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Things You Never Knew About Copper Pipe Corrosion

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Copper pipes are popular for residential plumbing because of their durability and long lifespan. Copper pipes are strong enough to withstand pressure and extreme conditions.

Copper pipes are superior to other types but also have limitations.

Pipe Corrosion – What Causes It?

There are many factors that can cause water pipe corrosion, including:

Low Ph

Acidity is indicated by low pH levels in groundwater, spring water, and creek surface waters. These sources are rich in hydrogen ions which can accelerate the corrosion of pipes.

Copper pipes are protected by an oxide barrier. However, water that is acidic will cause the barrier to be broken. The pipes will be the first to be corroded by acidic water.

Improper Installation

Corrosion can also be caused by improper pipe installation. If the pipe ends are not properly reamed prior to installation, you can expect the same result. A similar result can be caused by using too much acid flux to solder copper pipe.

High Oxygen Content

Nitrogen and oxygen are two of the dissolved gases found in water. Oxidation is a process that can cause pipes to corrode. This causes rust to form on copper pipes’ surfaces.

Sediment Sand, Grit, and Sediment

Copper pipes are more susceptible to hydraulic wear due to the buildup of grit or sand. Corrosion can also be caused by soil’s chemical components reacting with pipes’ unprotected surfaces.

High level of TDS (Total Dissolved Soil)

TDS levels are the level of organic matter and inorganic salt in water. These substances include calcium, magnesium and sulfate.


Pipe corrosion can be caused by bacteria, particularly the sulfate-reducing type. To accelerate corrosion, they use hydrogen in water.

High Velocity

The pipes’ inner walls become extremely stressed when the water velocity is too high. The protective coating on the walls is removed, which accelerates the process of corrosion.

How does pipe corrosion affect water quality?

Although there are many factors that can impact the water quality of pipes, corrosion is one of them. You will likely see the following signs that indicate your copper pipes are corroded.

  • Discoloration
  • Turbidity, cloudiness
  • Strange odors
  • Taste impairment

Corrosion can increase copper and lead levels in certain cases.

How does corrosion affect copper pipes?

Water pipe corrosion could lead to:

  • Leakages
  • Pinholes
  • Damages and breaks

The plumbers Denver say that internal corrosion can lead to clogs, which can severely damage sinks and faucets. Water pressure may drop if your pipes are corroded.

How to Clean Corroded Copper Pipes

While it is better to call a plumber who has experience with copper pipes that are corroded, you can still perform some preliminary cleaning by following these steps.

Exterior Corrosion

  1. To clean the pipe, use a metal polish and follow the directions on the product label.
  2. Allow polish to dry for several moments.
  3. Once the polish is dry, scrub the pipe.
  4. Warm water is used to rinse the pipe.

Interior Corrosion :

  1. Remove any water remaining in the pipe.
  2. Pour one gallon of white vinegar down the drain pipes.
  3. Let the vinegar sit for about half an hour to loosen calcium deposits.
  4. Use a long-handled toothbrush to remove any buildup.

How to Prevent Copper Pipe Corrosion

Learn how to prevent copper pipe corrosion from causing future problems. Here are some tips.

  1. Water Watch

You can prevent pipe corrosion by testing your water at home. Make sure your water isn’t high in dissolved substances or too acidic.

  1. Keep Bacteria away

Water is a rich source of corrosive bacteria. It is therefore important to clean your copper pipes regularly. When cleaning your pipes, use biocides or inhibitors.

  1. Protective Coatings

You can apply layers of coatings to copper pipes to protect them from hydraulic wear. Insulation is a great way to protect your pipes from metal contact.

Key Takeaway

Copper pipes are very popular due to their durability and ability to withstand high pressure. They are susceptible to corrosion, however.

Copper pipes can corrode and cause water quality problems. You must take all necessary steps to stop corrosion from reaching your pipes. You should inspect your pipes for signs of corrosion and contact a plumber to repair the damage.

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