You don't need to protect the "steel AND copper." The copper is
protected fine by the steel! Nor does the oxidized film have anything
to do with it.
If steel, ductile iron, etc., is connected to copper, you have a
battery. If they are connected again through soil or any other
electrolyte, you have a circuit. Electrons will flow through the
direct connection, ions will flow through the electrolyte connection.
The ferrous metal will corrode while the copper will be protected.
If you look closely at outdoor connections you should see use of
dielectric (insulating) components between valves, meters, etc. to
break this connection. Copper grounding systems inadvertently
connected to natural gas pipes can be a major problem.
Well, technically speaking the previous poster is correct -- Sulfur IS
added, just not atomic or molecular sulfur.
AND, chemically speaking, even tho ethanethiol (ethanol with S replacing Ox)
is not pure Sulfur, the sulfur is "exposed" and still chemically potent and
reactive, ergo the hypothesized reactions.
Sulfur is similarly attached in at least two amino acids, known for their
metabolic reactivity -- cysteine and methionine.
Having said this, I just looked at the inside of that soft copper tube
connected to the oven (50-60 years old), and altho it appears clear as a
bell, there is a thin crystalline-like flakey layer inside the tube. Could
this layer eventually clog the tube? At this rate, mebbe in another 500
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