In this case, by quoting more, one truly does provide a more complete
quote. It is difficult to see how it could be otherwise. Your quote,
verbatim though it was, was far from complete. Mine was both verbatim
and more complete.
The point made was that the dog got cancer DESPITE being watered from
copper pipes exclusively. The author (Bry84) had earlier made the point
that a garden hose had a very good chance of leaching toxins into the
The quote in fact mentions "[m]any things in our environment can
increase the risk of cancer." The dog got cancer despite the copper
water supply, despite not being watered from a plastic hose, therefore
from one or several of the "many things."
One need go no farther than the first of that author's quotes in that
gardenweb thread to see if he thinks copper caused his dog's cancer:
"I drink hundereds of gallons of water from these pipes every year,
cook with it and wash in it. I'm not comfortable using anything except
copper as it's totally safe and doesn't affect the water." -Bry84.
The paucity of what I have provided is insufficient for you to make so
bold a statement about what I may or may not have read. However, your
inability to divine Bry84's intent from his posts to the gardenweb
thread certainly calls into question your ability to assimilate what
_you_ have read.
Yes, plastic in the context of that quote is PVC or CPVC. So no, your
translation is incorrect: unknown hazards are far different from
hazards proven not to exist.
My position on PVC is that it is most likely to be inert, and that
trace amounts that leach into the water are easy to rinse away. My
position is also that since it is relatively new, we are still serving
as guinea pigs for long-term product testing. The jury is still out.
Conversely, copper is a nutrient, part of a healthy diet when not taken
to excess. Copper from pipes is in most cases well below the
recommended daily requirement for this nutrient. The symptoms of copper
toxicity are well-known and reversible if the source of the excess is
eliminated. So copper pipes may be "the Devil you know."
Your words: "copper pipe also causes schizophrenia in humans." I don't
believe anybody could construe that as a directive NOT to google
"copper pipe schizophrenia." I was trying to research your claim that
copper pipe causes schizophrenia in humans. I made no comparison
between schizophrenia and cancer; that is your miscomprehending what I
But since you want to drag it out of me, I had also googled "copper
pipe cancer" and found the overwhelming majority of the first pages of
hits to be references to carcinogens in PVC pipes with copper as the
safer alternative, as well as some use of copper compounds in
prevention and treatment of cancer. I didn't think that was the result
you wanted to hear, so I held it back till I could get more specific
links from you.
Show me where I said I have copper pipe.
Also, please go ahead and post those links which say that copper pipes
cause cancer (or schizophrenia for that matter). I've read lots of
stuff, but this thread contains only the gardenweb reference, and it is
far from authoritative for or against. It is your claim that copper
pipe causes cancer (and schizophrenia), so you should have those
references handy to back up the claims; it should not be up to me to
research it to make your case for you. My research reveals the opposite
of your claims. For instance the following seem to be from respectable
sources, but they mention cancer only in association with contaminants
other than copper and do not link copper to cancer despite every
opportunity to do so:
In fact, the last references state "Iron, copper, and zinc are common
heavy metals found in drinking water, but they are not considered
carcinogens" and "Copper is not known to cause cancer." Now, despite
the alleged "respectability" of those sources, I cannot say for sure if
they have been vetted by the process of peer review. Any crackpot can
throw up a website and make it look "respectable." Thus one may have
more confidence in studies published in the peer-reviewed medical
literature available at PubMed:
There I find that in the vast majority of articles that deal with
elevated copper levels and cancer, elevated copper is implicated as a
result of cancer, not the cause. (One should not confuse copper
ingestion with arsenic ingestion or occupational exposure to copper
compounds.) Copper chelation (which induces copper defficiency) has
thus been investigated as a means to slow the progression of cancer. By
the same token, reducing bloodflow to a tumor will also slow the
tumor's growth, but it would be a stretch to claim that blood causes
So please provide those links to credible, preferrably peer-reviewed
sources to back up your claims. I've provided a few to back up my
position. As to the issue of toxins leaching from "plastic" pipe, I
leave you with:
"Much has been written about the potential health effects of residual
vinyl chloride monomer, or RVCM which is found in trace amounts in
plastics containing Polyvinyl Chloride, including CPVC and PVC pipe.
