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Peter D. 02-26-2012 08:19 PM

Copper Pipe Corrosion?
Hi, this is my first time posting to this forum. I did a search but couldn't find the answer to my question, but first a little background.

My wife and I bought our first house 7 months ago and it has tons of problems... mice, drafts, sagging floors, rotted siding, woodpeckers, knotty pine paneling in the MBR, poltergeists... you name it.

Anyway, on to my plumbing problem.

At some point the previous owners had to dig a new well. A copper pipe comes through a hole drilled into the garage floor, up vertically between the garage doors, up to the ceiling and over to the water tank and filter system.

The problem I'm seeing under the foam insulation is that there's a metal braided power cable that is attached to the pipe with plastic ties. I guess it runs underground to the water pump. I'm seeing some corrosion on the pipe... green stuff basically. And they used metal fasteners to attach it to the ceiling and it's looking funky too.

I'm guessing I need to move the power cable off and tie it around the outside of the foam insulation.... but what about the 50 feet it travels underground? Is the pipe going to eventually start springing holes?

ben's plumbing 02-26-2012 08:30 PM

seeing is believing a picture would help....but if there are metal straps on copper ..get rid of them and use copper,plastic ones...:yes:

Peter D. 02-26-2012 08:38 PM

I just snapped this with my phone. The small wires at the top are from the old garage door opener and aren't in contact with the pipe.

ben's plumbing 02-26-2012 08:43 PM

see what you mean...get that junk off far as metal strap under ground with pipe.....Iam from old school..if its not broke don't fix it... unless its easy to get too????:yes:

Peter D. 02-26-2012 08:46 PM

It's buried under 4 feet of driveway! I'm going to have to hope for the best.

ben's plumbing 02-26-2012 08:47 PM


Originally Posted by Peter D. (Post 864349)
It's buried under 4 feet of driveway! I'm going to have to hope for the best.

yes I"ll hope with you :laughing::laughing: best of luck

Peter D. 02-26-2012 09:10 PM

I'm just trying to keep guys like you in business!

Akpsdvan 02-26-2012 09:45 PM

Holes from the inside or outside?
What is the ph of the water?
Run the rest of what ever copper line that you can find and make sure that there are no Elect lines even phone lines around the copper.
Make sure that the house ground is not on the copper and that the well ground has been done correctly.

joecaption 02-26-2012 10:15 PM

One of the many things you mentioned that would have been picked up by a good home inspection before buying.
Anytime there's any steel in contact with copper there's going to be corrosion. Those wires my run out to the well pump.
Where do you live. I hope it never freezes there or that garage is heated. If those old pipes freeze and burst your going to have a sprinkle system real quick.

Javiles 02-27-2012 07:34 AM

Copper reacts to different materials not just metal to metal contact, keep this in mind, could not see the ground clamp, buy the copper saddle clamp for electrical grounding point, this is important as a bad ground could cause problems in other areas. As to what you canít see get some quotes to replace and have it in the back of your mind so youíll have no surprises when and if it goes out , good luck with your new home.

TheEplumber 02-27-2012 11:49 AM

199 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Peter D. (Post 864349)
It's buried under 4 feet of driveway! I'm going to have to hope for the best.

There plumbers/excavators who can pull a new line without disturbing your driveway. You may loose a little bit of slab at the entrance point. Worth making some calls.

Peter D. 02-27-2012 08:05 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Here's where the pipe emerges through the garage floor directly underground. There's no basement.

Attachment 46639

Here's a close up of the pipe and power line as buried in a corrugated pipe. It looks like the powerline is wrapped in plastic pipe. I'm going to have an electrician look at it next week.

Attachment 46640

I'm going to check the inspection report for the water's ph.

Peter D. 03-04-2012 10:32 PM

7 Attachment(s)
I carved out some free time today and made some progress fixing up this water pipe situation. I have no experience doing this work before. I'm just trying to save a few bucks but I don't want to cut corners.

Here's a few more before photos. The first is a shot of the pipe coming up through the floor between the garage doors.
Attachment 47036

Across the ceiling.

Attachment 47037

Here's where it takes a 90 degree turn to the water tank. Note that it's held up by a plastic strap connected to another water pipe!

Attachment 47038

There's a long span of pipe here held up by this copper strap. It attached diagonally to a floor joist above. The problem is there's no floor joists directly above.

Attachment 47039

The power line is now off the pipe and dangling in place until my friend the electrician takes a break from snow boarding. I also have a heater cable roughed in place. Once the electric work is done, I'm going to open the ceiling, add some 2x4's between the joists and secure the pipe with better hangers.

Attachment 47040

And here's some ugly corrosion! I'll find out if this needs to be replaced.

Attachment 47041

And on another subject, here's a shot of my son watching the 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Nothing beats the stop motion animation magic of Ray Harryhausen!

Attachment 47042

joecaption 03-04-2012 11:36 PM

Wrong style shut off valve, installed up side down, I'd rip out all that old copper and replace with 3/4" pex, replace all the valves with ball valves. Replace all that wiring with romex run in PVC conduit.
No more rust ever.

Peter D. 03-05-2012 08:29 PM

Hmmm... great idea but it sounds pricey.

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