Emergency Plumbing – Solving The Issues With Copper Pipes
I have never ever had the experience of calling for an emergency plumbing service in our previous home. We moved to our new home last year and I was unaware that it had copper pipes. Not knowing anything about plumbing, I wouldn’t be concerned about the material the pipes were made of as long as there is water whenever I open the taps.
Copper pipes used to be the standard for home plumbing because it is relatively easy to work with and does not succumb to rust. However, the days are gone when copper pipes were the first choice for drain and waste lines. Residential plumbing is now dominated by PVC pipes that are more cost effective and easier to install.
Aside from being an expensive option for the plumbing system, copper pipes can be damaged by several conditions present in water and soil. When the water from the private well has low pH values, it can result into several issues. Water is considered neutral when the pH is 7 but anything above that means water is alkaline. On the other hand, pH value below 7 means that the water is acidic and acid can affect the copper pipes. Water can pit inside the walls of the copper pipe and if there is lead in the soldered joints, it can contaminate water.
If you notice blue green stains around the joints that are starting to fail, you have to be prepared for leaks on the pipes. Even if they are only pinhole leaks, make sure to call the emergency plumber because the tiny holes can easily develop into bigger leaks.
Low pH levels on your water can be solved by adding neutralizer like soda ash or potassium carbonate. After solving the issues with pH, you can have the pipes replaced with a heavier gauge of copper that has a wall thickness of about 0.049 inch or you can switch to PVC. However, the problem with PVC is it easy to shatter when exposed to the freezing cold of winter. PEX or cross-linked polyethylene is a new material that is a good option if you have concerns about using copper pipes.