Green and white stuff on copper pipes

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Much better description, the pic. You can see from the pattern that what has happened is the reactant, whatever it is, began as a strip on the top and ran down in several paths. Because it did not run uniformly, it must be that the wetting of the pipe surface was modest, which suggests to me that the spraying you mentioned could be a cause.

But I am suspicious about that, too; because it seems that a spray would not settle on top and then drip. What would cause this is, if the pipes were chilled and then lay upward onto a source of moisture. Then, small amounts of moisture would create wetness along the top surface, and to some extent attempt to drip off.

But the drips themselves are very slight, suggesting that they actually dried out before falling to the floor. I will retract my first guess about flux and wiping. That occurs at joints only. Yours is occurring along the length of the pipe.

Since I don t know the cause, I m suggesting, contact with an...

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The green stuff is cupric chloride, a byproduct of corrosion of the valve body or possible copper leachate in the water. Either way, it's typical of water leakage where the water is of low pH.

The white stuff (sometimes feels fibrous like cotton candy) is just efflorescence. This is from dissolved minerals in the water precipitating out as the leak drips, then dries and deposits miniscule quantities of calcium, sodium, etc on the valve body. You often see this where residual flux was left on a pipe and over time, condensation or outright leakage causes these buildups. It's always more pronounced at joints between dissimilar metals (due to galvanism).

Wearing gloves, as copper chlorides are toxic, you can remove them with full strength vinegar or dilute muriatic acid, lemon juice or even more flux and a bristle brush. Once it's cleaned up, repair the leak or tighten the packing gland on the valve stem. Then when all done, just liberally apply a paste of baking soda and...

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The green stuff in a lobster is called tomalley (many people also call it "shmutz.") The tomalley is the liver and pancreas of a lobster and, when cooked it is a green color.

… Tomalley is the liver and pancreas of the lobster. It looks like a green paste inside the abdominal cavity of a cooked lobster. It is considered a delicacy and many people consider it the best part of a lobster. It can be eaten scooped from the cooked lobster or can be used to flavor sauces. Note: this is often misspelled "tamale" as in the Mexican dish, since this is how tomalley is pronounced. Or it is also sometimes spelled "tomale". " There may be a black substance also in the lobster's abdominal cavity. The black substance in a cooked lobster is called the coral and is found only in the female lobster because it is the eggs (or roe) of the lobster. Those who like tomalley are usually big fans of also eating the coral. You may also see an orange or red stripe running down the middle of the back of...
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When it comes to the material used in home plumbing, water pipe systems have evolved. The plumbing in vintage and historical houses may have been made of iron, steel, or even lead, but these days copper and PVC piping are favored. They’re softer, lighter materials, easier to use and install, long-lasting, recyclable, and less corrosive and reactive.

But no piping is perfect. That’s why you may be seeing green spots on your older copper pipes.

The Meaning Of The Green
Have you ever wondered why the Statue of Liberty is green? Although the internal structure is made of iron and steel, the outside of Lady Liberty is coated with copper. When copper is exposed over time to oxygen in the air as well as the various acidic and basic components of rain, smoke, smog, and weather, it develops a green patina.

Under certain conditions, the same happens to the copper of your water pipes.

The Pain Of Pinhole Leaks
Spots of green appearing on...

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Copper was the standard choice for water pipe in North Florida from the early 1970s to about 2000, when CPVC (a cream-color plastic) pipe became more popular, largely due to its resistance to pin-hole leaks caused by pitting, the less-expensive material cost, and somewhat easier installation.

The lifespan of the copper pipe is also affected by the grade of pipe installed. There are three grades:

•Type K - 0.049 inch thick wall, recognizable by green lettering on pipe

•Type L - 0.040 inch thick wall, recognizable by blue lettering on pipe

•Type M - 0.026 inch thick wall, recognizable by red lettering on pipe

Both L and M are commonly used in residential construction. Obviously, Type L pipe’s thicker wall means a longer lifespan, but Type M is the predominant one installed. Patina formation on the surface may make it difficult for you to identify the...

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A green moldy looking substance may develop on your copper water pipes, especially at the joint. Typically, this green discoloration is a patina, which develops from plumbers not cleaning away excess soldering flux after joining pipes. Many homeowners mistake the green discoloration for mold. Green can also point to a leak in pipe. Some leaks make their presences known by dripping on the floor while other leaks are very tiny pinholes. Many times pipes will look wet, but that does not necessarily indicate a leak or green mold. Pipes sweat and condensation left on the pipe makes the green area appear wet and moldy. Finding mold on copper pipes is not typical because copper offers a hostile environment for molds. Choose the method best suited to your skills and abilities when attempting to remove the green...

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The hard, crusty buildup on faucets sure doesn’t help the “spotless” look we’re going for in a bathroom. If you’re struggling with keeping that green or aquamarine mineral buildup at bay, check out some of these cleaning tips. Really want to go the extra-mile? We’ll even explain why the stuff is layering up in the first place—and how you can stop it for good!

Option 1: Commerical Cleaner

Wipe off your faucet and sink with a basic, all-purpose cleaner and wipe dry. Then take lemon juice or a lemon half to wipe down the surfaces again. The lemon’s mild acid helps dissolve some of the minerals creating the buildup. Give everything a good rinse, and then wipe it dry again.

Option 2: Baking Soda

Make a paste with baking soda and water (about 3 parts soda to 1 part water) and rub it around your faucet. Leave the paste on the problem spots for about an hour to give it enough time to try breaking through the hard buildup. Then wash the faucet with a clean...

