What I'm Seeing Now

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A Pin-hole Leak Can Do A Lot Of Damage

A pin-hole leak can do a lot of damage.

A pin-hole leak is exactly that, a very small leak at a joint or other corrosive deterioration in copper tubing.  It is sometimes called a progressive leak.

This pin-hole leak looks to have begun where the yellow arrow points.

That is a soldered joint.

It must not have been done well, or leaked slightly for some other reason.

These leaks are so small that minerals in the water will come out, which you can see accumulating here from the arrow toward the bottom.

These minerals are slowly building up here, exactly like stalagmites and stalactites you have seen in caves.

As that leaking water attacks the connection at the top of the unit, which is the rusting area at the bottom of the photo.

This water heater is only 2 years old!

With corrosion like this it will not last long.

The entire connection, from the yellow arrow to the connective tube at the top of the heater needs to be replaced.

My recommendation:  when done carefully and properly copper pipe connections should last many decades.  That this one only lasted a short while is indicative of the unprofessional nature of the installation.  Hire good service providers!  Your house will appreciate it.  So will your checkbook in the end.  Like Red Adair said, "If you think a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur."

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 12 commentsJay Markanich • January 17 2018 10:22AM

Comments

I haven't looked at ours in years.  maybe I'll have to take that panel off and look.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) 5 months ago

Well, now that could be entered in some sort of art show!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) 5 months ago

Good morning Jay. Periodic inspection can prevent this kind of damage. Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker (Wayne M Martin) 5 months ago

Jay Markanich I've seen alot of homes that have plumbing that looks like that!!

Posted by Barbara Todaro, "Franklin MA Homes" (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) 5 months ago

Thanks for sharing!!! We see it so many times!!!

These leaks are so small that minerals in the water will come out, which you can see accumulating here from the arrow toward the bottom. These minerals are slowly building up here, exactly like stalagmites and stalactites you have seen in caves.

Posted by Sham Reddy, CRS (H E R Realty, Dayton, OH) 5 months ago

Good morning Jay. It always pays to hire an expert. I learned years ago you can do it right or you can do it again and again.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) 5 months ago

I see this a lot, and it's an out of sight out of mind thing. With water heaters being raised 18" above floor level in garages if it's a gas water heater, you can't really see the top of the unit without an effort. Make the effort, the water heater you save may be your own!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) 5 months ago

I had a listing that had this is some plumbing and needed a thermal picture to find.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) 5 months ago

Great example of the damage a leak can do over time.  I've seen mineral buildup, but nothing like this example.  Well done.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) 5 months ago

Tammy - look at the tubes on top of the water heater.

Kat - it reminded me of Luray Caverns!

Wayne - the time to catch this was when it first started!

Barbara - and now you know what it's called!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 5 months ago

I see it very often too, Sham.

Sheila - hence my comment about hiring the professional vs. the amateur!

Effort for sure.  This is a basic homeowner who probably saw something happening and did not think anything of it, Fred.  He will now!  Live andlearn!

Joe - for a thermal image to show anything the leak would have to be continuing.  This location was dry.

Stephen - and this was not much time!  And this was a thick one too!

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 5 months ago

Go away xiaojun13.  That isn't what this site is for.

As you know.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) 5 months ago

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