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    home owner (11 Posts)

  • Donsam Donsam @ 9:03 PM
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    home owner

    We have a 27 year old hot water heating system using Solaroll and copper manifolds. It functions on all 3 levels of our home. We installed a new high efficiency IBC boiler in 2008. Recently in the last month we have experienced some leakage from the copper lines in the ceiling of our basement. The copper seems to be developing pin point holes. One plumber thinks that this is happening to this line because it leads to our sunroom which is always calling for heat. He thinks the rest of the house will be OK. My question is, " Do you think that this deterioration of the copper lines will eventually affect all the levels and it is just a matter of time before we will see this on the main floor ceiling"? and " Is there anything we can do to stop this process or must we just replace the whole system"?
  • SWEI SWEI @ 9:31 PM
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    Copper should not deteriorate

    You either have a problem with your heating fluid or with whatever building material surrounds the copper.
  • Zman Zman @ 11:15 PM
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    If you have a zone with a frequent call for heat and the zone has too large a circulator, the pipe may be deteriorating due to high velocity water.If you post a picture of your boiler piping along with the model circulator and approx length and diameter pipe, that would help.
    This post was edited by an admin on April 8, 2014 11:16 PM.
  • hot rod hot rod @ 1:15 AM
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    It's a non barrier tube

    And allowing O2 into the system. Either a boiler treatment chemical or all non ferrous components are the fix
  • Zman Zman @ 9:19 AM
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    Hot rod,
    Are you thinking that the corrosion is creating a "corrosive cocktail" within the heating fluid?
    Normally the O2 issue does not effect copper.
    To the OP, Have you checked the PH of the system water?
  • Donsam Donsam @ 1:21 AM
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    Pinpoint holes in copper pipe

    Please excuse my relative lack of knowledge but I am just a homeowner trying to learn more about our hot water heating system. I don't know the PH of the circulating fluid. I do know that it was flushed with a "scrub" which circulated for about 5 days and was then refilled again. I assume it was filled with water with perhaps some glycol additive. This was done in Sept 2013. I would have to ask the plumber who did it. The fittings were all switched to brass about 2 years ago. As for a picture of the circulator and pipe diameter, that would take me a day or two. We are in a dilemma as to whether we should just remove the pipe involved or abandon our whole system and convert to forced air to avoid possible leaks elsewhere in the home. It is true that the zone involved tends to have water circulating a lot because it is a sunroom and has numerous windows. Thanks.
  • Zman Zman @ 8:28 AM
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    Pin Holes

    As for the circulator sizing, it does not have to be anything elaborate. If you can say "it is about 100' of 3/4" pipe and the circulator is this model number", that would suffice.
    Are the pinholes forming along the bottom of the straight sections of pipe or are the after a fitting?
    At this point, I think you need to narrow this down. Do you have (or had) a water quality issue or is the problem velocity related.
  • hot rod hot rod @ 10:44 AM
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    Great article

    In the current issue of PHC News regarding water quality. It does promot electronic treatment the data on hardness, ph, etc does apply to closed loop fluid issues also. I think a treatment device the de-mineralized the fill water is an excellent idea. Handle the fluid quality before it goes into the pipes, heat exchangers, etc.
  • Donsam Donsam @ 9:43 PM
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    Pinpoint holes in copper pipe

    The circulating pump is WILO 115V 60 Hz Class F (Stratos ECO16F) and the pipe involved is about 50' of 7/8" pipe. The holes appear on the bottom of the pipe all along and not near the fittings. Our tubing is Solaroll and there are no leaks where the Solaroll is inserted into the pipe. As I said before, the system is 27 years old and the pipe involved so far is just the one leading to the sunroom zone. Thanks.
  • Gordan Gordan @ 8:28 AM
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    The plot thickens

    There's no 7/8" copper pipe in common use that I know of, so if you're measuring the outside diameter then we're talking 3/4" ID nominal. The Stratos couldn't pump more than about 9 gpm into 50 feet of 3/4" type M copper pipe, which would be a bit over 5 feet/second, and that doesn't even take into account the head loss of your tubing that's attached to the copper pipe, so it's not likely to be velocity erosion. However, the 16f is an iron pump and you likely have other iron components on a system with a lot of tubing that has no oxygen diffusion barrier; could it be that iron corrosion has created some grit particles that have eroded away the soft copper over time? At the very least your ferrous components should be inspected for corrosion and you should have your water checked.
    This post was edited by an admin on April 11, 2014 8:28 AM.
  • Harvey Ramer Harvey Ramer @ 10:24 PM
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    I saw this before.

    It was on the DW plumbing. I don't know what caused it but being curious in nature, I cut the pipes right where it was happening and it looked to me like the corrosion was starting from the outside and working it's way in through. Corrosion was there before the leak. Started jostling pipes around, doing my thing, and leaks started popping up. This house did not have any vapor barrier under the slab. I have often wondered if some gases rising up through the ground have a bad reaction to copper. I know sulfur gas will eat it right up.

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