More Qs on copper pipe in concrete

Hi All
I read an article saying that copper will resist corrosion if laid in a portland based concrete or mortar. Could someone explain why, and what is the alternative to portland that WOULD corrode copper? (Sorry, my knowledge of chemistry never was a strong point). Ta.
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Err, it won't really resist. In fact, it should never, ever be laid bare into concrete, and should always be covered by something, be it the appropriate tape, or whatever.
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Ian Stirling wrote:

Hessian sleeve with a polyurothane lining. That's what our plumber has used. I assume that's ok as he's been doing it (hopefully correctly) for 25 years.
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Grumps wrote:

Grumps,
Don't lay copper pipes in concrete full-stop. They will eventually corrode even if plastic sleeved. Where the pipes are joined (and there will be joins), you will find it difficult to seal and the 'fat' of the concrete will find its way onto the pipe causing the said corrosion.
There is a small council housing estate near to where I live with the CH pipes buried in the concrete and after about 10 years, these started to leak causing me to have a few grey hairs in trying to sort it out - the only cure was to re-pipe all the systems above floor level. BTW, most cements used in these conditions are OPC (Ordinary Portland Cement)
If you MUST lay pipes in concrete, consider using plastic - if want my opinion - don't even do that!
Brian G
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Brian G wrote:

Just what I want, long lengths of piping running around the skirting. My FiL's new house has all concrete floors with the pipes (micro-bore) embedded within. My house has never had a leaking pipe in 20 years. Does the screed really 'leak' onto the pipes to cause damage? I'm going to go with buried pipes. If they last 10 years, good. If they last more than 10 years, even better. If they leak, isn't that what insurance is for?
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<snip>

Yes. It corrodes.

Bare pipes don't last very long.
Properly treated, or trunked pipes should last much, much longer. Insurance may not cover 'normal' maintainance.
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Brian G wrote:

This has been asked sometime ago, however I used to live on a housing estate 35 years ago and to this day the pipes are still buried in the concrete...Gas copper pipe I might add. (Mothers House)
--
Sir Benjamin Midllethwaite



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The3rd Earl Of Derby wrote:

All I can say is what I experienced on this particular site. The houses were built in the 70 - 80's and are of a No-Fine concrete construction with a standard concrete base with a 2" screed/tiled finish with the plastic sleeved copper pipes buried between the both.
The problems first arose around the end of the 80's with damp patches showing on the floor in just one house. When the pipes were exposed, corrosion was found around the area of the pipes that were joined using end-feed soldered fittings which had NOT been very well protected after this was done.
When we investigated further, pipe corrosion was found upto a foot a way from the fitting and UNDER the protective sleeve (the ends of this having been softened when heat was applied to the joints) - which indicated that some of the 'fat' from the screed/concrete had somehow founds its way under the sleeve.
After this problem raised its ugly head in about 10 or 12 properties (with the resulting insurance claims by the tenants), it was decided to fit new heating systems and bring all of the pipework above floor level.
With regards to the "Gas copper pipe" you were talking about. If I remember this came in very long rolls of copper with a yellow plastic sleeve, I would presume that this was laid 'joint free' thus leaving the sleeve intact over its entire buried length - in our case, the heating pipes were of standard lengths and then jointed as needed. And that WOULD make a difference.
Brian G
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Brian G wrote:

So what you are actually saying is that the pipes weren't protected. We all agree that unprotected pipes will corrode. I think your story says more about the competence of the original builders than the longevity of copper pipe.
MBQ
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

No I am NOT saying that the pipes were not protected - please re-read the whole thread.
What I said was that where the pipes had been joined, the joint area was NOT VERY WELL protected after the soldering - and along with the softening of the *plastic sleeve* caused by heat from the soldering torch, allowed the concrete 'fat' to run into places that it shouldn't have.
With regards to the builders incompetence: you are only partly right there, more incompetent were the architects and the CH designers for allowing the pipes to be buried between the site concrete and screed in the first place with any form of joints in them - and the Clerk of Works for not spotting the pipe protection problem at the joints *before* the screeds were laid.
Brian G
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Brian G wrote:

I think you are splitting hairs over the degree of protection.
MBQ
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Any cement will eventually corrode copper this is bacause of the lime
used to make the cement !!
If you need to run a copper pipe through cement run it through
a plastic one first !
Or just use the new plastic flexi pipe which takes hot or cold wate and
will not corrode..
-- Jovis
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