Epoxy Internal Coatings For Copper House Water Lines To Eliminate Pinhole Leaks: Opinions On ?

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Hello,
Have had a few pinhole leaks in house Copper water pipes.
Certainly don't want to re-plumb the whole house !
Anyone have any experience with the epoxy lining treatment for these house water pipes ? Please see: http://www.toolbase.org/Technology-Inventory/Plumbing/epoxy-pipe-lining
Was also particularly wondering about:
- Health safety aspects of drinking water thru epoxy pipes ?
- how do they handle pumping the epoxy with all the valves in the house; faucets, shower valves, etc. ?
- what happens at the 90 degree elbows ?
- how "popular" is this technique ? Proven, experimental, etc. ?
- what are the negatives and caveats to this approach; there are undoubtedly, I would think, some ? Cost aspects ?
Thanks, Bob
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Bob wrote:

Hi, If I were you I'd not mess around with things like that. Fix the problem proper and live happily ever after. If you keep trying gadgetry, at the end the money spent will be lot more than fixing right first time.
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Hey Bob. This is really the same question as your earlier thread. Probably best to keep the whole shebang in one thread, including aspects that go off on a tangent.
That article link you posted addressed the cost. "Water supply pipe epoxy relining generally costs about the same as removing the old pipes and installing new ones; including the cost of average surface refinishing after the fact. The homeowner benefits from the longer warranty on the epoxy method and the quicker completion. Homeowners with upgraded finishes and larger homes will find the relining process to be the least cost approach."
I don't recall you answering where exactly the pinhole leaks occurred. At fittings? All over the house? Middle of runs?
R
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Hi,
Leaks seem to be only (so far) in horiz. run on ceiling. True "pinhole" size. One at end of run, one in middle.
Ah, the joys of owning a home !
Thanks for help, appreciate it Bob --------------
On 1/26/2011 8:26 PM, RicodJour wrote:

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I would replumb with PEX using a manifold and homeruns to each fixture.
PEX is cheap, tolerates freezing, with homeruns no buried Ts in walls etc.
PEX is the way to go.
I wouldnt want to use water after it laid in epoxy coated lines, and any coating will mae lines smaller
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This is the first I've read of lining fresh water pipes. I've heard of it done for sewer pipes. Even, then, I've only read about it, don't know of anyone who actually had it done. Would suspect it's not that common. Likely because of the cost issue, which the link addresses. If the cost is about the same as replacing with copper or PEX, I would think the only advantage to lining would be for cases where replacement would be very difficult, eg below slabs inside a house, etc.
The epoxy is probably safe, but if it were me, I wouldn't trust it. I'd be worried that even if epoxy is theoretically safe, how do you know the mix used in your pipe was completely blended, cured, etc?
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Drinking water after the epoxy cured wouldn't bother me any but I really have to question how they get a good layer on the top half of the pipes. It's got to be a liquid and that means gravity is going to affect it. In the case of waste pipes having a better coating on the bottom side of horizontal pipes is probably a good thing. Not so with pipes under pressure. I agree pex from a manifold is a superior plumbing solution but I would not replumb a house because of a few pinhole leaks in some copper pipe.
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I don't understand your logic. Why else would you replumb a house other than the fact that leaks are occurring in random places? That was the reason I asked Bob about where the leaks occurred. Since one was at the end of a run (fitting/flux problem possibly) and the other in the middle of a run (probably bad pipe or bad water - and both of those are system wide problems), I'd be seriously looking at investigating further - pipe surgery - with an eye toward replacing whole runs.
R
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I don't think I've *ever* seen a pinhole leak in a properly installed copper water pipe... and some in my house are probably original to the house (late 40's) what would cause this? certain contaminants in water? I guess I've never lived in an area where I had to worry about such things
nate
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If you're using a municipal water supply you most likely won't have heard of the problem. Well water is another story. You've heard of hard and soft water, right? Well the minerals in hard water can wreak havoc with plumbing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_water_pitting_of_copper_tube
R
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My parents are on a well... no probs... grandparents were too when they lived out in the country, don't know when the indoor plumbing dated from but house was built in 1880s. Again a lot of that copper was probably original install. Don't remember hearing of any probs there.
In fact, the only plumbing issues that I ever remember having all had to do with water heaters, and most of those were T&P valves that got weak, popped off, and didn't close again. One tank rusted through.
nate
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Alright. So I guess they didn't have hard water then, or they had a water softened installed.
Personal experience doesn't count for a lot unless you've experienced something. You may quote me. ;)
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No water softener; water felt a little hard but was never tested. And I agree with you. I was not trying to be argumentative, I really just have all my life had the idea in my head that copper water pipe was not something that ever went bad, and this whole discussion is completely new to me.
nate
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No sweat. Nothing lasts forever (well, maybe gold), and certain things that seem more or less bulletproof, aren't, if you have the right bullet. Certain minerals and elements react just fine with copper - meaning it's not fine for you and your plumbing.
R
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On Thu, 27 Jan 2011 10:36:07 -0800, "Bob F"

Do you have a thought to go with that word?
--
croy

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Maybe if this was the thrid or forth time he had the same problem but he's just had one problem. That could simply have been a bad piece of pipe. Tearing out all the pipe and replacing it will be expensive.
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The pipe leaked in two place, not one, and the OP said the pipe was eaten away. Pinhole leaks can be just as damaging as a catastrophic leak. Pinhole leaks may not show up for months or years, and by then mold and rot will be a bigger problem. I did say that I would investigate the situation of the pipes more fully to help determine what needs to be done. That was the last sentence of what you quoted. Not tearing out pipes could be just as expensive, or more so, than not tearing them out when he should have.
R
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== Sounds like the water being pushed through these copper pipes must be highly acidic...what gives with that? ==
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An exercise in futility. Do it right. Do it once. Do it frugally. Do it in PEX. Not redoing the whole house with something that works makes people wonder why you insist on a band aid solution that is known to have many caveats and is very costly. Time now to get on with finding a good plumbing contractor. Good luck.
Joe
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well its his wallet, no cost to me when he tries having insides of water lines coated, and gets a leak later....
he can let us know how it goes, and give perodic reports. and if a leak still occurs in future, how much it cost to fix.....
floods are pricey repairs......
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