What causes pinhole leaks in copper pipes?
Copper pinhole leaks develop for one of several reasons. Water chemical composition has a factor in some of these pinhole leaks. The PH of the water can also affect the copper pipes. Then too water velocity if too high can also be a reason for the formation of copper pinhole leaks. Workmanship can also play a role in the leaks if excessive amounts of flux are used in the soldering of the copper pipes. The quality of the copper pipes is not a factor in the formation of pinhole leaks.
The leaks can be repaired by one of several methods. If it is a single copper pinhole leak then solder can be an option. Clamps are made specifically for pipe leaks and are used with great success for temporarily stopping the leaks until the leaks can be repaired permanently. If there are several leaks then replacement of a section of the copper pipe would be in order and if the entire water system is in question then copper repiping would be another option. Determining the cause of the pipe failure would be the first consideration in choosing a repair solution. If the chemical composition of the water is suspected then possibly replacing it with another material such as PVC or CPVC should be considered.
No matter what caused the copper pinhole leaks they need to be quickly repaired. Mold can develop rather quickly in the right conditions. Water from the leak can also ruin many household items and building materials. If one leak has been observed a closer inspection of the complete water system to check for more leaks would be a good idea.