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What is a Pinhole Leak, and Why is it so Dangerous?

In the early twentieth century, the plumbing pipes in most people’s homes were made of either iron or lead. These were absolutely terrible choices for a number of reasons. Lead pipes would actually poison the water running through it with small amounts of lead, while iron would simply rust away.

The realization of how poor these two materials were for plumbing lead to the advent of copper pipes in the mid-twentieth century. Copper was extremely resistant to corrosion, which quickly caused it to become the material of choice for plumbing systems across the country. Despite its resilience, however, copper pipes are not invincible. Let’s cover one of the most damaging problems the copper pipes can face: pinhole leaks.

We’ll start with an explanation of the type of corrosion that causes pinhole leaks.

Pitted Corrosion

One of the only types of corrosion that actually affects copper pipes, pitted corrosion is a bit of a mystery. Despite years of study, the EPA has been as yet unable to determine why pitted corrosion happens to copper pipes, or why it seems to be localized to certain communities. No matter where it comes from, though, pitted corrosion is a serious threat.

Pitted corrosion is always focused in a very small area of the pipe, and moves from the outside inward. This can quickly open up a small hole in the pipe, called a “pinhole leak” due to its size. These leaks are only large enough to release small drops of water into the surrounding area, but that is often more than enough to cause a lot of water damage.

The Dangers of Pinhole Leaks

Pinhole leaks may not seem like such a big deal from the above description, but they are actually capable of causing damage far beyond their size. A pinhole leak is so small that, even if there are several of them in the system, they will not cause a cumulative loss in water pressure large enough to be noticeable. This means that the first sign that most homeowners get of a pinhole leak is when they notice mold growth spreading over the wall. By that point, the leak could have also rotted out the insulation in the area.

The only way to detect a pinhole leak before it has a chance to do its damage is to have your plumbing system inspected at least once a year. If you haven’t had your plumbing system inspected in over a year, call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

Our plumbers serve the entire Salt Lake City area.

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Salt Lake City HVAC and Plumbing Contractor | At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air

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Salt Lake City, UT Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing Services

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air provides excellent heating, air conditioning, plumbing, indoor air quality, water treatment and water heater services throughout the greater Salt Lake City, UT area, including the installation of new systems and components, and the replacement of the old, as well as ongoing repair and maintenance. Established in 1980, we have served the home comfort needs of our local community for over 30 years. Whether you need your stop and waste valve replaced or a new "green," energy–efficient HVAC system installed, we can make sure that the job is completed properly. Our HVAC contractors are NATE–certified and we employ Master and Journeyman plumbers. We are confident in our ability to satisfy any issue that may arise in your home, 24 hours a day. Give one of our friendly staff members a call today to learn more about what we can do for your home.

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air offers quality heating, air conditioning and plumbing services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area, including repair, installation and maintenance.

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When it comes to ensuring that you are comfortable during the winter months in Salt Lake City, you need to make certain that you have an excellent heating system. We offer comprehensive heating services in Salt Lake City, including installation, replacement, repair and maintenance services for a wide variety of equipment, including boilers, furnaces, and radiant heat systems. Whether you’d like to save more on your energy bills from month to month with an energy efficient heater or you want to retrofit a zone control system into your existing furnace setup, we provide heating solutions.

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For truly year–round comfort, your home needs an excellent air conditioner. At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air offers excellent air conditioning services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area, from AC repair to maintenance, installation to replacement. We can make sure that your entire home is cooled to your satisfaction, no matter how hot and unpleasant it gets outside. We want you to feel comfortable in your home, and we have the experience and expertise to make sure that this is the case.

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Our services go well beyond HVAC, however. In addition to providing heating and cooling solutions, we provide a wide range of plumbing services throughout the Salt Lake City, UT area. From whole–house repiping to drain cleaning, water line installation to leak detection, sprinkler system timer repair to kitchen plumbing, we have got you covered. We can make sure that you are able to use water safely, effectively, and efficiently in your home.

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During this very unusual time, we have put a plan in place to do our part to help keep our community safe. First and foremost, we are going to stay CALM, PATIENT, KIND, and POSITIVE!

There is much to consider regarding the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus) and its possible transmission in your home. While there are various and effective indoor air quality measures available to help protect your safety, including duct sanitization, ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light treatment, and HEPA air filters, they alone cannot protect from all forms of COVID-19 transmission. It is important to follow all official guidelines for preventing the spread of this virus.

Because we have a direct impact on the indoor environment, here are practical steps we are going to take to keep people safe:

  • Wash our hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water
  • Cover our nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing
  • Wash our uniforms every day including cleaning our belts
  • Stay home if we are feeling sick
  • Offer a warm smile and friendly greeting instead of a handshake
  • Wear shoe covers and latex gloves in homes and businesses
  • Wipe down surfaces and equipment touched in a client’s home with disinfectant wipes
  • Wipe down door handles, steering wheels, gear shift lever every day
  • Wipe down pens, clipboards, tablets, cell phones, and anything else passes between techs and clients.
  • We have masks on each truck and will wear them at client’s discretion (Currently the CDC does not recommend that people wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19)
  • We are complying with all recommendations and guidelines from state agencies and will be proactive in our efforts to see that our team members and clients are protected.

As the situation unfolds, we will take each day one at a time and ensure we are being smart, supportive, and helping all those we can in our community.

Thank you for your continued support!