Blue (rusting?) Copper Pipe Attached To A Washer

We have hot and cold copper pipes that feed our washer and then further down a washing sink in our basement. There are two valves on each pipe, and above the valve on the cold water pipe, the pipe is turning very blue for about 30 inches (The place above the pipe is closer to the source of the water than is the pipe below the valve.) Above the hot water pipe, it is somewhat discolored (again "above" is closer to the source of the water), but not nearly as bad. Also, past those two valves (further away from the water source), there are two valves that directly control the water entering the washer. The valves are maybe eight inches from the higher valves, and the pipes from the initial valves to the washer valves are not discolored.
We bought our house 3.5 years ago, and the owner had a note on the basement wall stating that after the washer was used, the washer valves should be turned off. The valves are a little old, so we have always kept them open all the time (fearing that they would leak if we closed them). Could someone tell me what is going on with the blue pipe, and how we can prevent further damage?
Thanks,
JD
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Well, it isn't actually 'rust' in the sense that rust forms on iron, but it is corrosion. Copper turns bluish when it begins to corrode. (look at any old church roof that is copper - it will generally be blue-green in color). It will occur because there moisture present in some form - usually a leak of some sort. Do you have water present in some that would be causing this? Or perhaps an un-vented dryer that is putting a lot of mosture in the air? Why this would be occuring in just the areas you've described is hard to tell, perhaps a picture would give some clues.

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mwlogs wrote:

RUST- any film or coating on metal caused by oxidation.
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On 11/28/2004 3:14 PM US(ET), mwlogs took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

We call it a "patina". :-)
http://norman.walsh.name/2000/05/images/liberty.jpg

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Copper turns a bluish-green when it oxidizes. If you detect any kind of leak (values on or off) that needs to be investigated and repaired. We have a one lever ON/OFF valve in the laundry area which is very easy and convenient to operate, takes the pressure of the washer hoses, and could prevent a flood disaster.
On 28 Nov 2004 17:08:18 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Decij) wrote:

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