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Removing green residue on copper pipes
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current topics topic 43705

Q. After learning exactly how this horrible green stuff is formed on our copper pipes, could you please give me a practical solution as to how I would remove it in order to paint the pipes, or whether you consider it unecessary to remove it before painting I.E can I just rub it down and paint them and it wouldn't seap through the paint. Thank you. P.S If there is a chemical I could use would you please explain how it works and the chemical processes it utilises.

David Bastable
Not Applicable - Southend on sea, Essex, England

A. Oh I believe you can use Goo-Gone to remove what you need.

Melissa Cain
- West Virginia, USA

This public forum has 60,000 threads. If you have a question in mind which seems...

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You should not be concerned about this. The green color is copper oxide, which is a form of corrosion on the copper pipe, but unlike iron oxide (rust), it will not eat through the pipe and cause a leak. The green spots are likely caused by moisture in the air of your basement condensing on the surface of the pipe. Sometimes enough water will form on the pipes that large drops of water will collect on the underside of the pipe and then drip off. This is what causes the green spots. If you look closely, you'll probably find that there is more green on the cold water pipes than the hot water pipes, as condensation occurs on cold surfaces first. Copper oxide can also form at joints, such as elbows, when the copper pipes are soldered together. A perfect joint should not have any green oxidation, but it's rarely a problem when it does occur. While there is no concern about leakage, some people will insulate the cold water pipes to stop the pipes from "sweating". This will prevent...

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Authentic Green River Knives from Crazy Crow. We have spent years researching and manufacturing the finest line of fur-trade era knives. A favorite among the Mountain Men, Green River knives were made in Greenfield, Massachusetts by J. Russell. The factory was started in 1832-34 to make butcher and kitchen knives. Close to 60,000 Russell Green River knives per year were shipped to the West for several years. Among the most popular is the Green River Scalper, Skinner and variations used by the American mountain man then, and that are available today.

These high carbon steel "Green River" knives and blades are identical to the ones used by our forefathers. They have been made by Russell Harrington Cutlery since the early 1800s and feature proven designs used as working knives for almost 200 years.

The mountain men, who opened the West, used the name Green River as a standard of quality for anything traded. Anything done "Up to Green River" signified first rate...

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The white pipe is PVC (Poly-vinyl Chloride)
The black pipe is ABS(Acylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene).

Both PVC & ABS schedule 40 pipe is approved under both the International Residential Code and the Uniform Plumbing Code for DWV (Drain, waste & Vent) applications inside a structure above grade, inside a structure below grade and for direct burial outside a structure. (Note-only schedule 40 is approved for DWV application)

Some local codes will require PVC only or ABS only. (check your local AHJ)

While both materials will provide nearly identical service life ABS is slightly easier to install because it can be glued in one step by the application of the appropriate ASTM rated ABS glue. PVC joints are a two step process requiring the application of an ASTM rated PVC solvent/primer before applying the ASTM rated PVC Glue.

The solvent primer for PVC is made in both a clear liquid and a purple dye type. While both primers are the same most local codes...

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Copper is a versatile metal that we find in many forms from pipes to cookware to jewelry. Cleaning copper is an essential task, but the process has different natures depending on the item that is being cleaned. Some decorative copper has a lacquer finish that will keep it from tarnishing. To clean these items, simply wash with soapy water and dry thoroughly. Do not polish or scrub these items as it will remove the protective coating.

Lacquer-free copper offers a different scenario. After time, this copper tarnishes and turns dark and dull. This tarnishing occurs when the copper reacts with the air and a patina develops. The color of the patina will vary with the copper and what it is exposed to. Inside the house, copper will gradually get an antique penny brown color. But if the copper is exposed to water, the patina will gradually develop a bluish green look. The patina protects copper from corrosion, but many people prefer their copper to be shiny and brilliant. For...

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The trick to selling scrap copper is to sell it directly to a scrap yard. If you are in the USA, chances are there is one or more scrap yards somewhere in your town/county/city that you may or may not know about.

Every scrap yard will be interested in buying your scrap copper. It is your job as a scrap seller to find the scrap yard with the best price, and that is closest to your house or place of business. You can always call a scrap yard and ask about their current pricing. (You can expect to get prices at or a little below those listed in the upper right corner of this web page.) To find the nearest scrap yards, I suggest using google maps, google places, or a similar local search engine.

Before you haul your payload off to the scrap yard, you will want to first sort it into its separate categories. Unless you sort it properly, the scrap yard will demote it all to the lowest priced category, insuring that you get paid less then it is worth. Scrap copper that is...

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Now that you have a functional ring, it is time to make it pretty. If you are aything like me (and I know I am!) then you probably left the rings sit for 3 weeks in a damp environment between cutting them and finishing them. If so, you found that there is a lot of corrosion on the pipe already. You'll want to remove that.

There is an awesome tool you can buy for cleaning of the outside edges of copper pipe (and the inside of fittings.) It is the red thing in the photo below. Don't use it. It is bad for rings. First of all, it is made for lengths of pipe, so that you can hold one end of the pipe while cleaning up the pipe. That does not work on a 1/4" piece of pipe, and you'll cut yourself up trying to get it out. Trust me on this. Second, if you do actually manage to clean off the corrosion, you'll find that you now have a bunch of scratches on the ring from the steel bristles. Now you have to sand those out. Or you could skip this devil-tool and just sand it out in the...

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