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Is This An Issue - Green Spots on Copper Pipe

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Tumbleweed

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Good day All. I was getting ready to cut this 1" water line to insert a fitting. (This is up in the rafters space of the garage). While knocking off the layers of dirt and spider webs I observed these spots all along the surface of the pipe, for a length of about 24-36 inches. The rest of the pipe looks like a normal 40+ year old copper pipe. Is this the remnants of solder flux residue not being cleaned up, or something more alarming / sinister I need to address ? I appreciate all your responses and feedback, thank you in advance.
 

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Geofd

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There are a couple of things
Is the copper touching another
Metal,how about, the hangers are the rusting
 

Tumbleweed

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this is the municipal water service entering into the residence. Underground from the meter at the street. Comes up outside the garage wall. El's into the stucco wall. El's to go up the wall. El's to run on top of the rafters the length of the garage (25=30 ft). At the far end of the garage it Tees left for the water heater, laundry, and kitchen. The other side of the Tee goes into the Attic heading for the bathrooms. It is in contact with the rafter 2x4's and is anchored to them using what I am going to call 'fishhook spikes' having a red vinyl coating over the surface that is in contact with the copper pipe. The hot water line coming from the WH to accompany the cold and head to the bathrooms is covered with insulation.
This spotting is occurring about 2-3ft downstream of the El turning from up the wall to across the rafter.
 

Tumbleweed

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This is the municipal water service entering into the residence. Underground from the meter at the street. Comes up outside the garage wall. El's into the stucco wall. El's to go up the wall. El's to run on top of the rafters the length of the garage (25=30 ft). At the far end of the garage it Tees left for the water heater, laundry, and kitchen. The other side of the Tee goes into the Attic heading for the bathrooms. It is in contact with the rafter 2x4's and is anchored to them using what I am going to call 'fishhook spikes' having a red vinyl coating over the surface that is in contact with the copper pipe. The hot water line coming from the WH to accompany the cold and head to the bathrooms is covered with insulation.
This spotting is occurring about 2-3ft downstream of the El turning from up the wall to across the rafter.
 

Geofd

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This is the municipal water service entering into the residence. Underground from the meter at the street. Comes up outside the garage wall. El's into the stucco wall. El's to go up the wall. El's to run on top of the rafters the length of the garage (25=30 ft). At the far end of the garage it Tees left for the water heater, laundry, and kitchen. The other side of the Tee goes into the Attic heading for the bathrooms. It is in contact with the rafter 2x4's and is anchored to them using what I am going to call 'fishhook spikes' having a red vinyl coating over the surface that is in contact with the copper pipe. The hot water line coming from the WH to accompany the cold and head to the bathrooms is covered with insulation.
This spotting is occurring about 2-3ft downstream of the El turning from up the wall to across the rafter.
How old are those hangers I'm guessing they have lost the coating due to condensation age atmosphere conditions
The stucco is like a concrete and that could react to copoer
 

Jeff Handy

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If it’s only a few feet of pipe and easy access, cut it out and replace.
Sharkbite or sweat couplings.
Plus your new fitting.
Change the hangers if they are iffy.

Cheap fast repair, and you will sleep better.
And won’t have to have nightmares of a garage car wash.
 

Jeff Handy

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Also, what fool was drilling holes through the rafters to run that romex?
Should have spent five dollars for a box of insulated staples or similar fasteners.

And one hole is too close to the roof, might get a nail through it someday during a roof repair.
 

Tumbleweed

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I appreciate all of the feedback. This was in interesting investigation. Considering (a) the insulation cover on the hooks anchoring the copper pipe to the rafters are in good condition and (b) this is not occurring anywhere else on any of all of the pipe runs, I too am in agreement with breplum and frodo. This appears to be sloppy solder flux splatter during the original construction.
Before I go the path recommended by Jeff and replace the section, I am curious if :
1. that area of pipe been compromised with the splatter being present the last 40 years ?
2. or is it actually ok to simply clean it off and let it be ?
3. would a baking soda vinegar rub be effective to neutralize any remnants of the splatter ?
Thanks for your time and consideration.
 

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frodo

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Take a screw driver and probe the pipe
If the copper is rotten it will poke through the pipe if it is ok it will not

YES Baking soda and water mix will stop the acid from eating the pipe
so will sand paper
It is code that a plumber wipes each joint he solders to remove excess flux and solder
 

HWSleuth

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Do you store chlorine and or other chemicals such as water softener salt in this area. Both of these will turn copper green when in the immediate area. We see concerns when there are busted bags left uncleared up or simply uncovered storage.
 

Tumbleweed

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Take a screw driver and probe the pipe
If the copper is rotten it will poke through the pipe if it is ok it will not

YES Baking soda and water mix will stop the acid from eating the pipe
so will sand paper
It is code that a plumber wipes each joint he solders to remove excess flux and solder
Appreciate the follow up to use water and baking soda to clean the spots. Hopefully the Cerro Type L pipe integrity is holding up over the last 40 years.
 

Tumbleweed

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Do you store chlorine and or other chemicals such as water softener salt in this area. Both of these will turn copper green when in the immediate area. We see concerns when there are busted bags left uncleared up or simply uncovered storage.
Appreciate the follow up. Since I took ownership of the property, no chemicals have been stored in this immediate area. Previous owners habits are unknown. Not a chemical engineer myseld, however I am leaning towards this being latent solder flux residue. I expect the solder paste flux used 40+ years ago was somewhat different compared to today's formulas.
 
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