plastic or copper plumbing?

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Remains of the ick accumulation process. Better than at the base of the commode, IMO.

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (HA HA Budys Here) wrote:

That ick comes from electroylisis, which in the plumbing world, happens when two different types of pipes come into contact with each other, and the results tend to show up at the joints, as you noticed. Most often happens when someone uses tin/galvanized hangers to tie the pipes to wood structure, or lays conduit right over the copper pipe without sticking a piece of wood shim or cardboard or hunk of foam or whatever to prevent direct contact between the two un-like pipes, or when someone replaces a section of copper pipe with galvanized without using a dilectric union, which is made of plastic, rubber and brass (brass doesn't react with other metals, which is why brass is used for pipe fittings).
AJS
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It can be caused by soldering flux too, which if it is happening at a fitting, it's much more likely it's flux. Brass does too corrode, just more slowly.
Gary Quality Water Associates www.qualitywaterassociates.com Gary Slusser's Bulletin Board www.qualitywaterassociates.com/phpBB2/
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Galvanic corrosion is always a possibility, but only where dissimilar metals touch.
On a straight copper fitting, it won't be galvanic.
Many corrosion products of copper are green (eg: chloride salts). IIRC, copper sulphides/sulphates are blue.
Most of the corrosion products of lead are white - that's why white paint used to be based on lead ....
Green suggests that it's most likely copper corroding in contact with something containing chlorine. Ie: salt (road or table) or plumbing flux.
On plumbing, it's probably flux. On automotive wiring, here it's usually road salt.
White can have a number of different causes, but they're mostly to do with water on the surface interacting with the solder. Whether it be pinhole leaks or condensation or whatever.
In particular, condensation on lead-based plumbing solder is probably the cause of most white powder deposits. But evaporation from a pinhole leak leaving water hardness "behind" as it evaporates is also a possibility (in many cases the crud buildup plugs the pinhole leak).
You can see that with objects made out of lead - subjected to long-term repeated dunkings or condensation, lead picks up a very soft whitish "fuzz".
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Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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This is Turtle.
It's what AJ said if it is all greenish but if you have white in it. It is a pin hole leak.
TURTLE
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I do lots. I've also worked with copper pipe in a machine shop, and done other many non-plumbing things with copper.
I also have a home constructed by and for a plumber who thought that copper pipe was the answer to everything. TV mast, closet rods, driveway stakes, the works.
Got me a healthy respect for what copper is good for, and what it's not.
Makes lousy TV mast, driveway stakes or weaponry. There's a lot of crushed, torn, mushroomed and kinked copper pipe left behind by the original owner to prove it.
And one or two from my efforts.
How much dog bashing with copper pipe do you do anyway?
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This is Turtle.
You still think PVC pipe is better than copper. Well We will have a little fight with pieces of pipe and you get a 3 foot joint of 1" PVC pipe and I get a 3 foot joint of 1" Hard K or M type copper pipe. You better go look at the 1" Hard K copper pipe before you answer.
Now you being a plumber class craftman by being able to plumb your own house is just a little short of being in the business of plumbing or a Master Plumber.
TURTLE
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Ahem, Turtle, please pay attention to what you're replying to.
You also have a real problem with putting words in people's mouths.
I didn't say _anything_ like that. Nor was I referring to PVC _specifically_. I would _never_ use PVC in household plumbing.
I said plastic pipe is better for whacking dogs than copper is. Try that experiment with ordinary household 1/2" PEX versus ordinary 1/2" copper.
The copper will kink, but the PEX will keep on whacking.
Try that experiment again even with soft PE flexible tube versus ordinary 1/2" copper.
The copper will kink. But the PE will just keep on whacking.
I also said that dog whackability is an _extremely_ poor way to judge the suitability of a building material.
if it was a good way to judge, then _clearly_ you're plumbing your house with aluminum baseball bats, right?
You don't choose building materials by how well it damages dogs f'r cryin out loud!
At the same time you're accusing me of thinking PVC pipe is better than copper, Gary is berating me for the exact opposite.
[Gary is closer to being right, because up until now, I've used copper _exclusively_ inside the house.]
Get your acts together people!

Sure, any time: 1" sched 120 PB (to match specifications with K copper pipe).
I'd hope your medical insurance is paid up.
Neither of which are "common" materials in a residence nor applicable to the OP's original question.
Sheesh.
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I have 3/4 and 1/2 in copper running all over my attic of my 20 year old home.. About 14 years ago, it got down to sub 10 degree weather for a few days and busted about 6 different spots on that copper tubing. Maybe if the copper had been thicker, it wouldn't have happened. Maybe if it had been bust resistant plastic .....
I still don't know which I would choose.
PJ
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PJx wrote:

