A residential subdivision near Tampa, FL was constructed in 1984 through 1985. Several sections of copper pipe were removed from one residence that had reported severe leaking. Visual examination revealed extensive pitting corrosion throughout the ID surfaces of the sample. Microscopic evaluation of a cross section of a copper pipe revealed extensive pitting corrosion throughout the inner diametral surfaces of the pipe. Some pits had penetrated through the wall thickness, causing the pin hole leaks. Analysis of a sample of water obtained from the subdivision revealed relatively high hardness levels (210 mg/l), high levels of sulfate ions (55 mg/l), a pH of 7.6 and a sulfate-to-chloride ratio of 3:1. Analysis of corrosion product removed from the ID surfaces of the pipe section revealed that an environment rich in carbonates existed inside the pipe, a result of the hard water supply. It was concluded that pitting corrosion was a result of the corrosive waters supplied by the local water utility. Waters could be rendered non-pitting by increasing their pH to 8 or higher and neutralizing the free carbon dioxide.
A.H. Khan, Pitting Corrosion of Copper Pipes in a Residential Water Delivery System, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Household Products and Consumer Goods, ASM International, 2019, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.homegoods.c9001698
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