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Pourous copper tubing (?)

bob706 Member Posts: 1
Converted to gas heat about 1 1/2 years ago.  Main house is steam heat, family room is hot water heat.  My problem is with the hot water heat.  I am lossing the water in line.  To date we have had to replace the circulator pump twice as the units are failing due to lack of water.  There are no water leaks in the system.  Today the two check valves were replaced.  So far so good.

If this latest repair fails, and I hope it does not, I am being told that the copper tubing in the hot water system will have to be replaced since the copper tubing has become pourous.  The tubing is about 25 years old. 

Has anyone ever heard of copper tubing and/or copper fittings becoming pourous?

Thanks for comments and help.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,819

    No.  Pinhole leaks, usually due to low pH water, yes; in fact, not all that uncommon if the pH is below say 5.5 or so.  But porous?  No.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • M Lane
    M Lane Member Posts: 123
    edited February 2014

    I have seen several instances where copper tubing gets pitted out with a line of pinhole leaks. Usually the main culprit is unreamed pipe, as the pitting occurs just downstream from a 90 fitting. This is why reaming every cut is way to separate pros from hacks. I've also seen electrolysis cause pitting too.
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    i have seen a couple other cases

    one was on a commercial copper 4 inch Vent in a town by the ocean where it would rain massive amounts of water and wore the pipe as thin as tin foil..

    and another time 3" copper on a steamer header i am soooo thankful i could hear the hiss or it might have cut off one of my arms..or fingers i reached up to the pipe that was made of the right stuff..

    copper can wear down from over pumping small sediments also ..

    that in turn carried along with air can cause something that sometimes looks like small bubbles on the outside of a pipe..

    copper is tight or it would not be used to pipe expensive gasses... and used in science experiments .


    *~//: )
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 790
    edited February 2014
    got pictures of the pump install and near boiler piping . . .

    so they are usually trying to take the water off higher in the boiler and if it is a small replacement without a lot of water in it it can steam or boil and depending on the steam outlets the water level can be uneven in the boiler itself so it may not trip water feeder or low water cut off but you are still airing the pump that is near the top of the 'waterline'.

    I lowered the take off on a system i had like this (actually served an indirect hot water heater but same basic idea). problem solved.brian
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