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Q & A: copper pinhole leaks and chlorine

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Most recent answer: 02/21/2011
Q:
Hello, I've been told that running chlorinated pool water through copper pipe will cause the copper to degrade and create pin hole leaks. Would this occur if the PH levels are in balance? My memory of redox reactions is a little faded.
- Brett (age 40)
Phoenix, AZ
A:
My memory of redox reactions is fuzzy too. Fortunately, I have access to a great university library system. What looks (to a complete outsider) like a decent peer-reviewed paper* says that chlorine is a problem at high pH. So yes, try to keep the pH from going much above 7.0.

Mike W.


*(Copper Pinhole Failures: Plumbing Susceptibility and ManagementJ. Water Resour. Plng. and Mgmt. Volume 135, Issue 4, pp. 227-236 (July/August 2009) , P.E., M.ASCE; , , , , and )

(published on 02/21/2011)

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