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Old 07-02-2013, 07:51 AM   #1
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Copper water pipe corrosion in basement


Hello, I'm a first time user and brand new homeowner.

My first question is about my copper water pipe in my basement. The cable guy pointed out the other day that the pipe is rusting where the pipe rests on top of some aluminum from the HVAC system. He advised that these two metals meeting can cause corrosion and should be addressed.

So, what can I do to fix this problem? Does the pipe need replacing? Will wrapping the pipe fix the problem? Thanks.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:28 AM   #2
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Copper water pipe corrosion in basement


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My first question is about my copper water pipe in my basement.
So, what can I do to fix this problem?
set some insulation over the pipe where it crosses.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:50 PM   #3
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Copper water pipe corrosion in basement


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Originally Posted by zzty00 View Post
Hello, I'm a first time user and brand new homeowner.

So, what can I do to fix this problem? Does the pipe need replacing? Will wrapping the pipe fix the problem? Thanks.
Only if you see pitting or there's a leak, you'll eventually have to replace them but if they show no pitting, green spots where it touched aluminum, or wet/leakage, cover it with that foam sleeve the previous post shows so it can't make contact with the aluminum.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:48 PM   #4
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Copper water pipe corrosion in basement


There is a large green spot maybe 3 inches long in the area near the aluminum. Would this be more of an indicator that I need the pipe replaced?
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:58 PM   #5
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Copper water pipe corrosion in basement


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Originally Posted by zzty00 View Post
There is a large green spot maybe 3 inches long in the area near the aluminum. Would this be more of an indicator that I need the pipe replaced?
Nope. wipe it down if inclined but copper oxidizes.
You might want to check the humidity level down there tho...
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:00 PM   #6
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Copper water pipe corrosion in basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by zzty00 View Post
Hello, I'm a first time user and brand new homeowner.

My first question is about my copper water pipe in my basement. The cable guy pointed out the other day that the pipe is rusting where the pipe rests on top of some aluminum from the HVAC system. He advised that these two metals meeting can cause corrosion and should be addressed.

So, what can I do to fix this problem? Does the pipe need replacing? Will wrapping the pipe fix the problem? Thanks.
So now cable tv techs are plumbers. We know that they like to be arsonists, by burning peoples homes down, but now they are trying to tell people they know more than a plumber knows.

Next time you get one of these hacks in your home, and they make a comment, just thank them and escort them out the door. Then call a real plumber to get a real opinion if it matters.

As for the catv, it should be bonded to your ground rod that your panel or Meter pan is connected to, not to cold water piping inside the home.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:03 PM   #7
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Copper water pipe corrosion in basement


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There is a large green spot maybe 3 inches long in the area near the aluminum. Would this be more of an indicator that I need the pipe replaced?
Nope, just normal when the minerals in the pipe dry and cause what is called Patina, which is normal for Copper to do.

Even if there is not a leak, but just moisture on the outside of the Copper piping, after it drys, it can still Patina.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:03 AM   #8
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Copper water pipe corrosion in basement


Quote:
Originally Posted by zzty00 View Post
There is a large green spot maybe 3 inches long in the area near the aluminum. Would this be more of an indicator that I need the pipe replaced?
A water leak on the floor indicates the pipe needs to be replaced.

The green is copper patina, it comes usually from being wet- either condensation on a cold pipe or high humidity collected there and dripped off.
That is why copper roofs turn green in about 5 years time from exposure to the weather and rain.
If you see water DRIPPING or a tiny spray of water there, then there's a perforation. Copper pipes are paper thin, doesn't take much to make a hole in them.

By the way, copper contacting aluminum can cause corrosion:

Galvanic Corrosion

When dissimilar metals are electrically connected in the presence of an electrolyte, a reaction occurs. This reaction is known as galvanic corrosion. There must be a bi-metallic couple between two dissimilar metals in the presence of an electrolyte solution. Without these ingredients, galvanic corrosion will not occur.

Galvanic corrosion most often causes fin degradation, which may ultimately lead to the destruction of the coil. Galvanic corrosion of the unprotected coil begins at the bi-metallic couple between the copper tube and aluminum fin.

As corrosion begins within the copper-to-aluminum bond in the standard coil construction, the aluminum bond in the standard coil construction, the aluminum fin deteriorates. Consumption of the fin continues until coil performance is affected and severe visual deterioration results.

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Old 07-03-2013, 07:16 AM   #9
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Copper water pipe corrosion in basement


The thing is, Ductwork is not Aluminum, but tin still. Yes still galvanic corrosion can happen, so piping is usually lifted enough to get it away from the duct work, or the foam insulation is used.
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:48 AM   #10
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Copper water pipe corrosion in basement


I would recommend buying some electrical tape and wrapping it around all of the pipe, especially if its touching the ductwork


It's Electrolysis, when that water is movin in the pipe it's creating problems for the pipe. Just remove the contact and youshould be fine
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Old 07-03-2013, 11:42 AM   #11
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The thing is, Ductwork is not Aluminum, but tin still. Yes still galvanic corrosion can happen, so piping is usually lifted enough to get it away from the duct work, or the foam insulation is used.
Going by why the op relayed, the duct could be that 6" round aluminum stuff, who knows.

They don't make ducts out of tin, REAL tin, people keep calling steel "tin" including the improper use of the term "tin cans" for everything from aluminum cans today to the old steel cans used for soda years ago that had a plating on them.
They do the same with describing an assault with a "he attacked the man with a lead pipe" try finding a3/4" lead pipe in the hardware store or one big enough to beat someone to death with!

Tin is one of the metals on the commodity exchange, right now it is worth $8.96 a pound, it fluxuates daily just like silver, platinum and gold. The cost is a big reason why it's not used for common items like ducts.

If normal galvanized steel, then the zinc on that could be a galvanic issue when wet from condensation touching copper.
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