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Old 18-04-2018, 14:24   #1
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Renovating copper tubing internally without removal??

Hi,

question to the plumbing experts.

We have heaps of knowledge around on this forum so someone might know despite this not being directly boat related (even though the answers might be helpful to us boatowners as well!!).

We have a lot of aging copper tubing in our old stone, brick and mortar built house.
The pipes are about 28years old and we had so far 4 occasions with piping leaks from pitting.
Now here is the question.

Does anyone know if there is a truly reliable and long lasting method to fix these pipes from within without removing them (would be a huge cost factor).
Something like coating or lining them internally.
Obviously we would drain and dry by compressed air before.
Maybe even sandblast or similar.
It's all freshwater (hot and cold) diameter about 25mm/1".

Would be great if someone has done it and could comment on durability.

Thanks so much,

Fran
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Old 18-04-2018, 15:15   #2
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Re: Renovating copper tubing internally without removal??

Fran,

When copper lines pit, it's because the water is acidic. The problem will continue until the water chemistry is fixed or all the copper piping is replaced with something else.

With 1" piping, you would have the alternative of pulling 1/2" PEX through portions of the existing piping that have no fittings, if 1/2" PEX will support the flow rate you need. That may help in places.

I had a house where all the copper corroded, and I replaced a good deal of it. These was before PEX was available so we used now-obsolete PB pipe.

There is no reliable way to apply a coating to the inside of the lines, that I am aware of.
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Old 18-04-2018, 19:08   #3
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Re: Renovating copper tubing internally without removal??

Fran-
Folks in the many Levittown houses (LI, NY) had that problem. Radical new magic radiant floor heating was standard, copper pipes in concrete slab. And when they all started rotting out from the concrete eating the copper...the usual answer was to shut it down and install something else, either baseboard heat or central hot air.

I've also heard, as Jammer said, that you can try to run PEX through the old tubing. But if the old tubing has closed up from hard water deposits, and if there are many corners where you'll have to cut in access and feed the PEX around the corner, or if the PEX size you need won't handle the capacity...these are the gambles that many people don't want to chance, so they go to totally new piping *outside* the masonry.

There may well be someone out there with something new, who can route out the old piping completely. I suspect that if there is, the cost will be astronomical. Something for venerable old historic buildings only.
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Old 18-04-2018, 20:23   #4
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Re: Renovating copper tubing internally without removal??

The only thing that might work would be a tank coating. But that needs to be applied to clean metal. I suppose the plumbing could be flooded with a cleaning agent or etch, drained, and flooded with a tank coating and then drained. I suspect that it would be difficult to get an even cleaning or coating. All the valve seats would need to be manually cleaned. Who knows what the resulting water would taste like.
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Old 19-04-2018, 05:31   #5
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Re: Renovating copper tubing internally without removal??

Hey guys, thanks for the answers.

Tank coating seems to go in the right direction.

Found interesting solutions, but have no idea how long they will last.
Now I need to find someone who has this done years ago to comment on this.
Will be expensive but cheaper than tearing everything out and keeping repairing regularly.

www.promotech.ch and www.proline-group.com
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Old 19-04-2018, 06:27   #6
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Re: Renovating copper tubing internally without removal??

Fran, a company called Fernox do a whole series of chemical for adding to heating systems, which we have always used, just in case.

https://fernox.com/

Do you have a magnet in the central heating circuit? they are now being fitted as standard with new boilers in the UK to cut down the amount of steel fillings wandering around the circuit. Wish the previous owner had fitted one given the amount I had to remove from the old boiler to keep it running.

Pete
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Old 19-04-2018, 07:12   #7
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Re: Renovating copper tubing internally without removal??

Hey Pete,

thanks for that.
Luckily the heating system is still in good health.
Good idea with the magnet though!
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Old 19-04-2018, 09:40   #8
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Re: Renovating copper tubing internally without removal??

There are companies that will replace the copper with PEX, patch and paint the walls as one coordinated operation. I am sure that it is not cheap but it is less pain to have it done that way.

Anything else is an iffy fix. Bite the bullet and do it right. Then you won't have to revisit this in your lifetime.
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Old 19-04-2018, 11:49   #9
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Re: Renovating copper tubing internally without removal??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
Hi,

question to the plumbing experts.

