Blue Toilet - Copper Water Pipe Ground?

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Old 06-18-17, 11:40 AM
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Blue Toilet - Copper Water Pipe Ground?

I live in an older home and recently noticed the bottom of the toilet getting a blue streak from the bottom jet. I have read that this is most likely being caused by an improper ground on our copper water pipe. So if I were wanting to remedy this, what should I be looking for that would be "improper"? Also, should I be concerned at all about this effecting our drinking water? Thanks.




 
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Old 06-18-17, 12:00 PM
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If the bottom picture is your water service it appear to be properly grounded. The wire should go back to the electrical service. (Panel or fuse box)

Does the blue streak wash off? I have never heard of such a thing relating to a water service ground.
 
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Old 06-18-17, 12:33 PM
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It looks like the ground exits the house going directly to the exterior panel. It's very difficult to get the stain off. I've seen the grounding issue mentioned in a few threads on this site and a couple other places online. I'm going to test the ph of our water to see where it's at.

Mentioned here as well...
"Electrochemical causes, such as improper grounding of electrical appliances to the copper piping."
How To Treat Copper Pipe Corrosion - Residential Well Water Treatment, Iron Filters, Acid Neutralizers, Chlorinators
 
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Old 06-18-17, 12:52 PM
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Not the pro on this but sounds like the ground wire to panel is loose or disconnected, Water pipes should never be used for ground. Have you had any plumbing done where maybe some plastic piping was used? That may have disrupted the ground path.
 
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Old 06-18-17, 12:56 PM
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I just checked the ph and it's actually around 9, so I believe the grounding theory is still the most likely cause? Think I should I try taking it apart at the connection and cleaning the surfaces with sandpaper?

We lived in this house for 2.5 yrs but this didn't start occurring until a few months ago. We have had quite a few thunderstorms in the last couple months, so this is also interesting...
"Lightening strikes to utility poles where the electricity travels to ground wires connecting to piping systems"
 
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Old 06-18-17, 01:04 PM
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The front and rear hose spigots were replaced with plastic piping. Do you think that would disrupt it?
...and if so, how would you remedy that?



 
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Old 06-21-17, 12:49 PM
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There's a lot of confusing and 'wives tales' surrounding plumbing grounding/bonding. Don't believe everything you read.

That said, everything looks reasonable. Adding some plastic pipe at the 'end' isn't going to change anything.

I'm also not sure why it would be blue. Copper will usually show up as green, I'm not sure what would turn blue. You don't have one of those "1000 flushes" kind of cleaners in the tank, right?
 
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Old 06-21-17, 01:55 PM
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First question, are we talking municipal water system, shared or private well?

If the pH of your water is actually 9, that is absolutely your problem. It is very alkaline for naturally occurring water, and that almost certainly means it has a lot of dissolved salts and minerals which will come out of solution as various kinds of stains. I'd suggest a full water testing from a reputable water treatment company. If you're on an EPA-regulated water source such as a city water system, they will be able to provide you with recent test results from their wells. If you have a private or shared small community well you will need to hire a company or use one of the mail-in testing services.

At the very least you need to know that the water is biologically safe including no bacterial problems and no chemical or agricultural runoff contamination (which is a possible cause of high pH BTW), and no/low harmful dissolved metals like lead.

To attend to the water quality you will need to know hardness (calcium) and the other common ground water minerals (ferric and ferrous iron, manganese), alkalinity, and a handful of others. Then you can look at what type of treatment system is appropriate.
 
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Old 06-22-17, 07:35 AM
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It seems like the corrosion can be either green or blue, and no we don't have any blue cleaners in the tank. https://www.copper.org/applications/..._fixtures.html

It is a municipal water system. I did a home test that showed ph around 8-9, and alkalinity, nitrate, copper, iron within the acceptable limits. The copper was at the high end around 1.0 ppm.

Maybe I'll try and see if I can get a more accurate test from the city.
 
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