09:00PM | 08/18/05
Member Since: 08/18/05
1 lifetime posts
A few years back we developed a pin hole leak in a copper pipe behind our bathroom wall. We repaired it. But I'm wondering if we should do some preventive maintenance. Has anyone used a protective epoxy coating for copper plumbing? If so, how has it worked out? Thanks!


02:56PM | 08/27/05
Member Since: 08/29/04
227 lifetime posts
The reason copper wears out has to do with the way the piping is installed, the type of water used in the piping and the wall thickness of the copper.

When copper is cut by tubing cutters for its initial installation, the tubing cutter basically pushes its way through the copper as the technician tightens the handle. Copper is deformed inward as blade moves through the wall of the pipe. This stretches the material till it splits. Once it does, it leaves a burr on the inside of the pipe, if the technician doesn't remove the burr (most don't) the water will create turbulance at the location of the cut as it flows past. This turbulance picks up small calcium and minerals in the pipe and grinds away at the material till it eats a hole through the pipe.

If the water is highly acidic, it will also eat away at the inside of the piping and eventually develop a leak. Even if you were to apply a coating, the coating wouldn't hold the full pressure of the water and the constant degredation by the acid or the turbulance.

If type "m" copper was used, it is the thinnest wall thickness of the copper tubing used for water and wears out sooner than type "l" copper.

There is no epoxy you can use to prevent piping from eventually leaking with the 3 senarios I mentioned.

Plastic PEX or CPVC piping is not limited by these factors. No piping system is completely invulnerable to the multiple possiblities that could affect it.

Good Luck

Raymond VinZant Plumbing Prof.
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