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  1. #1
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    Default Why corrosion here?

    This is in the basement of a 1998 house. This copper pipe is running hot water. That is a copper hanger that's supporting it. There were cold water copper pipes running parallel to this one with the same copper hangers and they showed no signs of corrosion. But at each copper hanger for this pipe there was this kind of corrosion (no active leaks however). What would cause this? Is it a big problem?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    Hasn't the aggressive water + water conditioner + concentration in hot water lines in Maple Grove been covered before? Pinched pipe tube doesn't help. Usual exterior suspects dirty hanger/pipe, acids, no free movement, and condensation.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    And hanger may be copper plated, in which case, where the plating has worn through, The steel contact with the pipe is causing corrosion


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    Plumber did not clean of the flux after soldering the hanger to the pipe.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    Thanks for the replies. So would the heat from the hot water wear through the copper coating on the hanger?

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    In the 20+ years I been doing service (repair) plumbing I have yet seen a leak at a hanger like that.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    Thanks for the insight Ron!

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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Errickson View Post
    Thanks for the replies. So would the heat from the hot water wear through the copper coating on the hanger?
    Good question. Your pic shows damage to the copper tubing. I cannot imagine that this is caused by "aggressive" water.

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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Good question. Your pic shows damage to the copper tubing. I cannot imagine that this is caused by "aggressive" water.
    Interesting how some people seem to delight in TWISTING what is actually said in a post.

    That is NOT what I said. There was punctuation in there. Three sentances in fact. A whole paragraph. Introduction regarding the regular complaints/problems for the area at 10, 15, 20 yrs (leaks in copper pipes, aggressive water). A mention of the obvious potential to develop leak here with a restriction and local water conditions. A Conclusion responding dirctly to the OP's question, with the "usual suspects" or the contributing factors causing exterior discoloration. By the way flux...IS ACIDIC. Other acids can cause besides flux. Want to bet the shot is from the laundry room/utility room in the otherwise finished basement?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Hasn't the aggressive water + water conditioner + concentration in hot water lines in Maple Grove been covered before? Pinched pipe tube doesn't help. Usual exterior suspects dirty hanger/pipe, acids, no free movement, and condensation.



  10. #10
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    The reason I say its flux is the following
    1. Pipe area was cleaned to solder the copper hook to the pipe
    2. the copper hook has severe corrosion as well
    3. the surrounding area of the pipe that was not cleaned and fluxed is not corroding.
    If it was due to acid fumes in the utility area, or aggressive water we would see more corrosion in other spots of the pipe not just where the hook was soldered.

    When I solder copper cross braces, or j hooks to the pipe I clean the affected area real good to ensure that does not happen. Now the amount of corrosion pictured shows that they plumber did wipe the joint clean, but his rag must of been getting filled with flux and did not remove all the residue.

    Now I know Florida has aggressive water. Many of the plumbers on the plumbing forums I hang out on that live and work in Florida has shown us that the aggressive water attacks the copper from the inside out. Some of their studies has figured it is a combination of flux not completely being flushed out of the copper and the high chlorine content.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    I did not say it was caused by agressive water, geez.

    I brought up previous discussions on known problems for the OP, noted out-of-round pipe, then listed the factors that can contribute to exterior condition he asked about.

    The OP is from Minnesota. The property picture is labeled for an address in Maple Grove.

    South (New) Jersey also has agressive water.

    Parts of Texas - etc.

    I realize you're from NE Illinois, R.H. so you would likely have little experience with "aggressive" water, seeing as the majority is lake michigan supplied, deep aquafer (deep well), and a few communities in the far west surbs use river. There is a lot more to what is and is not "aggressive water" than what you indicated. Non-chlorinated wells can still produce "aggressive water". Chlorine treatment is not the only thing that affects pH, disolved solids, etc. in water.

    O.T. Check out those heat traps yet?

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 07-22-2010 at 08:29 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    I did not say it was caused by agressive water, geez.

    I brought up previous discussions on known problems for the OP, noted out-of-round pipe, then listed the factors that can contribute to exterior condition he asked about.

    The OP is from Minnesota. The property picture is labeled for an address in Maple Grove.

    South (New) Jersey also has agressive water.
    Parts of Texas - etc.

    I realize you're from NE Illinois, R.H. so you would likely have little experience with "aggressive" water, seeing as the majority is lake michigan supplied, deep aquafer (deep well), and a few communities in the far west surbs use river.

    O.T. Check out those heat traps yet?
    My mom's well is only 60' deep and there is lots of suburbs that have really bad water. Only jobs I seen with failed copper is due to poor install.

    Turns out I did not have a water heater at the shop. I do apoligize about that. But I am picking one up in the morning so I will have a look and take pictures.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Good question. Your pic shows damage to the copper tubing. I cannot imagine that this is caused by "aggressive" water.
    What damage do you see to the pipe? It looks like the pipe has moved and there is a solder channel on the pipe where support was but I don't see any damage. I would imagine that when the pipe was soldered to the support a wooden wedge was driven behind the pipe to hold it tight against the support while it was soldered. That could have dented the pipe a bit....maybe.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    R.H.

    Your area is known for its "hard" water. Its not an issue in your area!

