Green Copper

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We have a whirlpool in our basement and the copper is getting covered with a green,semi-powdery coating. I have tried several cleaners and even electrical cleaner, but this stuff is stubbornly staying in place. Anybody know of a way to clean this off without scraping? Thanks.
Mike D.
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Mike Dobony wrote:

You're going to have to polish it off. I'm assuming what you're describing is actually just oxidized copper.
nate
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You didn't specify WHICH copper was turning green, so I'll assume you mean the pipes leading to the whirlpool. Here's an explanation of the green color:
"Copper exposed to water, oxygen, and CO2 in the air form a complex mixture of oxides and carbonates, referred to as "patina". The presence of acids accelerates the process."Basically, it's copper's version of rust. No need to obsess about it. But, copper wasn't the best choice for the pipes which are close to the whirlpool. PVC (plastic) would've been better.
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Nowhere near the whirlpool. They are in the next room.

No need to be obsessed about it, but makes it difficult to sell the house for a good price. Grey poly is running to the whirlpool. These are in the next room and are the main lines running up to a manifold to run individual poly lines to each sink/faucet/etc.
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I mentioned "adjacent" because any of the factors can accelerate the oxidation. If the area around the pipes is damp at all, you're going to get the green stuff. Has anyone looked at the house and actually commented on it? Customer? Realtor? If yes, get to a hardware store and pick up one of the paste-type products made for cleaning the green away. But, if you don't find the cause, it's going to return.
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Realtor and potential buyers have all commented on it. It is hard NOT to comment on such an obvious and unusual attribute (unusual for plumbing and in such large quantity, i.e. solid on all the cold supply and minor coloring on the hot). I have a potential buyer we are negoting with right now, but he wants to take out the whirlpool and wants it replaced with copper. The whirlpool is a strong selling point of the house and best option for them is for me to replace it with CPVC.
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was a current running through it. I mean, if its just surface crap, take a brass brush and rub it off, then scuff with a brillo pad. If it formed fairly quickly, then I would expect a current or other similar problem.
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So, replace it with PVC. Do you stand to make a decent profit on this house? Would a couple of hours of a plumber's time put a major dent in the profit?
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That is what I would like to do, but the buyer we are negotiating with right now wants copper and says he wants to remove the whirlpool. The problem is that the deal is on a 72 hour clause. If we come to acceptable terms then the house still remains on the market. If we get another buyer who is ready to make a firm offer with a set closing date the first buyer has 72 hours to commit to the purchase, otherwise it goes to the second buyer with an acceptable offer. The first buyer is the only one interested in the house without the whirlpool. Everyone else has commented positively on the indoor whirlpool. e did this on another house and the people with the 72 hour clause gave up the house. Also, there would be NO plumber's time. It is all my time.
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In that case, I'd agree to replace the copper with new pipe, since that's cheap and you can do it yourself. Tell him "no" to removing the whirlpool. He's being silly. Even if you replace the pipes, the new ones will be green again at some point in the future and he'll realize he asked for the wrong thing. He should've asked his inspector to figure out WHY they're turning green.
Of course, only you and your realtor know what the local house market is like. Is waiting for a second offer realistic, or aren't you getting many lookers?
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I"M not removing it. He claims he will after taking posession. Personally I think he is just trying to make an excuse for lowering the price. So does my realtor. He also wanted me to pay to replace perfectly good carpeting! We hav so far negotiated that out of the deal.

Has not had an inspector look at it yet as we have not reached an agreement yet.
I totally agree about the copper doing it again. The cause IS the clorine in the whirlpool per our plumber. High PH water might also be contributing to the problem.

He's the first one to look. We have a second coming over today. Next week it is on the realtor tour. We have been very busy getting it emptied out and into our new home 9 hours away.
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Carpet?!? Are these young people? That's nuts! Murphy's Law: If you have clean carpet, it is guaranteed to rain or snow on the day you move in. The movers are not going to switch from shoes to nice clean slippers every time they come in the door. :-)
When I was house shopping, my realtor and I looked at a house owned by a young guy who was a deer hunter. He had antlers hanging all over the walls. He happened to mention that the house had been on the market for 3 months, without a single expression of interest from buyers. Weird, because it was a great house. My realtor suggested that he get the antlers off the walls because they probably turned a lot of people off. He did it. It was sold in a week.
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I believe the idea was that we give them a floor covering allowance to pay them to replace the whole house with new carpet and linoleum and this would be AFTER moving in. The absolute worst case scenario is that we replace the padding in the entrance way and have the first room professionally shamnpooed. The carpet is in excellent condition! They just don't like the style.

essarily turned them off as such, but definately distracted potential buyers. I tried to explain that to my wife. She doesn't listen. Now most of it is in our other house. One truck load and it is finished with our stuff. My son takes posession on their house mid-January, then an empty house!
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What's the real estate market like in your city right now? If it's a buyer's market, you may have to cave on that. If it's a seller's market, you can tell them to pound sand.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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wrote:

Almost a nitch market. Largest house on the block, only one with a whirlpool (HOT selling point except with this buyer). Overall market rather neutral, depends on the house and neighborhood market. This house is near the bottom of the upper-scale homes in the nearby area with a few extras, like curb-side mail box (one of only 2 streets in the town with curb-side mail service) and double the price houses only 2 blocks away. Also, every market is both a seller's market and a buyer's market. Much depends on the determination of the seller and individual buyer. We are not exactly pressed at this time to sell. I don't start school now until May.

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Mike Dobony wrote:

don't want to sell to that buyer.
I would worry more about the gray (you British?) poly running to the whirlpool making the house difficult to sell. But if you think gray is superior, paint the damn things gray!
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That leaves an extremely small market.

?????????????????????????????????????????????? Why would thermoplastic plumbing make it hard to sell? It is the preferred material for such an application! You obviously know nothign about plumbing!
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Mike Dobony wrote:

Is it the stuff that surface copper turns into to give it that classic patina found, for example, on the Statue of Liberty or is it algae?
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Not algae, but patina. These are the main water lines in which the individual water lines are run from. The individual lines are grey poly, much like the newer PEX.
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Mike Dobony wrote:

Okay, then. You have three practical alternatives:
1. Leave it alone. 2. Polish the pipes, then coat with lacquer to preserve the copper look. 3. Paint the pipes.
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