Proponents and detractors alike continue to debate the long-term health
impact due to extended exposure to RVCM.
"VCM is made by heating ethylene dichlroride (EDC) to 700 degrees F in
the presence of oxygen. VCM is used to produce PVC resins which are
used to make pipe and other materials using a process known as
polymerization. During this process, most, but not all of the VCM is
consumed. Trace amounts remain trapped in the PVC resin where it either
outgasses into the atmosphere, or migrates into food or drink stored in
containers or pipes made of PVC. This remaining chemical is residual
vinyl chloride monomer, or RVCM.
"... However, there is little argument that extended exposure to VCMs
which exceed government standards, can lead to neurological and liver
effects as well as cancer, such as angiosarcoma - a normally rare form
of liver cancer."
The critical thing here is although it clearly says that RVCM leaches
into the water, it falls far short of stating that the levels approach
even a small fraction of carcinogenic.
I'll flush my pipes before I drink from them anyway.
P.S. If copper from pipes causes cancer, then megadoses should cause a
clear increase in cancer rate, right? I'll leave it to you to decide if
the following "failure to prove the positive" equates to "proving the
Drug Nutr Interact. 1988;5(4):395-401. Influence of copper and
zinc on urethan-induced adenoma development in mice. Blakley BR.
Department of Veterinary Physiological Sciences, University of
Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.
Female Swiss mice were exposed to zinc chloride (0 to 500 ug/mL) or
copper sulfate (0 to 200 ug/mL) in their drinking water for 15 weeks.
After 3 weeks of the exposure period, the mice were administered
urethan (1.5 mg/g) intraperitoneally. Urethan-induced pulmonary adenoma
formation was evaluated 12 weeks later. Zinc exposure increased the
number of adenomas produced but reduced the mean tumor diameter in the
intermediate treatment groups, 50 and 200 ug/mL. Exposure to copper had
no effect on tumor size or on tumor number. Weight gains in the mice
were not affected by copper or zinc treatment, although a
dose-dependent reduction in water consumption was observed with copper.
Water consumption in mice exposed to zinc was elevated in one treatment
group (50 ug/mL). Urethan-induced sleeping times, which reflect the
rate of urethan excretion, were prolonged by zinc exposure but were
unaffected by copper exposure. This finding suggests that zinc exposure
impairs the elimination of urethan and enhances its carcinogenic
activity, which is manifested by increased tumor formation.
as the author, and
copper cancer here:
it could only be expected someone would try to champion copper pipe, it is
an industry going down the proverbial drain
" If your house has copper pipes don't wait for cancer or schizophrenia to
claim a family member. Change all the copper pipe to PVC plastic
in fact, limiting your search to "all of the words" copper and "author"
email@example.com, you will get even more information on the health risks of
go ahead and try to champion copper pipe, someone else will if you don't,
and by doing so you will save another human from making the same mistake you
No, I did not miss that particular information that you posted
recently. But I also considered the possibility that I had missed other
information not posted by you, or that you had something new to add.
Thus I gave you the chance to post it in _this_ discussion so that it
may be addressed here and now. Since you choose to stand only on the
information you posted earlier, I must assume that's all there is, and
I address it below.
That webpage is to promote sales of a book self-published by "Dr."
Hulda Regehr Clark. From http://www.newcenturypress.com "New Century
Press was established in 1997. Dr. Hulda Clark purchased this company
to publish her books."
