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WillK 11-10-2010 02:10 PM

Copper pipe corrosion a concern?
Examining the condition of my plumbing in the crawlspace, which is copper pipe, I've observed lots of areas of green corrosion, particularly at the pipe hangers, and joints with white corrosion at the bottom... I'm guessing it's from condensation on the pipes. How concerned should I be with this?

AllanJ 11-11-2010 06:49 AM

So long as the surface of the pipe is still smooth and not looking like it was eaten away, I say you can ignore it.

Wide areas of corrosion without leaking is from the outside in, from condensation.

An actual leak is corrosion from the inside out and is not accompanied by wide areas of corrosion unless thge leaking water flowed down the pipe before dripping off.

majakdragon 11-11-2010 07:18 AM

The hangers, for copper piping, should be copper coated or lined with plastic to prevent electrolosis. Discoloration at joints is usually caused due to the flux, used in soldering, not being wiped off after completing the job. I don't think you have a problem.

Plumber26 11-11-2010 08:35 PM

When I'm looking at copper pipe condition, I never pay attention to the green (flux, as the previous post explained). I do look at the color of the copper. If it begins to look like it has a purplish tint to it, it's a sure sign that it's weakening. This is especially true w/ houses on well water. (At least where I live it is) If you are on a well, and your copper has some age on it, may not be a bad idea to start rubbing the pennies together and save for the inevitable replacement.

WillK 11-11-2010 09:53 PM

The plumbing is... generally relatively new in the house. In terms of supply pipes, the copper is probably less than 20 years old. (House built in 1917).

The majority of the DWV is PVC, but the main stack is cast iron. But the main stack is the only place there is any venting, the kitchen is on the opposite side of the house - PVC comes out of the ground then for some reason is connected to galvanized pipe which is then connected to PVC P-trap then the sink.

It's city water, and here in the metro Detroit area it's pretty good quality water. I learned that from experiencing how hard city water in Indianapolis is.

The REALLY wierd part is, and I just figured this out today, the water meter is inside in the utility room. The supply pipe going to the meter goes under the crawl space at an odd angle, and it's not straight. I thought it was just another piece of junk until I made the connection that it's the pipe going to the water meter as I reviewed a bunch of pictures I took yesterday in the crawl space to document the seemingly random stacks of cement blocks and junk that is supporting the house structure.

At any rate, most stuff I've gotten into with the house, I've gone with the option of replacement. The copper supply pipes haven't really looked that bad, but I need to add a run for the icemaker and I'm leaning towards splicing in CPVC. I did a new second bathroom in another house we had 4 or 5 years ago, I swear I don't remember copper being nearly so expensive!

ultracrystal 11-11-2010 11:00 PM

All I know is that my copper plumbing is about 35 years old and it's on the verge of all being replaced.

Just the other day, I was capping a supply line to my washing machine's old location and the pipe snapped clean off at a joint with alot of corrosion.

Needless to say, I'm changing everything in the house to PEX before something gives when I'm gone for a week.

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