We have heaps of knowledge around on this forum so someone might know despite this not being directly boat related (even though the answers might be helpful to us boatowners as well!!).

We have a lot of aging copper tubing in our old stone, brick and mortar built house.
The pipes are about 28years old and we had so far 4 occasions with piping leaks from pitting.
Now here is the question.

Does anyone know if there is a truly reliable and long lasting method to fix these pipes from within without removing them (would be a huge cost factor).
Something like coating or lining them internally.
Obviously we would drain and dry by compressed air before.
Maybe even sandblast or similar.
It's all freshwater (hot and cold) diameter about 25mm/1".

Would be great if someone has done it and could comment on durability.

Thanks so much,

Fran
Brick and mortar replace it all with PEX. Trying to salvage the old copper pipe, with pin holes, would be costly and half assed.
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Old 19-04-2018, 14:32   #10
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Re: Renovating copper tubing internally without removal??

You can not pull Pez through old tubes. Wall thickness of Pez is greater than cu so internal would be a lot smaller and you will get low pressures.
Yes we line pipelines, but need a machine in there and smallest I have ever heard of is for a sanitary drain (100mm dis min).
Sorry, but 20 or 22mm Cu is the typical size of main water pipes in a house because of flow/pressure needs across several taps.
It will need pipes to be removed and replaced.
Roger
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Old 19-04-2018, 17:33   #11
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Re: Renovating copper tubing internally without removal??

Check this link:
What Causes Copper Pipe to Leak/Fail? - Restoration Piping Technologies - Cincinnati, Ohio
Pinhole leaks are a widespread, if somewhat rare, phenomenon. I would consider running parallel PET lines where possible, using copper only near points of use. However, I would do nothing except regularly inspect for leaks (damp or warm spots in floors or walls) until you see a problem.
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Old 19-04-2018, 18:13   #12
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Re: Renovating copper tubing internally without removal??

Hey thanks everyone.

Tricky part is that most pipes are under mortar and access is impossible without a MAJOR financial effort.

Still looks like we need to tackle this.

The house has been built in the 16th century and was renovated about 1993.
Water comes from a well and needs salt treatment to remove lime.

Unfortunately they used these small diameter copper pipes in the renovation.
Putting pipes inside the old pipes is impossible.
It's professional epoxy coating from within or ripping out and reinstall with PEX. Very few we may be able to put on top of the walls, its a historic listed building so a lot of limitations and red tape too.
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Old 20-04-2018, 05:36   #13
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Renovating copper tubing internally without removal??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
It's professional epoxy coating from within or ripping out and reinstall with PEX.


Heh. Iíve done an awful lot of epoxy work, on accessible, visible, well prepped surfaces, and even then Iíve had the occasional surprise or screw up.

I donít know anything about coatings designed for pipes but my spidey senses are telling me this has a decent chance of going bad.

Also, I think if I were house shopping and the seller told me that the inaccessible pipes behind that beautiful brick wall had some miracle goop poured in it to stop leaks, Iíd run the hell away, or make an offer budgeting for fixing it correctly.

And when it comes time to solder in some changes, swap out a sink or something, I imagine the fact that youíve got a bunch of plastic in the line a few inches away makes things complicated. Just because there are pros willing to do this for you doesnít mean its smart.
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Old 20-04-2018, 05:37   #14
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Re: Renovating copper tubing internally without removal??

www.promotech.ch and www.proline-group.com
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Old 20-04-2018, 10:07   #15
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Re: Renovating copper tubing internally without removal??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
Hey thanks everyone.

Tricky part is that most pipes are under mortar and access is impossible without a MAJOR financial effort.

Still looks like we need to tackle this.

The house has been built in the 16th century and was renovated about 1993.
Water comes from a well and needs salt treatment to remove lime.

Unfortunately they used these small diameter copper pipes in the renovation.
Putting pipes inside the old pipes is impossible.
It's professional epoxy coating from within or ripping out and reinstall with PEX. Very few we may be able to put on top of the walls, its a historic listed building so a lot of limitations and red tape too.
I've got poly under my slab. Scares the hell out of me, not the poly but fittings. The common fix appears to re plumb with PEX through the attic with drops through the walls. Don't know if it applies to your situation.
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