Should I replace these pipes?


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Old 02-02-22, 05:32 PM
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Should I replace these pipes?

These pipes feed a utility sink I have in a small 8x10 room behind my 220 gallon saltwater aquarium. Originally I was careless about the water evaporation. Now it's all better. But this is what the pipes look like. Are these gonna corrode and need to be replaced? Or can I clean them somehow?


 

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02-20-22, 08:58 AM
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So I'm wondering if I should use a sharkbite
A source of many discussions, many opinions.

First, SharkBite's are a mechanical fitting, anything mechanical has the potential to fail. Everybody has different level of confidence.

Personally I would never use them, sweating copper is so simple why pay 10X the cost of a simple fitting, plus I would never pur anything like that behind a wall.

​​​​​​​My opinion only!
 
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Old 02-02-22, 07:27 PM
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That is corrosion. It's hard to tell from the picture how bad it is.
If it's just surface corrosion you can wire brush it or lightly sand it to see better.
 
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Old 02-03-22, 02:57 AM
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So lets get technical!

Corrosion is caused by wet conditions, whereas oxidation occurs when air reacts with the material.

Copper oxidizes
which forms the green coating you are seeing which in turn protects the metal. Metal can both oxidize and corrode but moisture is everywhere so we can say it's mostly corrosion.

The pipes are fine as long as you like the patina look, think statue of Liberty!
 
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Old 02-03-22, 03:25 PM
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Well...... that was very helpful.
 
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Old 02-10-22, 02:50 PM
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Ok so took a wire brush finally to these pipes and this is what is left. Need to be replaced?



 
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Old 02-10-22, 03:27 PM
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Replaced for what?
 
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Old 02-10-22, 04:35 PM
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I think I would. Maybe use pex.
 
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Old 02-11-22, 11:08 AM
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Thanks Norm. @Marq1 - trying to understand if these pipes are ruined and at risk of failing.
 
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Old 02-11-22, 03:20 PM
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trying to understand if these pipes are ruined and at risk of failing.
Absolutely not, copper pipes naturally oxidize giving them that green patina. Nothing to worry about!

Those green pipes are something people make art pieces with and you sanded them back down to the copper, they would be bummed!
 
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Old 02-12-22, 07:54 AM
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It's hard to tell from the pictures but they look pitted to me and depending on if it's the type "L" or "M" . IIRC one of them is considered thin wall and have a tendency to leak.
 
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Old 02-12-22, 08:18 AM
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Since you said it was a "saltwater" aquarium, that explains the exterior corrosion. Copper is very susceptible to saltwater corrosion, so its very possible that the pipes have been worn thin by the corrosion in a few spots. This isn't just your typical green copper patina on the outside of the pipe or it would be perfectly smooth and shiny when you rub it with emery cloth. If it is pitted, the copper is thinner anywhere it is pitted.

I know you said you used a wire brush. But if you haven't cleaned it with emery cloth or fine sandpaper, try that and see what it looks like.

So yeah, if it's pitted, it might be wise to replace it or someday it could spring a leak that might go unnoticed until you have a mess on your hands.
 
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Old 02-14-22, 02:40 PM
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Ok thanks! Yep it does seem pitted throughout without using an emery cloth or sandpaper. Ill try sandpaper tonight. But sounds like to be safe it should cut out the section that was exposed and replace. Is copper the way to go or some sort of cpvc or pex in this Situation?
 
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Old 02-14-22, 02:54 PM
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I typically keep using copper if the rest is copper. You could switch to pex but horizontal pieces like that would need to be supported by being anchored to the wall, or to a board that has been fastened to the wall.

If you don't know how to sweat copper you could use sharkbite push to connect fittings. You can also use them to go from copper to pex.

example

 
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Old 02-14-22, 03:16 PM
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I also prefer copper. But in your case, you can eliminate any and all possible corrosion with pex.
 
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Old 02-15-22, 08:18 AM
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B-

These pipes feed a utility sink I have in a small 8x10 room behind my 220 gallon saltwater aquarium. Originally I was careless about the water evaporation
.
The evaporation won’t be corrosive. The salt is left behind.
 
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Old 02-20-22, 08:00 AM
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Ok. I've decided to cut out the pipe and replace it just to be safe. The new run will be behind a wall and protected from any saltwater. So I'm wondering if I should use a sharkbite (never tried before) instead of sweating on a new copper run. I've sweated copper pipes a few times before but where I'm cutting it out is also behind a wall. So will need to cut out drywall.
 
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Old 02-20-22, 08:16 AM
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B -

Maybe I misunderstand but why would you put pipes in the wall if you dont have to? I think that is a bad idea. Why not keep them where they are now?
 
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Old 02-20-22, 08:58 AM
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So I'm wondering if I should use a sharkbite
A source of many discussions, many opinions.

First, SharkBite's are a mechanical fitting, anything mechanical has the potential to fail. Everybody has different level of confidence.

Personally I would never use them, sweating copper is so simple why pay 10X the cost of a simple fitting, plus I would never pur anything like that behind a wall.

​​​​​​​My opinion only!
 
CasualJoe, Norm201 voted this post useful.
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Old 02-20-22, 10:38 AM
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I agree with Marq. Although they are acceptable for behind wallboard, I think it's risk that need not be taken. And I also agree that what's the point of putting them behind a wall unless you just want it to look neater.

Edit...And keep in mind that soldering copper is not all that hard. And don't let a messy job deter you. It's OK to have extra solder spill over onto the pipe. The big caution is do not get a "cold" solder. That's usually from trying to cooler the joint with a fan or a wet rag. Let cool naturally.
 
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Old 02-20-22, 11:29 AM
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Also you can use heat shields like these for tough spots:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Oatey-9-...345508#overlay

I use those, and cookie sheets, and pie pans, and whatever else I can find when soldering in tough spots.
 
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Old 02-20-22, 11:31 AM
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Zoesdad, good point. I usually use old ceramic tile I have hanging around as heat shield.
 
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Old 02-22-22, 03:10 PM
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That is a great idea. I have ceramic tile lying around and never thought about using it. I'll remember that in the future.
 
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Old 03-01-22, 06:41 PM
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Oops. I had no idea there was all of these posts last week! Good feedback. First keeping it behind the wall was simply for neatness. But I can tell that's not worth it here. Also I have sweated pipes before with no issues. Ok then I'll ditch the expensive sharkbites, solder on all copper. And keep it in front of the wall! I'll also have to use those techniques listed to keep it from burning the wall. Have plenty of tile around too :-) thanks all!
 
 

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