Frozen pipes will burst no matter the material. The force of expanding frozen water is incredible. Last winter one of our building had a bad freeze and iron pipe split, as did the copper. I don't think plastic would be any better.
I'm just not sure about the very long term results with plastics. I'm talking 30 or 50 years that copper will hold up under.
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Coppres betta , easier to het turtles dog weth or the hack that gives ya shet, or the thief ya see whn ya tryin ta pee out at night, Yea OUT door peein shoulda be leegeel, like aut dour driinkin. an screwin, an cussin, in doers its too messie. in doers is fwer sleepin
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would
PEX is not harmed by freezing.
Gary Quality Water Associates www.qualitywaterassociates.com Gary Slusser's Bulletin Board www.qualitywaterassociates.com/phpBB2/
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Their metal fittings may be.
Plastic plumbing (ie: all plastic irrigation systems) is a lot more forgiving of freezing than copper or iron because it stretches somewhat.
But, expecting it to stand up to a lot of freeze-thaw cycles is just asking for trouble. Which is why you drain irrigation systems for example.
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In any type of plumbing, if the tubing expands as the water freezes, the pressure is relieved, thereby the fittings don't break.
PE expands much more than other plastics, such as PVC, but PEX is able to expand (its ID) more than any other type of water plumbing material without failure. It has been tested to many thousands of expansions without failure. Some is expanded to make its connections as opposed to crimped connections. Heating it allows it to restore to its original shape, such as when a piece has been kinked. This is from tech sheets and installation guides. Where do you get your info from?
And as I said, the choice of the material for potable water lines should be dictated but the water quality and since plastics are totally inert.... what to use should be a no brainer... well for those that are aware of water quality and metal tubing problem issues anyway.
Gary Quality Water Associates www.qualitywaterassociates.com Gary Slusser's Bulletin Board www.qualitywaterassociates.com/phpBB2/
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My own plumbing...
I just had a short copper segment (about 3") on a PE line rupture (missed draining part of a irrigation line segment feeding a hose bib).
As long as the water stays liquid during expansion, then, of course plastic pipe expansion will prevent rigid metal connectors from rupturing.
But it doesn't stay liquid during expansion.
The expansion of water during freezing takes place from the minima volume (@4 degrees C) down and _during_ crystalization.
Much of the expansion therefore takes place while the water can't flow, because it's at least partially "locked in place". Whether it'll rupture the fitting depends on a lot of factors (ie: fitting length, freeze rate, line diameter, where in the pipe it starts freezing, etc). It won't necessarily rupture on the first cycle either (but it was the first season for the fitting I just mentioned :-(.
Freezing lines, any lines, no matter what they're made of should be avoided.
Plastic pipe installations will certainly perform _better_ than rigid metal pipe in the face of freezing. But repeated freeze cycling is to be avoided especially when there's highly rigid parts in the system (metal connectors and fittings, "device" housings - ie: pumps, whether metal or plastic).

Do you have a reference somewhere to the comment about "copper toxicity" in plumbing?
I should also point out that plastics aren't entirely inert, as the PB plumbing class lawsuit proved...
Don't get me wrong, I use plastic pipe whenever appropriate myself. But pros-cons aren't entirely one-sided.
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Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
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Polybutylene pipes don't burst when frozen.
RB
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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The choice of which material should be dictated by the quality of the water to be run through it now and anytime in the future. Plastic is not harmed by anything in water and doesn't add anything to the water run through it as copper can and does.
Copper (poisoning) is very harmful to humans. Pinhole leaks are very common in copper tubing. The water damage can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Replumbing a house is very expensive also and the usual replacement material is PEX, or other plastic. If the water is acidic, has high DO CO2 TDS content or anything that will cause erosion corrosion, or bacteria, or electrical grounds problems etc., copper is not the right choice. http://tinyurl.com/39o8w
Plastic should be less than copper, and PEX is the lowest priced (system) of any. The labor is very little for PEX, especially with 'homeruns' from a manifold to each fixture.
Gary Quality Water Associates www.qualitywaterassociates.com Gary Slusser's Bulletin Board www.qualitywaterassociates.com/phpBB2/
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What Gary says is true, however, I'll point out that such problems are rare overall, corrosion mostly being a concern in some specific areas.
I've never heard even hinted that copper pipe can be a toxicity hazard to humans - copper is an essential mineral (in low concentrations of course) certainly nothing even remotely close to the issue with lead solder.
Further, copper is _much_ more toxic to lower life forms than mammals. Bare copper is rather more unlikely to harbor most bacteria than plastic is.
[There's a reason that PT lumber has copper in it...]
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common
replacement
CO2
or
course)
is.
"problems are rare overall"! Pinholes in copper tubing used for potable water line is a huge world wide problem. I've been reading about it and looking at maps of problem areas for years. I've also been treating water that causes the problem for 16 years now. And water isn't the only cause. Look at any acid rain problem area maps and you'll see some of the areas effected.
As far as copper toxicity to humans, every state of the US and province of Canada, along with European country has established the acceptable level of copper in potable water. In the US the EPA and state limits are measured in parts per Billion. They do that with lead and many other contaminates found in potable water that are proven and serious health problems in humans; especially the infirm and young children. Chris, are you pulling these opinions outta yer ear, where do you get your potable water quality issues information from?
Gary Quality Water Associates www.qualitywaterassociates.com Gary Slusser's Bulletin Board www.qualitywaterassociates.com/phpBB2/
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IF it's the same money, go with copper. The only reaon why new houses use plastic is because it's cheaper to buy and install and the skill level used to install it is lower (i.e.- even a Mexican can do it).
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