Burping taps and pinhole leaks - Blame Chloramine?

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Old 04-02-19, 05:28 PM
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Burping taps and pinhole leaks - Blame Chloramine?

When I turn on my water taps first time in the morning they put out a little psst of some gas (no smell). We are in the LA area. Our water comes from the Metropolitan Water District and has been disinfected with chloramine for at least ten years. This psst problem has been going on for several months and during that same approx. period we've had two pinhole leaks, with the last one wasting about $100 of water - it was in the crawl space and we only found it after we got an enormous water bill.

Anyone else having the psst problem? (There is no oil exploration or fracking in our area.)
 
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Old 04-03-19, 04:55 AM
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How old are your pipes? What are they made of? Copper and galvanized steel have a limited lifetime as they corrode from the inside out.
 
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Old 04-03-19, 10:05 AM
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When I turn on my water taps first time in the morning they put out a little psst of some gas (no smell).
That isn't gas, it's just air.

Our water comes from the Metropolitan Water District and has been disinfected with chloramine for at least ten years.
Chloramines is the same as chlorine that has been used for generations of water disinfection in municipal water systems except that it also has a very small amount of ammonia added. Chloramines are used as a means of disinfection in the large majority of water systems across the country and has nothing to do with your air problem.

Chloramine has been used as a drinking water disinfectant in the U.S. in places like Springfield, Illinois, and Lansing, Michigan since 1929. In 1998, an EPA survey estimated 68 million Americans were drinking water disinfected with chloramine 1. Several major U.S. cities such as Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, and Washington, D.C. use chloramine to disinfect drinking water 4. Chloramine is recognized as a safe disinfectant and a good alternative to chlorine 5.
https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/dri...infection.html
 
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Old 04-03-19, 10:10 AM
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While there are lots of 'conspiracy theories' out there, chloramine shouldn't be affecting any piping system. It's a safer alternative to chlorine which has been known to leach lead out of pipes - which doesn't hurt the pipes, but isn't great for people on the other end.

Pinhole leaks do occur on public water systems. It's usually a combination of water pH, minerals in the water, and the piping itself, potentially even the manufacturing and installation of it. It's unfortunately somewhat random and often doesn't have a single reason it occurs.

The air in the pipes can be from aeration of the water just naturally dissolving out, or can sometimes be caused by the water heater. Does the psst sound only occur with the hot tap, or both hot and cold?
 
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Old 04-03-19, 11:10 PM
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Maybe burping was the wrong word...

I'm thoroughly familiar with the big pipe-rattling blasts of air you get when you turn on a tap after a water line has been disconnected and then re-pressurized. What I'm talking about is a small amount of some gas, maybe just a few ccs, the first time I turn on the tap - hot or cold - in the morning. A psst, not a bloooop. And it is every day.

I have it in two houses, both in the same neighborhood. Both have copper re-pipes, one done in the late 1970's and the other in the late 1980's. I have also noticed it in a local hospital building which is from the early 1980's. But I don't know what kind of pipe was used there.

I recall an explanation that when copper pipes are disinfected by old fashioned chlorination, a protective layer of something forms, maybe a biofilm or a tightly clinging oxide, and then when the water is changed to chloramines they gradually clean off the protective layer. And then once the pipe is bright and clean inside, no longer protected by the former layer, the oxygens in the water react with the copper producing an unstable oxide (one that washes away) allowing the eventual hole. (From boating I know that the formation of stable oxides is what keeps stainless steel from corroding, even underwater, except when something is rubbing against the ss removing the protective oxide AND there is no oxygen available to remake the protective oxide because the water is stagnant, with no oxygen dissolved in it.) Thus I suspect that the little spurts of gas I've been noticing are the remnants of former water molecules.
 
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Old 04-04-19, 08:19 AM
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And then once the pipe is bright and clean inside

Have you checked the ph of your water. The only thing that will make copper pipes bright and shiny inside is water with a ph lower than 7. Low ph also leaches lead from lead pipes and older lead based solder joints. That's what happened in Flint, MI. Water treatment is supposed to include adjustment of ph if necessary.
 
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