"Pure copper pitting"

Question:

"My facility is currently experiencing random pinholes in pure copper tubing in our potable water supply. The pinholes occur at small tubercles formed on the surface. The water is relatively soft after treatment and the PH is generally 7.9 with the hardness > 50. Chlorination ranges from 2-3 PPM with free residual present in the dead leg areas. I am formulating a plan for additional testing and plan on characterizing the corrosion deposits. Do you have any references or recommendations that may help determine the cause of the pitting?"

Answer:

Pitting of copper corrosion is a complex function of water chemistry, temperature and velocity. There is abundant information on copper corrosion, including on our site (see the link to "References"), at AWWA's website and at CDA's website. You can find links to both sites from our "Links" page under the category "Industry Associations". We are currently helping a client with a major copper piping corrosion problem at a commercial development. Understanding the cause of the problem and remedies requires a laboratory failure analysis of affected piping and an understanding of the water quality and piping design. We can help with those issues if you need.

 

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