    Perhaps you'll read the following from the CDC (clickable link):

    Corrosion of Pipes - Engineering Fact Sheet- Community Water Fluoridation - Oral Health

    I realize it is addressing public concerns about fluoridation effecting water pipe corrosion; however it comprehensively discusses the aggressive qualities of much of our water supply, in support of the negligable contributory effects of fluoridation to both copper and galv water pipes of an already "aggressive" water condition.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 07-22-2010 at 08:57 PM. Reason: fixed link

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    i am going to throw myself out there and admit I don't know anything about 'aggressive water.' Why would this only occur on the hot water pipe and not the other copper piping? There were three (sorry I don't have a pic) cold water pipes running parallel to this that were hung the same way (supported on the wooden floor joists with copper hooks) and didn't show any corrosion. Is aggressive water only associated with hot water?

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    Also, this area is in the unfinished part of the basement. Near the water heater and furnace, but not near the laundry (that's on the main floor).

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Hasn't the aggressive water + water conditioner + concentration in hot water lines in Maple Grove been covered before?
    Yeah, really.... it's such a common topic on this board I just get sick of reading about it! Maybe Brian should consider expanding the board to give this often discussed item it's own section.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Errickson View Post
    This is in the basement of a 1998 house. This copper pipe is running hot water. That is a copper hanger that's supporting it. There were cold water copper pipes running parallel to this one with the same copper hangers and they showed no signs of corrosion. But at each copper hanger for this pipe there was this kind of corrosion (no active leaks however). What would cause this? Is it a big problem?

    Why in the world would you want to solder a hanger to a pipe? The pipe expands and contracts when the water temperature varies. If there is concern that the pipe will fall out of the hanger---use a different type. Hangers that I see in the supply house, even the cheap wire ones, have a plastic coating to allow for expansion and prevent the squeaking, thudding, from pipe movement. They even have plastic sleeves for use in studding to prevent noise. I agree with the heat + flux + moisture = corrosion comments.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    HG -- How did you know this house was in Maple Grove? I went back and read my OP and didn't mention which city the house was in. Are you psychic?

    -Jon
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Errickson View Post
    HG -- How did you know this house was in Maple Grove? I went back and read my OP and didn't mention which city the house was in. Are you psychic?
    Have you ever been to a convention where you where a name badge? Then leave and head to a local restaurant and the waiter says Hi Jon, what can I get you today? And you get all freaked out thinking they where psychic or knew you some how. Then they point and say its your dork tag.

    Well you have the address of the job as the file name of your photograph.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    To answer your question why the hot and not the cold. Flux reacts to heat quicker than cold. So the hot water lines will show the corrosion before the cold lines when its flux related.

    Now hot water is more aggressive than cold as well. I have replaced 10000' of seats in faucets and over 98% of them where hot seats. I have pair in the truck I can take a pic to show you.

    The amount of corrosion you are showing does show the plumber did attempt to clean the joints as I said in other posts, but some residue was still left behind.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    Thanks Ron! (and thanks for pointing out my dork tag)

    -Jon
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Errickson View Post
    HG -- How did you know this house was in Maple Grove? I went back and read my OP and didn't mention which city the house was in. Are you psychic?
    Joh Erickson,

    I said "how" way back on post 11.

    This is why it is a GOOD IDEA to RENAME your photos BEFORE you upload them to the site. I do not believe I am the first to have pointed out to you.

    I also provided a link regarding water pipe corrosion, errosion, and water chemistry from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (U.S. Government).


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    HG -- that's what I get for reading these at 11:30 at night.

    Thanks for the link - I found it very informative.

    Also, thanks for the tip regarding picture labeling -- you hadn't pointed that out to me before, but it's a really good tip!

    -Jon
    Errickson Home Inspections, LLC
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne soper View Post
    And hanger may be copper plated, in which case, where the plating has worn through, The steel contact with the pipe is causing corrosion
    I have to agree Wayne. I frequently see rusted copper-plated hangers and straps. Once the copper plating is scratched or otherwise damaged the device is very susceptible to corrosion in damp or humid areas.

    The above statements are expressed solely as my opinion and in all probability will conflict with someone else's.
    Stu, Fredericksburg VA

  26. #26
    David Bell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    After looking at the picture I'm not sure the tubing is damaged, it seems that the solder released off the hanger making it look like the tubing had been pinched.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    My guess would be so the pipe would not move and make noises.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: Why corrosion here?

    D.B. - Look to the left of where you are looking.

    To Others - on the why ? on the soldering of hangar TO this hot water pipe...

    IMHO:

    Planned obsolescence, laziness, or stupidity. To do this on a potable water pipe with such a hangar.

    No reason to do so esp. with a plated otherwise dissimilar hanger against structural wood.

    There are ways to isolate and secure without having done so and without putting added stressors on the plumbing system or the pipe.

    Not a reasonable method for controlling hammer, movement, or noise due to fast closing valves, etc.

    I do not recall it ever having being an approved MSS SP-58 method of installation.

    Just a hand-me-down independent "trick" or technique acquired from another source for purpose other than potable supply, on how to work long and/or complicated stretches/paths of pipe without measuring, planning, a helper, or bothering to rig up a temporary brace in advance of a cut or joint up or downstream.

    Lazy un-planned/measured method, to the detriment of the customer and useful life of the installation.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 07-23-2010 at 08:22 PM.

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