What Are Pin Hole Leaks?
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What Are Pin Hole Leaks?
The District occasionally receives calls from customers requesting temporary shutoff of their water service to allow for repairs to leaking pipes inside the house. The following FAQs address the type of leaks most commonly reported to the District.
What are plumbing pipes made of?
Over the years, many different materials have been used for plumbing pipes. In the SVMD service area, the vast majority of houses and other buildings have copper piping.
What causes plumbing pipes to develop leaks?
The two primary causes of leaks in copper piping are corrosion and erosion. Corrosion can be caused by stray electrical currents, or by the chemistry of the water flowing through the pipes. Stray electrical currents normally impact buried pipes, and are not a common issue with inside piping. Corrosion due to water chemistry has become much less common because water providers are required to adjust water chemistry to prevent corrosion. Erosion is caused by high velocity in the pipe, which can wear away the metal from the inside of the pipe.
What kind of leaks do we see in Stonegate?
Nearly all of the leaks reported to the District were caused by erosion due to high velocity. Erosion can be readily identified by the wear pattern inside the pipe.
What causes the high velocity?
High velocity is most often due to excessive pressure in the plumbing pipes.
Where do the leaks occur?
The most common location for leaks reported to the District is right after the water line enters the house.
Is there a way to protect my plumbing pipes from high pressure?
Yes. A pressure reducing valve (PRV) can be installed to reduce the pressure inside the house. With a properly installed and adjusted PRV, your sprinkler system and other fixtures in your house will use water at a slower rate, reducing the velocity in the pipes. The District recommends that every house be equipped with a PRV.
How can I tell if I have a PRV?
PRVs are normally located near the meter, where the water line enters the house.
If I have a PRV, are my pipes protected?
Maybe. To provide adequate protection, the PRV must be in good working order, and properly adjusted.
How can I tell if my PRV is working and properly adjusted?
Testing the pressure inside the house will indicate whether a PRV is functioning properly. You may check out a Pressure Check Gauge at the District offices. Normal pressure range is 45-65.