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Oct 30 2023

What Causes Green Corrosion On Copper Pipe?

Copper pipe fittings have been a staple of plumbing systems for centuries, known for their durability and corrosion resistance. However, even this sturdy metal can succumb to the relentless forces of nature over time. One common issue that plagues copper plumbing systems is the development of green corrosion, also known as verdigris. In this article brought to you by Rooter Hero Plumbing & Air, we explore the causes, consequences, and methods for preventing and resolving green corrosion on copper pipe fittings.

If you are looking for a uniformed and trained plumber, then call Rooter Hero Plumbing. We are your one-stop-shop plumbing company offering a wide range of plumbing service. Whether you need a quick pipe repair or an extensive repiping, the plumbers at Rooter Hero are ready to help.

What Is That Green Corrosion on Copper?

This type of corrosion is often referred to as "verdigris" and is a common issue with copper plumbing systems. Verdigris is the result of the natural corrosion of copper when it is exposed to various environmental factors.

Causes of Green Corrosion on Copper: Water

Water is a primary contributor to the corrosion of copper. Moisture in the environment can react with the copper surface and lead to the formation of verdigris. More specifically, the pH of the water in contact with copper can influence the rate of corrosion. Water that is too acidic or too alkaline can be more corrosive to copper surfaces.

It’s In the Air: Other Causes of Green Corrosion on Copper

Oxygen in the air can also react with copper over time. This process is known as oxidation. But it’s not just oxygen. Higher temperatures can accelerate the corrosion process, as chemical reactions tend to happen more quickly at elevated temperatures.

Speaking of chemicals, exposure to certain chemicals or pollutants in the air or water can accelerate copper corrosion. For example, exposure to sulfur compounds or acidic substances can increase the rate of corrosion.

Further, impurities in the copper itself can make it more susceptible to corrosion. High levels of impurities, such as lead or iron, can increase the likelihood of corrosion.

Consequences of Green Corrosion on Copper Piping

Corrosion weakens the structural integrity of copper pipes and fittings, potentially leading to leaks or pipe failures over time. On the flip side, corrosion on the inner surfaces of pipes and fittings can reduce water flow, resulting in decreased water pressure and flow rates in the plumbing system.

Dealing with corroded pipe fittings can be costly, often requiring repairs or replacements. But a pipe replacement or repair is nothing when you consider the health risks. While copper itself is generally safe in small quantities, other contaminants or chemicals introduced through the corrosion process can pose hazard to your health.

Preventing and Fixing Green Corrosion on Copper Piping

There are many ways to reduce the risk of green corrosion, such as maintaining proper water pH levels, applying coatings, installing sacrificial anodes, or opting for brass or bronze instead. Remember to regularly inspect your plumbing system and remove accumulated corrosion or mineral deposits.

Address any leaks or damage in the plumbing system promptly. Water leaks can exacerbate the corrosion process and lead to more significant problems. Residents in the area can call Rooter Hero Plumbing & Air to hire a uniformed plumber today.

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