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OT Plumbing / copper corrosion fix - advice sought

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  • #16
    Water with a high iron content will do that to copper pipe. Sometimes very rapidly. My brother had to instal stainless steel water pipe and fittings at his last house as the water from a private well had an iron content just within legal limits for human consumption.
    West Sussex UK

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    • #17
      Being into electronics, I've made myself a fair number of pc boards. That involves etching, so out comes the ferric chloride. That stuff wants to stick around, so if you can't scrub the surfaces, like inside the drain pipes, it's just a matter of time before pinholes start to form. My whole plumbing system is copper, including some 3 inch pipe, until it hits the cast iron where it goes through the concrete wall in the basement. I can't wait until it starts leaking- I'm going to have some fun then.
      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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      • #18
        Frankly it looked like it all needed to be torn out, cleaned up and redone in PVC when it was apart for the big pictures. Lots of external corrosion then. Looks to have gotten worse since then if that's possible.
        Last edited by wmgeorge; 12-15-2021, 09:17 AM.
        Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician

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        • #19
          Originally posted by wmgeorge View Post
          Frankly it looked like it all needed to be torn out, cleaned up and redone in PVC when it was apart for the big pictures. Lots of external corrosion then. Looks to have gotten worse since then if that's possible.
          It does look like a shlt show.
          I agree. Replace it with PVC
          and be done with it forever.

          -D
          DZER

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          • #20
            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
            From the position of the hole, it does seem like something that would happen from years of the same corrosive stuff going down the pipe and sitting at that spot. Does not look right for erosion by water and grit, etc.

            My surmise (not a guess, and not really an informed opinion) is that the rest of that pipe may look similar, it just has not quite been penetrated yet. Looks like you may need to cut quite a bit off. I'd do a bit at a time, until you get to sound pipe, (if you do at any place). Then use your connector and put in PVC from there up.

            If there is no sound pipe, then you have a problem. I would assume that has already occurred to you.

            Since you seem to have put in the pipe, the damage seems to have happened whil you have been living there. Any reasons come to mind?

            I have seen drain cleaners eat up brass pipe, but have not seen copper get eaten up. Usually the zinc in the brass is eaten away, and the porous copper remnant is left. Sulfur compounds can do that to copper, though.

            Gas company found that out after they installed a lot of copper service lines, using coal ash and clinker as gravel for backfill. Houses kept exploding when the pipes leaked and the gas got into the house through the hole the line went through. The clinker was both acidic, and had sulfur compounds.




            We had roots like crazy. Every year they needed cleared. That happened to our pipes one time they were being "rooted". Took the guy over an hour to get the snake back out. The cutter had bounced off a big root and gone out through the ancient pipe.

            We had the pipes lined after that. They had to dig up that part to remove the root mass, though. After lining, no more root problems.
            Never had a root problem., all iron sewer pipe here. You must have the old clay segmented pipe. My aunts house being much older had clay pipe going to the sewer and she constantly had a root problem. The plumber sent a camera snake down the pipe one day. I could see the sections in the old pipe and the roots growing through them as well as through the cracks in it.

            JL.................

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Doozer View Post

              It does look like a shlt show.
              I agree. Replace it with PVC
              and be done with it forever.

              -D
              I don't like plastic pipe on the supply side but am all for it on drain pipe.

              JL...............

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              • #22
                Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                I don't like plastic pipe on the supply side but am all for it on drain pipe.

                JL...............
                Yes regarding PVC but PEX is wonderful.

                -D
                DZER

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                • #23
                  Message to OP............ I would much rather swap this job out for your under the sink repair any day. Don't complain.

                  After poking through the original cast iron "Y" I replaced it with PVC. That section has always been a problem. Not much pitch to the pipe. The bottom of the "Y" was completely eaten away from years of pouring all sorts of drain cleaners down it and that's where the cleaner sits until the clog is broken up. And sometimes the drain cleaner never worked and I had to run the snake down through anyway. I let it sit for over a year before I covered it up just to be sure. I was still getting water in the hole. The straight shot is from the kitchen sink and the angled pipe going into the "Y" is from the laundry room.

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG-20200522-112752.jpg Views:	0 Size:	283.4 KB ID:	1974854

                  So, I ended up cutting another three foot out of pipe because the bottom had rotted out of it as well. Five foot beyond that it's into the sewer pipe. If it leaks beyond that point it's just about out side. I had to be careful cutting through the concrete floor as I knew the electrical service conduit was there somewhere. You can see it just above the drain pipe. This time I put a clean out just before the "Y".
                  So don't complain about working under a sink.

                  Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG-20200522-191423.jpg Views:	0 Size:	285.8 KB ID:	1974855
                  Last edited by JoeLee; 12-15-2021, 09:59 AM.

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                  • #24
                    OMG Joel, that looks like a nightmare!! Yes PVC for drains, PEX for water is the way to go, Yes and I can solder very well thank you but its the corrosion.

                    Around here years ago and they finally stopped its use, was Orangeburg for the sewer run to the street. Bad, bad and expensive to dig up.
                    Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                      Never had a root problem., all iron sewer pipe here. You must have the old clay segmented pipe. My aunts house being much older had clay pipe going to the sewer and she constantly had a root problem. The plumber sent a camera snake down the pipe one day. I could see the sections in the old pipe and the roots growing through them as well as through the cracks in it.

                      JL.................
                      Nope, it was iron pipe where the problem was. All iron out to the perimeter wall, then 6" clay after that. Clay was never a problem, but we had it lined from the stack at the far back corner of the house all the way past the (replaced) pipe from another stack, and on out to the yard trap.

                      The roots were in the iron pipe nearly in the exact center of the house.
                      CNC machines only go through the motions.

                      Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                      Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                      Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                      I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                      Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by wmgeorge View Post
                        OMG Joel, that looks like a nightmare!! Yes PVC for drains, PEX for water is the way to go, Yes and I can solder very well thank you but its the corrosion.

                        Around here years ago and they finally stopped its use, was Orangeburg for the sewer run to the street. Bad, bad and expensive to dig up.
                        I always thought Orangeburg was the orange clay drainage tile, but I guess it was just a generic name that was broadly used.

                        JL...............

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

                          Nope, it was iron pipe where the problem was. All iron out to the perimeter wall, then 6" clay after that. Clay was never a problem, but we had it lined from the stack at the far back corner of the house all the way past the (replaced) pipe from another stack, and on out to the yard trap.

                          The roots were in the iron pipe nearly in the exact center of the house.
                          How do roots get through cast iron pipe ? bad lead joint or cracked pipe ?

                          The clay pipes at my aunts house had shifted so they couldn't even be lined. The largest dia. pipe that would fit past the jog was about 3". That wouldn't work out too well for sewer pipe.
                          So other than digging it all out and replacing it they just left it and when it clogged had the plumber clean it out.

                          JL................

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                            Never had a root problem., all iron sewer pipe here. You must have the old clay segmented pipe. ...
                            Cast iron does get root problems. I suspect that it's the hubs not being sealed tight enough. Once even a tiny, tiny feeler root gets through it will keep growing. Trees love sewer pipes: lots of water and nutrients!

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                              I always thought Orangeburg was the orange clay drainage tile, but I guess it was just a generic name that was broadly used.

                              JL...............
                              Orangeburg pipe, named are the town where it was made: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orangeburg_pipe

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Bob Engelhardt View Post

                                Cast iron does get root problems. I suspect that it's the hubs not being sealed tight enough. Once even a tiny, tiny feeler root gets through it will keep growing. Trees love sewer pipes: lots of water and nutrients!
                                Yes, and I imagine if it continues to grow it may crack the joint making things worse.

                                JL..................

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