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Old 09-20-2008, 03:11 PM   #1
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Copper Pipe Turning Green


I'm in the process of renovating my bathroom and had a plumber reconfigure my tub/shower plumbing to accommodate my new shower system. Today I noticed a green discoloration around the some of the copper pipes he sweated. I associate green and copper with water, however I don't see or feel any water leaking. Is this something to be worried about. I'm about to secure the area with durock and tile and would hate to tear it down because of a water leak.

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Old 09-20-2008, 04:36 PM   #2
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Copper Pipe Turning Green


Copper will oxidize and you are seeing the "patina" that people pay lot for on flashing and downspouts. - They even try to accelerate it.

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Old 09-20-2008, 04:36 PM   #3
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Copper Pipe Turning Green


It is nothing to be concerned with. Not uncommon.
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Old 09-21-2008, 11:10 AM   #4
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Copper Pipe Turning Green


Hey guys,

Thank you very much. I appreciate your prompt and informative replies.

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Old 09-21-2008, 12:53 PM   #5
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Copper Pipe Turning Green


Most of this is a chemical reaction called patina, as others have stated. You will normally find this around fittings and pipe that have been soldered. Many Plumbers do not wipe the joints after sweating and the left-over flux causes this. I always wipe the joint, first with a gloved finger for the look of the joint, and later with a wet rag to remove the excess flux.
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Old 09-21-2008, 06:36 PM   #6
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Copper Pipe Turning Green


I would get the water tested for it's PH level, Water with a high acidic level will eat the copper pipe from ther inside out. Before you can realize it you will have pin hole leaks all over the house. That green is the copper being eaten away. I would bet you need an acid neutralizer and directly after that, a water softner. Take a water sample to Sears and have them test it, They will set a system up for you. Then shop around. I had the same problem and this set up fixed it. Oh and after cutting a piece of copper pipe out to see the condition of it internally i was amazed at how bad the pipe was pitted inside.
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Old 09-21-2008, 08:30 PM   #7
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Copper Pipe Turning Green


James,

It's not visible on the other pipes, only the ones that were sweated. I'm kinda agree with the other (came from the flux). It happened around 3 weeks after the pipes were sweated
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Old 09-21-2008, 08:55 PM   #8
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James,

It's not visible on the other pipes, only the ones that were sweated. I'm kinda agree with the other (came from the flux). It happened around 3 weeks after the pipes were sweated
Bingo. I see it EVERY DAY in new construction. It happens, and is nothing to be overly concerned with.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:12 AM   #9
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Copper Pipe Turning Green


That self cleaning flux will patina really quickly even if you do wipe it down after soldering.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:47 AM   #10
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Copper Pipe Turning Green


Jayp, most of the 'patina" is caused from the heat of the torch. If you leave the melted flux on the pipe, it will, itself, turn the pipe green from the acid in it.
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Old 09-22-2008, 05:35 PM   #11
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Copper Pipe Turning Green


In my experience large quantities of flux left on copper will weaken the pipe and encourage pin-holes to form years later. Remove it from the pipe using a dish soap and water mixture on a rag.
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:00 PM   #12
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Copper Pipe Turning Green


green at fitting is not bad your plumber didnt clean the flux off when cleaning the 90's
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:22 PM   #13
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Copper Pipe Turning Green


thanks for all the information . My pipes are completely covered in green. i don't know how serious this is. Can anyone tell me just what to do before pin holes appear???
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:04 PM   #14
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Copper Pipe Turning Green


Jheeeezh now you have two identical threads going at the same time. I feel a little foolish replying to your other thread before I found this one.
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:08 PM   #15
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Copper Pipe Turning Green


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thanks for all the information . My pipes are completely covered in green. i don't know how serious this is. Can anyone tell me just what to do before pin holes appear???
The dammage has been done. There is just as much flux on the inside of the pipes. If your water supply has the right water chemistry, the oil based flux will eat them from the inside out.

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