Pinhole copper plumbing leaks

Just asking hypothetically:

You inspected a house that has copper plumbing and there were no signs of water damage at the inspection. The buyer moves into the house and after a week there is water coming up from the slab (copper pinhole leak). They call you. They are mad.

What do you tell them?

Since nothing was visible, are FL HIs “safe” in this scenario?


If you have a proper inspection agreement that would be the first thing I would look for in the file.
Were they present at the inspection & probably saw nothing also.
They have been there for a week & THEN it occurred which was also how long after you were there.
Systems and/or items can fail at any time you don’t have x-ray vision. You cannot predict future events.

Did you just make this up in your head to ask?
What caused you to post this subject.

Merry Christmas. :mrgreen:

So since our inspections are limited to visible areas, pinhole leaks fall outside the scope of our responsibility (given there is no moisture damage)?

I use the standard NACHI agreement on each inspection. I’ve always been leery about pinhole leaks but have not encountered one yet. There are certain neighborhoods in my area where they are pretty common and I’d like to be prepared.

Merry Christmas back atcha!

You should always be checking the meter for any indication of water flow with all fixtures turned off. Take a short video if it is spinning and alert the buyer. I have found a few confirmed slab leaks that way. Under-slab pin hole leaks will almost never show themselves coming up through the slab.


Merry Christmas to all!

Thanks. And what age of home do pinhole leaks commonly start at? 20+ years?

No idea never found any .

If it’s a concern take a picture or video of the meter not spinning and state no leaks at time of inspection.

Try to make it right the best you can. The companies name, inspectors reputation is on the line.

Good advice.

Here’s an example of government waste.
65 pages & no definitive conclusion.
Whoa!! The Task Force!


I found a slab leak on a 1957 home. I ran all fixtures for period of time.
Found a very faint trail of water running from the main BLD onto the pool deck. Further inspection revealed loose tile between water heater and toilet.
Thermal cam detected heat source (hot water) under tile.
Rec’ed a Lic Plumber whom later diagnosed as fractured HW line.

In my reports I detail that I run all fixtures 15 mins, to incl filling of tubs. The meter idea is great also.
Also the nachi template can be edited to add more disclaimers.

Ditto :slight_smile:

“All components and conditions, which by nature of their location are concealed, camouflaged or difficult to inspect, are excluded in this
report and Client assumes all the risk for these conditions.”

Systems and conditions, unless otherwise contracted, which are not within the scope of the building inspection included, but are not limited to: internal and underground drainage or underground plumbing systems.

Client understands that the inspection and Inspection Report do not, in any way, constitute a/an: (1) guarantee of the present or future adequacy or performance of the structure; it’s systems, or their
component parts…

and Merry Christmas to all