June 30, 2011
It’s Monday morning and you have your schedule outlined for the week. You’ve made good progress on it for an hour….and then there is a knock at the door. It’s one of your tenants and they have a plumbing leak. Immediately thoughts of damaged property, torn up walls, unhappy tenant, everything that you dread….suddenly come “front and center”. That perfect well planned week has just become a thing of the past.
Copper Pipe Failing at Alarming Rates
If you have been in the property owner/manager business for long this is probably a familiar scenario. You are also probably aware that copper water piping, the material most plumbers choose, is failing at alarming rates. What you may not be aware of is the dramatic increases in insurance costs that are being levied by insurance companies to offset the damages. Even more alarming, in many cases, insurance carriers are canceling liability insurance policies after just a couple leaks or even refusing to renew policies. With the computer era carriers now have and share databases that store our claim history. Once a claim is filed, the history related to a particular property and claim activity are stored in this database and are used by carriers to “blacklist” those of us with previous claim history.
Why is this happening in your communities? The quality of original water piping, quality of original installation, age of water piping and the water itself is destroying copper piping with its aggressive chemistry. The chemistry of our water traveling through the pipe influences the formation and propagation of pitting. From that pitting pinhole leaks occur. Some claim our growth and demand for water has created these changes water chemistry. For those of you that have dealt with water leaks you know the results. They are expensive and extremely disruptive. Extensive water damage, if not immediately detected is devastating.
Is a complete repipe our only solution? The answer is NO. Though repiping is an absolute must in some cases. It is now not our only option. As a licensed plumbing contractor and repipe specialist my company has repiped literally thousands of commercial and residential properties in California, Nevada, and Arizona. For 10 years I resisted pipe lining technology yet as I resisted, I thoroughly investigated its technology. As a plumbing contractor my first impression was “NO WAY” and “This will never work.” Well, I’m sure glad I continued my exploration and analysis of these different products. I am now convinced without a doubt there are many applications where pipelining is a viable option versus complete replacement. With these two options, you now have an opportunity to choose the resolution that best fits your specific situation.
“In-place” pipe restoration technology works and works well. The water piping is restored within the walls. This is a great option for many properties having limited access to their water piping or replacement is not a practical option. This revolutionary technology has been used by the US Air Force, hospitals, universities, major hotels, resort facilities, apartments and industrial facilities. With this process there is virtually no destruction, the piping is restored and will never corrode, pit or scale. It has become a permanent, safe solution, in potable water systems. Coating materials utilized are NSF approved and UPC listed for safe use. Once restored, the lined system will no longer leach lead or copper contaminants. Water stays pure, clean and safe to drink The second option, of course, is to replace the existing water piping. This process has been the only option available prior to the innovation of pipe restoration. The copper industry now warranties the higher quality type L copper for up to 50 years. If you plan to repipe, I would highly recommend using type L and not the thinner type M. In many cases plumbing companies specializing in repiping are now offering 20-year warranties when using type L copper. Pipelining warranties in most cases also offer a similar warranty. So the choice is yours….repipe or reline!
If you would like more information on either process or a professional opinion on which option may best suit your needs call Anderson Plumbing Heating & Air, formerly Walter Anderson Plumbing. The Anderson family is known throughout San Diego as the leading experts in the area of repiping, rerouting and relining. This year the Anderson family celebrates our 32nd year serving the San Diego community and collectively has repiped, relined or rerouted more potable water systems than any other local company. For further information or a free no obligation inspection, please call 800-530-1102 and ask for John Padilla or Kelly Jo Anderson.