Researchers who follow acepted scientific method have little problem
getting their works published in peer-reviewed journals or respected
"traditional" book form -- indeed they are often invited to contribute
chapters to new volumes -- and seldom resort to self-publication. Hulda
Clark however has been discredited in several ways not the least of
which are her arrest for practicing medicine without a license and a
judgment by the FTC for false claims that her "Syncrometer" and
"Zapper" can detect and cure cancer:
Now, let's address the links you posted in earlier threads:
The above have no mention of copper relating to cancer. However in the
above you will find that "Copper is an essential trace element for
humans. It is estimated that adult requirements are about 2-3 mg per
person per day." and " It has been estimated that drinking water
contributes approximately 11% of an adult's total daily intake of
copper, with the rest coming from food."
The above also have no mention of copper relating to cancer. Lead
leached from solder is mentioned as a risk associated with copper
pipes, but it is also noted that lead solder has been banned and steps
can be taken (e.g. flushing) to minimize the risk where pipes were
installed before the ban.
"This regulation is known as the Lead and Copper Rule (also referred to
as the LCR or 1991 Rule). The rule aimed to minimize lead and copper in
drinking water, primarily by reducing water corrosivity."
"Background on the Lead and Copper Rule // The LCR has four main
functions: (1) require water suppliers to optimize their treatment
system to control corrosion in customers' plumbing; (2) determine tap
water levels of lead and copper for customers who have lead service
lines or lead-based solder in their plumbing system; (3) rule out the
source water as a source of significant lead levels; and, (4) if action
levels are exceeded, require the suppliers to educate their customers
about lead and suggest actions they can take to reduce their exposure
to lead through public notices and public education programs."
controlling lead, the more "deadly" of the two. Health effects of lead
exposure are noted. The only thing I could find about health effects of
copper exposure were in the training materials slide show: "Stomach and
intestinal distress / Complications of Wilson's Disease / Chronic
exposure can cause liver disease in genetically predisposed
individuals". There is no mention of copper relating to cancer.
So to summarize, you claim copper pipes cause cancer. I post links from
credible sources that refute your claim. You refer to a layperson
discussion board that cannot be construed by any reasonable person as
an endorsement of your claim; in fact it speaks against it. You refer
to links you posted earlier, none of which mention a link between
copper pipes and cancer, with the one exception of a discredited
Have you any to add?
P.S. I was curious about Hulda Clark's fraudulent claim that her
"Syncrometer" can detect, among other things, cancer, lead poisoning
and AIDS in the human body. I obtained a schematic of that device and
immediately recognized it as a simple LCR oscillator circuit identical
to the type I built with my son and his Radioshack "150-in-1"
electronic kit about 30 years ago. There were variations on that basic
circuit to make different sounds, like a cat's meow, as well as one in
which the human body was inserted in the signal path. The latter could
be used as a crude "lie detector" because galvanic skin resistance
bears some correlation to the sweating associated with lying. While
researching H. Clark's "qualifications" I was reminded how this circuit
was titled "the electro-sonic human," for Clark herself is on record
crediting the Radioshack kit as the basis for the Syncrometer, and in
her self-published "Syncrometer(R) Science Laboratory Manual" she
states that the circuit can be made by a novice with the very kit! The
idea of a kid's electronic project kit being a replacement for
time-tested, clinically-proven laboratory tests and scientific
instrumentation should be laughable to any right thinking person.
Type L is thicker than M, and is therefore more desireable; it costs a
little more. Type K is thicker still, but is only very rarely used, in
government installations, perhaps. You should be able to buy either M (red
stripe) or L (bluegreen stripe); the fittings are the same for both. Go
with L; it doesn't cost much more, but is more durable over time, and,
furthermore, can take more punishment during the installation process.
By all means, check your local plumbing code requirements; pull a permit for
your repipe job, and the inspectors will help you do the job correctly!
When you sell your house, you will be able to show the buyer that the
repiping job was done under permit, using lead-free joining, etc. Sand your
joints inside the fittings and outside the piping, for the ultimate weld;
this is very time consuming. Plumbers in haste probably won't; they know
all the shortcuts.
