Understanding Corrosion in Water Pipelines: A Guide for Pipeline Designers


Tube Hole

Last updated: October 30, 2018

What Does Tube Hole Mean?

A tube hole refers to holes or pitting seen on industrial pipes such as those made from materials like copper and steel. This phenomenon is extremely difficult to prevent, but there are a few corrosion prevention techniques to mitigate this problem.

The perforation of the tube or pipes results from pitting corrosion brought on by leakage of water and other elements.


Corrosionpedia Explains Tube Hole

Copper piping is projected to last more than two decades, but damage and failure can take place even within two years' time due to the chemistry of the water and other elements that pass through it.

There are many types of corrosion, but pitting, leading to tube holes, is most likely to happen in copper piping or tubes. This is usually initiated on the inner surface, affecting the rest of the tube. This can also begin on other metal surfaces as well, for reasons including:

  • Combination of high pH and low chlorine
  • Extreme use of highly corrosive fluxes
  • Water softeners, aggressive water
  • Compounds containing aluminum
  • Presence of chloramines (combined ammonia and chlorine)
  • Poor workmanship

Tube holes can be repaired by using external solder or by replacing a section of the tube. Coating the interior surface with epoxy can also help, or in extreme cases replumbing may be necessary.

Although tube holes can be repaired or eliminated, it is better to prevent them through regular examination of piping. Signs of leaks like greenish-blue stains can be indicators of tube holes.

It is also advised to test the water pH and all other elements passing through the tube to prevent the occurrence of tube holes brought on by pitting corrosion.


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