden inside the supply lines. This layer of accretion tends to promote corrosion that triggers pinhole leaks and early pipe failure. If pipes are affected by mineral accumulation, replacing the pipes and installing a whole-house water softener will reduce the potential for further damage.
- Water chemistry: Water with a naturally low pH is acidic and tends to accelerate pipe corrosion and pinholes. A plumber can check the pH of your local water supply and offer re-piping options like PVC or PEX that resist acidic corrosion.
Ask the plumbing professionals at Apollo Home Home Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Plumbing for more solutions to plumbing problems like pinhole leaks.
"Ernie & Mike did a superb job on my new furnace and A/C installation. Despite having more than a day’s work to do, they came in and stayed until the job was done. They were organized, efficient, and protected the rest of the house well. Got both furnace and A/C installed the same day. Ernie was courteous, informative, and clearly knew his job better than anyone I’ve encountered before. The units look so good guests now get The Tour of our new system. Apollo is clearly not a fly-by-night company. I would recommend them to anyone in need of a new furnace and/or A/C."
- Jerry A.
"I called Apollo because of a water leak I thought I had in our upstairs shower going into the kitchen. Robbie came and assured me everything was fine & looked at all the other plumbing. He ended up changing a few pipes for our washer & clearing a drain. He was very nice & knowledgeable with all my questions. I ended up signing up for the care plan & was very happy with my service."
- Cassandra B.
"The team at Apollo exceeded my expectations. As a business owner, my attention to the details and commitment to providing excellent service is high. From the sales rep. to the installation team, everyone’s performance was outstanding. For example, the installation team went to great lengths to protect our floors, placing floor runners and across the wood floors and up the stairs. They even were spot washing walls upon their departure. I highly recommend this company."
- Randy B.
"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
- Sarah B.
"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
- Beverly S.