I haven't checked the Uniform Plumbing Code (at local library) for quite a
number of years, but when I did, it was permissible to use M above ground,
while L was required below and at grade. Your plumbing inspector will
verify what is permissible! How much better to be guided correctly at the
outset than to have to redo the work later. UPC will provide some
guidelines for proper sizing of your pipes.
You haven't specified whether your present piping is copper, steel, or
whatever. To install copper piping while leaving ANY steel piping in place
is a prescription for disaster, as the copper will destroy the iron by
galvanic action. Don't forget to replace shower risers, too.
Repiping specialists, working as teams, will repipe your entire house very
rapidly. There are different techniques, depending on
things such as how many floors are in your house; whether to use sweat
fittings or friction fittings at stop valves, etc. Proper plumbing, at
toilets, is to have the pipe protrude from the wall, but some repipers bring
it up straight through the floor! If you are plumbing the house yourself,
without experience, then you will have to have a powerful intuition for the
ways that disaster might strike. For example, those feeder lines that
extend from stop valves to toilets and faucets can fail. What will stop the
water from flowing in the event of failure? Nothing! This has happened
many times; I just wait to hear through the grapevine of some acquaintance
who came home to a flood, due to aging and neglected toilet plumbing.
Nowadays, nylon-braded or steel-braded flexible risers have replaced those
notorious flexible brass tubes, which required a peripheral bead inside the
retainer nut, to prevent mere water pressure from pushing the tube out of
the stop valve. But gaskets eventually deteriorate, so such risers should
be replaced eventually. Furthermore, you might damage something with your
torch, at the outset.
One problem with copper, assuming you are using a torch to sweat joints, is
to design the system to be repairable in the future. Therefore, you should
make it possible to drain all water out of the piping, by gravity, in case
you should ever want to reheat a joint. If any water lies in the pipe,
anywhere near the location of your torch point, then that water will need to
boil away before the copper will rise in temperature so that solder will
You should consider installing standpipes behind toilet stalls, etc., where
abrupt valve actions might cause water hammer. Sprinkler valves are even
worse. This technique provides air cushion...shock absorption. But
standpipes gradually fill with water, and are refreshed by draining your
Lay your system out so that one hose bib will still function, even if you
have to shut all water pressure off inside the house.
Consider a loop with pump, for your hot water system. The pump need not
operate all the time; there are clocked switches. It is imperative to
insulate all hot water lines, ESPECIALLY a loop. Nowadays, with energy
costs rising, more attention is drawn toward localized, instant hot water,
rather than having a big tank hot all the time.
You might need to insulate cold water pipes, too, to mitigate the threat of
freeze damage. Copper conducts heat much better than steel, and is thinner,
so it is more VULNERABLE to freeze damage. If your house experiences cold
winters, beware. There are approved methods of dealing with this threat.
Don't overlook the need to replace your main feeder line, from the munipical
water meter; that pipe must be kept below grade by some prescribed distance,
and never allow fresh water pipes to lie beneath waste piping. Your
inspector will help.
Copper pipe is assumed to last forever, but nothing is forever. The insides
of hot water lines, in particular, coat with a mineral deposit, but such
obstuction is minor compared to the degeneration manifested inside
galvanized steel fresh water pipes. However, copper pipe, especially M, has
been known to fail due to manufacturing defect; if sand is embedded in the
copper at the time of extrusion, then any such grain of sand can become the
site of a pinhole leak later. This has never happened to me; I have only
heard about this sad story.
My condolences that your house had pressure piping in the slab. I've seen
kitchen floors opened up to repair such problems, at great difficulty and
expense. Metal waste piping fails, too, but the lifespan is usually
considerably greater than steel fresh water piping.
The difference between type K,L,M is the thickness of the wall. I've never
seen type K in a home. My old home had the cheapest imported type M that
ever was made; it developed pinhole leaks inside the walls after fifteen
years or so.
In my new (1920s) home, I've used type L for everything that I replace. The
price difference is small and there's no labor difference.
Like, in not getting harsh winters, y'mean? As I look out my window
upon the British landscape it's white with snow and colder'n a witch's
Good scheme to go wall/ceiling. If you're where very cold weather
occurs, you'll need to pay attention to insulation in the ceiling.
