Pinhole leaks plague South County homeowners

Pinhole leaks plague South County homeowners.

Lawsuits are piling up over tiny leaks in copper pipes that cause major damage.

By BROOKE EDWARDS STAGGS / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

The Bustos family was knee-deep in a remodel to their 12-year-old Ladera Ranch home when their daughter noticed something odd: bubbling white paint on new base molding.

“My husband said, ‘That’s water,’ ” Pam Bustos said, recalling that mid-October night.

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A pinhole leak in copper pipes sprays a tiny stream of water behind drywall in a Laguna Niguel home. This is the second leak the homeowner has had in three months, plumber Brandon Taliaferro said.
COURTESY OF BRANDON TALIAFERRO, A TO Z LEAK DETECTION

What residents can do

Experts recommend a few tips for homeowners in areas prone to pinhole leaks:

•Discuss pinhole leaks with an inspector before buying a home.

•Review all homeowners insurance policies to ensure pinhole leaks are covered.

•Do regular physical inspections and checks to water pressure to help catch problems early.

•Consider preventative measures, such as a filtration system that removes additives, an epoxy pipelining treatment or total pipe replacement.

•Report any leaks to the local water district for tracking

The maple hardwood floors they’d just paid $3,000 to refinish felt warm beneath their bare feet as they pulled a buffet cabinet out from a freshly painted wall. Then they saw seeping evidence of a problem that would cost nearly $17,000 to …

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