From the Archives: Pipe Damage

An area school experienced a sudden drop in water pressure to its building. Excavation of the water pipeline revealed a large hole in the copper of the pipe near the tapered pipe connector. An ACS Engineer inspected the damage and found that the soldering of the connection was incomplete. The location of the missing solder was in the same angular plane as the large hole. Tests determined that the cause of the large hole was the smaller spray from the incomplete solder location corroding the copper where the spray hit. This weakened the pipe at the corroded location causing the development of the larger hole. The copper pipe was incorrectly installed with a defect.

For more general information on copper piping, read “A White Paper Review: History of Use and Performance of Copper Tube For Potable Water Service” by Richard O. Lewis, P.E. at Lewis Engineering and Consulting, Inc.