Rather than rigid "pipe" (either L or M), consider using soft
copper tubing. That's available as Type "L" with the same OD (5/8")
as 1/2" pipe. Much, much easier to pull thru tight spaces and
avoids a lot of soldering/torch work inside spaces.
There is also PEX tubing, which is even easier to work with,
but requires special tooling.
If this house was built in the 50's/60's, there is an even
chance that the existing copper was used for electrical grounding
purposes (sw boxes, recepts, fixtures). When you abandon the
old connections, any grounds will be lost. If you know that
all the wiring was done with Romex w/ground (as an example),
then it's not an issue. Just a heads up.
Yeah, that reminds me. In closing my plumbing permit, the inspector saw to
it that I had a "driven rod" supplementing my house's electrical ground. Of
course, the electrical ground is also strapped to my copper cold water pipe,
nearest the electrical panel. But the point is that closing a plumbing
permit had ramifications on the electrical status of the house. That might
not occur to a DIY who avoids the permitting process...resulting in
negligence. I highly recommend the permitting process to DIYs, and to
homeowners who hire contractors. The inspector becomes the advocate for the
Conversely, proper installation of a hot water loop might require pulling an
electrical permit, to run power to a new pump. The lack of electrical power
discourages some homeowners.
I've never used the flexible stuff. I don't know if it's UPC-acceptable?
Therefore, this becomes a question for the homeowner, even when employing a
contractor. If inappropriate, it's best for homeowner to know, and prevent.
Intuitively, I can't imagine why soft, flexible copper would be prohibited.
I would expect it's much more expensive. Isn't this stuff intended for
NO! Type L soft flexible is the type of pipe used for underground feeds from
your water main. Also used in addition to air conditioning, such uses as oil
line feeds for oil furnaces, natural and propane gas feed lines, and many
other uses where rigid copper is not allowed.
I just did some plumbing with PEX for the first time. It is the way to go.
The plumbing supply house that I bought it and the fittings from rented me
the tool to expand the tubing and
fittings into it. For the difference in price from copper you could afford
to buy your own tool. I think the tool is around $175.
PEX is replacing copper in a lot of new construction because of the ease of
installation and cost.
This is Turtle.
I have read most of the replys and am just about lost in the vast number of
options. So here is another 2 cent option.
In the HVAC/R business we use Type L soft copper for freon lines for the
equipment. If we want to add just a little more thickiness to the wall of the
tubing. We can use a Type K Soft Copper to add just a little more wall
thickiness to prevent leaks and wearing of tubing leaks. The Type K & L will
still use the regular Plumbing or Refrigeration type fittings and have to not
changed anything. So I would just use Type K Soft Copper.
I would use type-K soft copper. You can solder it with the newer type
of solder. Be aware that some of the newer types of solder have a very
small difference between the liquidus and solidus temperatures and
this makes for much more difficult soldering than the old 50/50 lead
solder now long since banned.
There are formulations that have improved characteristics. Bridgit® is
one type that has a wide plastic range and makes strong joints due to
the use of nickel in the mix.
Some have advised sanding the inside of fittings and the outside of
the pipe. This is correct. Also, be sure to ream (deburr) the inside
of the pipe as well. There are many handy deburring tools out there.
I would not use type-M. Be aware that not everyone uses the color code
correctly. Check the printed material to verify thickness.
So are the professional plumbers that rely on solder flux, and rather new,
shiny pipe, remiss in failing to sand their joints?
I haven't performed a comprehensive survey on what professional plumbers do,
on this matter. Perhaps you can enlighten me.
My sister in law in Jacksonville recently had to do the same thing to her
house. She used plastic pipe. They did the house in a weekend, Kitchen and 2
full baths. The only trouble they ran into was in the shower wall in one of
the bathrooms because it was tile and had no access panel behind the wall.
They did the new tile a different weekend.
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