Copper Water Pipes with Lots of Green on them.

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Old 06-13-13, 07:24 AM
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Copper Water Pipes with Lots of Green on them.

I am looking to purchase a house and this was a main concern of mine when looking at all of the fine details. Ive read quite a bit and thoughts have been mixed. Some people say worry, others say dont worry. I wanted to start this thread to get some opinions on the pictures that I am attaching. I really need to know what I am getting myself into with these pipes, prior to getting all negotiations finished.

This green is all over the piping, it is not just on the joints. These pictures are of the basement but I also noticed that the pipes in the upstairs bathroom access panel are pretty similar. What could be causing this?

Thank You in advance!
 
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Old 06-13-13, 07:37 AM
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Condinsation.
Those are so pitted and ran wrong I'd be concered to.
Are those pipes that cross each other touching?
Did someone notch that engineered floor joist to make room for the pipe?
If so that's two big no no's.
 
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Old 06-13-13, 07:43 AM
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That pipe on the bottom is simply being used as a hanger. It is sitting between the two joists to support the parallel pipes. It is not connected into anything. Crappy regardless.
 
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Old 06-13-13, 07:46 AM
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Come up with a cost to repipe in pex and take that off the cost of the home....
 
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Old 06-13-13, 11:32 AM
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So I guess this is most definitely an issue?
 
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Old 06-13-13, 11:39 AM
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Get a Scotchbrite pad and rub off some of the worst verdigris (the green) and then inspect the pipe. If the verdigris comes off easily and there are no pits in the pipe then it is a cosmetic problem. If there ARE pits in the pipe then it is a serious problem requiring a system re-pipe.
 
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Old 06-13-13, 11:51 AM
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I would be more concerned about how they got like that.
Repairing is easy, but if what caused the issue still exists....
 
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Old 06-13-13, 12:12 PM
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How they got that way is easy, they condensed moisture out of the air because they were colder than the surrounding air. The "fix" depends upon where they are located. If in a ventilated crawlspace with no vapor barrier on the dirt floor then adding the vapor barrier is the first step. If it is a more-or-less sealed basement with a dirt floor then cover the floor and install a dehumidifier. Proper insulation, including sealing to prevent moisture-laden air from contacting the pipes is the ultimate answer.

All the above is moot if the pipes are severely pitted.
 
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Old 06-13-13, 12:30 PM
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Thank you all for the input. I appreciate it.
 
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Old 06-13-13, 12:42 PM
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The bottom picture doesn't bother me much in terms of the viability of the pipe. I agree with Furd that the humidity in the basement/crawl space may be an issue.

The one that concerns me is the top picture, the left pipe looks like it has some significant pitting. I had a pipe like that was corroding from the inside presumably due to water chemistry. It looked like that with circles of solid green until it finally sprung a leak.
 
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Old 06-13-13, 07:50 PM
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I used to get water dripping off some of the copper pipes in my basement, due to a bad humidity problem. I got some real pretty greenies also. Seems like it was just cosmetic (had to replace the copper for other reasons).
 
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Old 06-14-13, 05:18 AM
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I used to get water dripping off some of the copper pipes in my basement, due to a bad humidity problem. I got some real pretty greenies also. Seems like it was just cosmetic (had to replace the copper for other reasons).
I had this issue as well last year filling the wife's pool (and watering the grass). The water coming from the ground was ~45'F where the air was ~80'F.
A large dehumidifier and pipe wrap resolved the issue.

If the cause of the green pipes in the OP's pictures is natural humidity related, not too big of a deal. I have also seen pipes go that way by getting wet regularly. That would be more of a concern.
 
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Old 06-14-13, 10:28 AM
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A large dehumidifier and pipe wrap resolved the issue.

Yes, that's a good idea, I'm trying to go down that road.
 
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Old 06-14-13, 11:20 AM
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zoesdad,
One suggestion, avoid using fiberglass wrap.

My main well piping was wrapped with fiberglass from where it enters the house to the pressure tank. I'm assuming the black that has developed along the edge of the wrapping is mold.
It also somehow sticks to the copper pipes. Not sure how, but it's a pain to deal with when you want to cut and solder the pipe down the road. (see picture below)
 
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Old 06-14-13, 05:14 PM
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Thanks Mike, good information. I'll remember that.
 
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