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  1. #1
    Chip Roberson's Avatar
    Chip Roberson Guest

    Default copper piping corrosion

    I noted this corrosion on some copper piping in a basement and would like to find out what the possible causes or concerns of this condition are.

    Thanks Chip

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: copper piping corrosion

    It could be flux in the solder.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: copper piping corrosion

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Breedlove View Post
    It could be flux in the solder.
    Yep, certainly looks like the flux was not wiped off.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Scott Dana's Avatar
    Scott Dana Guest

    Default Re: copper piping corrosion

    As a newbie inspector I'm still not clear on how best to identify copper pipe corrosion. Do you guys write up any time you see the green oxidation? What are some of the other signs that I should be on the lookout for in addition to what the picture shows. Thanks.


  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: copper piping corrosion

    Scott,

    Green oxidation on copper is the same thing as rust is to iron.

    It is evidence of a leak. I always write it up.


  6. #6
    Scott Dana's Avatar
    Scott Dana Guest

    Default Re: copper piping corrosion

    Is it really evidence that there's a leak or just that there is oxidation that may/can lead to leaking? I would be interested in know how you actually write it up.


  7. #7
    Brian E Kelly's Avatar
    Brian E Kelly Guest

    Default Re: copper piping corrosion

    As I see it all the corrosion (green stuff ) is on the joints and that is the result of a plumber not wiping his joints from the flux. This is not necessarily a leak or a future leak. Try wiping away a small amount next time with a wet rag and the pipe under should be clean.
    There could be other issues as the pictures and my eyes are not the best.


  8. #8
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    Smile Re: copper piping corrosion

    Copper Pipe Information from PlumbingWorld.com

    Generally, the green crud is from not wiping off the acid flux. FYI, a lot of schools teach techs to wipe the pipes down completely with flux to shine them up! No rinse cycle. I guess you could test the crud with litmus paper or wet it and sprinkle a little baking soda on it and look for a reaction but I don't know that is recommended anywhere.

    HTH,
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  9. #9
    Chad Fabry's Avatar
    Chad Fabry Guest

    Default Re: copper piping corrosion

    I guess you could test the crud with litmus paper or wet it and sprinkle a little baking soda on it and look for a reaction but I don't know that is recommended anywhere.
    The acid in the flux is only acidic for a short time. It reacts with everything around it until it reaches the pH level of its surroundings. Testing for pH anytime farther out than few days or week at most won't yield quantifiable results.

    Everything on Earth (or universe) wants to be the same temperature, the same pH, and the same level. It's only a matter of time.


  10. #10
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    Post Re: copper piping corrosion

    The "green stuff" is oxidation. In these photos, it appears to be due to poor workmanship. Copper tubing, properly installed, will have wiped joints. Several of these appear to be "cold sweat" joints, sweated with water in the tubing, so the solder cools quickly, and appears dull grey instead of silver (unless lead solder was used, which is another thing). I have found pinhole leaks that have developed in as little as 10 years from failing to wipe off the excess flux from sweating copper tubing and fittings. This can be a real pain, particularly inside finished walls. It is always written up as corrosion. Dampness in the basement or crawl space will accelerate the corrosion, as the moisture does react with the flux.

    Randall Aldering GHI BAOM MSM
    Housesmithe Inspection
    www.housesmithe.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Cool Re: copper piping corrosion

    Pinhole Leaks in Copper Pipes - Marc Edwards QA
    Another article on the problem.
    HTH
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  12. #12
    Dave Rice's Avatar
    Dave Rice Guest

    Smile Re: copper piping corrosion

    My father-in-law has been a plumber for about 40 years and I asked him to make sure I am right such as the others are. It is more than likely poor flux cleaning when they sweated the pipes together. My father-in-law said if a copper piipe is leaking corrosion will not stop the leak usually and water drips will be present. I think like the others, its poor workmanship on the plumbers part. You will find a lot of that going around. lol.


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