We hired a plumber to pipe the entire house with new copper pipes a
couple of months back. In the last weekend, I found that there are
quite large areas of green rusts around the copper fitting/connector
sections. The floors and walls are still open, so we can still access
I did not observe the installation so do not know exactly how they
did it. I'd like to avoid repiping the entire house, and want to
see if there is a way to clean up the rust and apply proper sealant
to those areas. My hope is that this clean up will let the pipe last
as long as those laid properly.
Would appreciate suggestions on ways to do this.
An expensive lesson learned, never hire a plumber ONLY based
Unless there is an actual leak, there really isn't any problem. If
there is a seep, simply cleaning the joints won't solve the problem,
you'll need to get him back to make the necessary repair (which is
It does indicate he didn't clean up the joints as well as he could have,
but there is no reason to think these joints will fail early. If you
want them bright, use some plumbers tape (strips of emery cloth) and
shine 'em up...they'll just tarnish again, anyway.
On 2 Nov 2005 09:07:20 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
What you are probably seeing results from the plumber not thoughly
removing the remnants of the flux used when soldering copper pipes.
Some of the more aggressive fluxes will cause the pipe to show that
green corrosion. If those sections of pipe feel a little slimy or
greasy, than that is almost certainly what has happened. When
soldering the joints, the flux liquifies and flows a ways out on the
It's mostly an appearance issue and doesn't mean the joints will leak
right away or even ever. But if it bothers you, you can remove the
flux with hot water and a good grease cutting detergent. Then buff
the corrosion away with plumbers cloth (emery cloth) or a scotch-brite
Yes, a really careful plumber will take the time to wipe the excess
flux off the joints after soldering. But as we all know...high priced
doesn't necessarily mean good (although the other way 'round is a
Are there any sealant that can be applied to the area of cleaned copper
? I must confess that I have absolutely no clue about plumbing.. Just
want the pipes to stop turning green again in a couple of months. The
thought of having to open the floor and walls to repipe in 5 years is
pretty scary. Hopefully after the cleaning the pipes
will not turn green for much longer.
Thanks for the assuring explanations.
On 2 Nov 2005 11:47:30 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Did you miss a poster's point that they will tarnish again after you
clean them? Once you do clean them and you are happy - spray them
with a can of kilz primer if it bothers you. Flux can be burnt as I
understand it which leads to the corrosions. Attention to
details..from the plumber reduces that ugly corrosion.
It's scary that you might consider opening the floors and walls to
clean the pipes off "in a couple of months" /\\0-0/\\
"My doctor says I have a malformed public-duty gland
and a natural deficiency in moral fiber, and that I am therefore
excused from saving Universes."
You worry too much. The patina or tarnish is strictly cosmetic and once the
walls are closed, you will never see it so why preserve the outside of the
pipes. Overcleaning especially with abrasives will eventually thin the
walls causing problems. Best to leave it alone.
If you really must obsess over having shiny pipes, you can use plain old
fashioned Shellac as it is used to seal all sorts of metal surfaces from
On Wed, 02 Nov 2005 18:40:34 GMT, "Sacramento Dave"
But don't forget, he was hired solely on the basis of price. And time
To the OP. Look at all the metal sculptures in front of all the city
halls and libraries, They're copper or bronze and they all have a
"patina", often a green one.. That doesn't mean they're wearing out.
Check out the Statue of Liberty.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
When copper corrodes normally, it forms a green "skin" that protects it
from further corrosion. The others are correct that you can just clean
off the excess flux and polish the copper with some emery cloth. It's
not really necessary, and shouldn't affect the life of the joint so you
can put away the worries of repiping the entire house in 5 years (of
course, if the plumber was sloppy enough to not wipe down his joints
afterward, what else has he missed?).
Generally speaking, if you leave the flux on, it'll corrode the copper
for a short while until the active ingredient in the flux is "used up".
It'll usually be "used up" _long_ before it actually presents a
leakage risk. The only result being a slightly unsightly joint.
It's essentially a purely cosmetic issue.
If it bothers the OP and the flux is still relatively fresh, hot water
and some sort of degreaser (even liquid dishwashing soap) will remove
the remnants of the flux, any remaining signs of corrosion (discoloured
bits) are not a problem.
If the flux remnants don't come off, it's "used up" (dried out), and
is no longer a problem and corrosion has already stopped.
The only time where you'd do anythimg more is if the copper is
a visual component of the interior decoration. Ie: exposed copper
in upscale bathrooms. Then you worry about polishing and shellac/varnish
to prevent oxidization (if you want it to stay bright).
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It\'s not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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