Copper House Water Pipes Bluish-Green "Stuff" On ? (and pinhole leaks)


  #1  
Old 02-25-11, 11:34 AM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: MA
Posts: 304
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Copper House Water Pipes Bluish-Green "Stuff" On ? (and pinhole leaks)

Hello,

Have had a pinhole leak this year, and also a few years back, so started looking at my Copper house water plumbing a bit.

Noticed several areas with that bluish-green coating on it.

a. Is this indicative of a pinhole leak developing ?

b. what actually is this bluish-green "stuff" ?

c. Is it a reaction of the Copper with the outside air, and thus developing on the pipe's outside, or it coming from the inside ?

d. Interesting in that I see it in the middle of a run, here and there, so it's unlikely that it is caused by any soldering flux residual.

I do also see it at joints, and am wondering if it is caused, here, by a soldering flux residual ?

Any thoughts on the bluish-green stuff, and pinhole leaks would be most appreciated.

BTW: how common are pinhole leaks in older (around 35 yr old) homes ?

Thanks,
Bob
 
  #2  
Old 02-25-11, 02:41 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,500
Received 78 Upvotes on 70 Posts
Are you on a well?

The green is from the flux not being wiped. It does not affect the pipe and will do no harm. Your leaks are either a bad solder joint and or you water is acidic.

Plus if the used M copper its thinner. We only use L copper but plumbers use M because it cheaper. They do the homeowner an injustice.

What you should look into is a complete pex repipe. We do a one bath home with basement for about $2800.

Mike NJ
 
  #3  
Old 02-25-11, 04:55 PM
S
Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: N. Calif.
Posts: 48
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Mike is correct the green around the joints is unwiped flux and of no consequence. The blueish white fuzz that appears in the middle of a run that precedes a pinhole leak is anothe story. I just replaced a section of copper in a 40 year old apt. bldg. with the same affliction. There seems to be no rhyme or reason for who gets it and who doesnt. I have a personal theory though. I have sanded and prepped and attempted to solder pinholes. The solder did not even stick to the pipe around the hole. Stuck to the area around the hole. On closer examination the area around the hole is rough and pock marked. Makes me wonder if some impurities in the alloy oxidizes and breaks down, resulting in a leak.
 
  #4  
Old 02-25-11, 05:07 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 38,947
Upvotes: 0
Received 9 Upvotes on 8 Posts
Mike's first question was the key, however. I find in our area it is the sand content of the well water that is slowly eating up the ID of the pipe. Eventually it will form pinhole leaks. If you take the pipe at the pinhole you can crush it inward because the wall has thinned out so much. I agree with a pex repiping.
 
  #5  
Old 02-25-11, 05:32 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 17,500
Received 78 Upvotes on 70 Posts
Chandler is correct with the sand issue if you are on a well. I always tell the homeowners to invest in a sediment filter. 5 micron.

Mike NJ
 
  #6  
Old 02-26-11, 05:22 AM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: MA
Posts: 304
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
From OP: Follow-Ups, please

Hello,

Thank you all for replies and good information.
Appreciate it.

Just a follow-up, please:

a. Do these pin-hole leaks develop on the surface first, and then inward (usually), or, due to impurities in the water, usually from the inside first and then getting to the outside ?

b. Hard to quantify, of course, but how "common" are these type of problems ?
Town water; Not from a well.

Thanks,
Bob
 
  #7  
Old 02-26-11, 06:21 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 38,947
Upvotes: 0
Received 9 Upvotes on 8 Posts
The pinholes will emanate from the inside, due to the casing wall diminishing in size. Regardless of whether you are on city water or well, Mike's suggestion of a 5 micron filter is a good one. When I install whole house filters, I talk the client (if they have problem water) to put two in tandem. One at 5 microns, and the other a carbon at 2 microns. That way they get the sediment out of the way before they clear up the taste and clog a good $10 filter with sediment.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: