Is green on copper pipes toxic? This is one question many plumbing professionals ask themselves once they see green on their copper pipes. Both ways, it is common of green to develop on plumbing material that leaks. The green, white stuff (sometimes smells like cotton candy) is what is called efflorescence. The green colored top layer on copper is also exactly the same as the one on our human skin.
The solution to this problem (or to any other type of plumbing problems) is quite simple – corrosion control! Copper pipes are no exception to this rule. There are a few simple maintenance tips you can follow to keep your copper pipes clean and corrosion free.
Before cleaning your copper pipes, you need to understand how to prevent corrosion from taking place. If you don’t take proper care to protect these pipes, you will find yourself in big trouble. It’s important to note that prevention is always better than cure, so here are some ideas you can use to make sure that your plumbing system remains corrosion free:
Use a non-corrosive detergent for your copper pipes. Soap, baby shampoo, and other harsh chemicals are not good to use on copper pipes. Also, don’t pour rubbing alcohol or ammonia onto the copper surface. This method can result in an orange patina, which is very unattractive. If you notice your copper pipes are starting to get an orange patina, you can try to lighten up the area with dish washing soap.
Make sure to change your brass and copper pipe connections regularly. Corroded copper pipe joints are a major cause of corrosion. You can avoid this by making sure to properly tighten all your cable connections. You should also have the parts of your plumbing system checked periodically by a professional such as a plumber, to ensure that corrosion isn’t setting in.
It’s quite possible that you have a plumbing issue that’s causing your copper pipes to corrode. If this is the case, you can hire a professional to check your plumbing system and see if any of your plumbing hardware is damaged. They will most likely be able to tell whether or not your plumbing needs a repair, and if it does, they can recommend some different solutions than you may already know about. If you don’t know how to fix a certain plumbing issue, don’t worry, there are plenty of books out that cover different types of plumbing repairs, including copper pipes.
In addition to seeing a professional when you suspect that your plumbing hardware is starting to rot, you should also be watching for signs of a green patina. A green patina is simply when the surface of the copper has accumulated an oily build-up. This build-up is similar to what happens after you use an iron-based paint on your wooden furniture; the wooden item starts to look greasy and shiny. The same thing can happen to your copper pipe, but it will take a little longer to develop.
If you do notice that your copper pipes are starting to rust, one solution that is inexpensive and safe is white vinegar. You can purchase white vinegar from a local hardware store, and it is also something that you probably have in your home. The key to removing the build-up of oil from your pipes is to saturate a sponge with white vinegar and scrub away. However, you should be careful when using white vinegar. If you get any type of stomach upset or start bleeding, you should take caution; a severe case of corroded pipes could potentially put you in danger of poisoning or even hurting yourself while trying to take care of the problem.