Copper Protection

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    • #273119
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      What is the best method of protecting my copper piping? It is 17 years old and I would like to avoid replumbing. This is a Fl. location. I am entertaining the use of a sacrificial anode system, or a water softener/filter system, and have gotten differing opinions on each.

    • #286925

      Hi Steve, honestly the only thing you can do after the fact is try to monitor the in coming pressure to make sure the velocity (FPS ) doesn’t exceed 6-8 FPS on CW piping and 2-3 FPS on hot water piping. The hotter the water the more chance of corrosion and or erosion.

      You should also have your water tested as for not only quality but the pH factor.
      Other than that your kind of limited what can be accomplished to piping already buried. The exposed piping should be supported as per local codes and NEVER with garbage (band iron) Use copper coated clevis hangers and double check all quick (solenoid) closing valves to prevent water hammering (hydraulic shock waves) Good luck

    • #286926

      Low pH less than 7 will cause more damage than higher pH like 8.5 will. Most water treatment companies have been tending to increase the pH so it is better for the cities metal plumbing.

    • #286927

      Personally I have found a pH value of less than 7 is great in preventing mineral build up in piping systems. The “hard water” is what causes most problems with internal corrosion ESPECIALLY on hot water piping.

      In NYC I have taken apart pipes that are well over 100 years old still in like new conditionds due to the fact NYC water is in the 6.3 range.
      But hey some of NYC water mains are only over 125 YEARS old so what do we know about piping systems with the 6.3 value.

      Time wil tell if the acid took its toll or not LOL

      [Edited by SylvanLMP on 23 June 2000]

    • #286928

      NYC has been voted best in the nation for drinking water quality for years. And its most recent water quality report says the pH range is from 6.5 to 8.5

      I think that consistent quality water had more to do with your pipes lasting for 125 years than low pH. Also the fact that you don’t need to have so much chlorine in your system to deal with 90 degree surface water like we have out here in the West.

      My statement about higher pH being less aggressive to plumbing has to do with the nations water distribution systems and a trend of many water companies to be more alkaline not just your little area of the world-Sylvan

      Besides it’s the inactivity of plumbing systems that causes most of the damage. You could have water running through pipes virtually forever and never form any deposits at all. But water that stands in plumbing is what takes its toll. Not to mention that when iron oxidizes it swells to 70% of it’s mass.

      As far as NYC plumbing I can’t believe the mess of the 5th Ave. 48″ 100 year old water main break. Maybe you can preach to those business folks in that area affected by the break about how low pH will make cast iron water mains last longer

    • #286929

      OKDave when I went to Oklahoma University (OU) for my ASME training I found the hard water played havoc with the piping systems. The boiler feed lines would become fouled the cooling water coils needed constant attention. Slightly acid is a good thing as for keeping the internal piping open to full diameter.

      Being in the mid west your not that familia with heating pipes becoming encrusted from lime and other mineral deposits and the maintenance required on automatic feeders.

      About water flowing 24-7 this is not always the case in ONE FAMILY homes with 90 year old galvanized piping systems.

      Your remark “As far as NYC plumbing I can’t believe the mess of the 5Th. Ave. 48″ 100 year old water main break. Maybe you can preach to those business folks in that area affected by the break about how low pH will make cast iron water mains last longer”

      Name one job YOU installed that will last 100 or MORE years trouble free?

      If you honestly did your homework YOU would also realize that 5Th. Ave has VERY, VERY, VERY heavy bus traffic and the compacting laws of 100 years ago were not as stringent as today. You should also take into consideration the cast-iron piping then used has the coal tar enamel wearing off the internal piping.

      Upon further investigation the 8.5 water you talked about was from the Jamaica Water supply and NOT from NYC reservoirs and Jamaica water supply had major problems due to the hardness of the water, especially H/W systems.

      The other problem with the safe water drinking act is many localities including NYC have a tendency of adding lots of chlorine and other chemicals (fluoride) to bring water quality up to federal standards.

      Until the federal government got involved NYC has the best water quality in the country as far as purity and taste.

      What is also a major factor in the 100 YEAR OLD main failures is the velocity problems associated with UNDER sized piping for a city that was never expected to grow as much as it did.

      As an engineering feat NYC has worked wonders using gravity for our supply with water tunnels far in excess of the little 48″ BRANCH line you spoke of.

      Now with buildings well over 100 stories high we are placing more demands on old systems.

      Think about this Dave, imagine ANY pipe under a heavy traffic area compounded with dynamiting and constant construction going on including under ground trains (subways) vibration and building settling and all this going on with folks taking it for granted.

      Lucky we have REAL plumbing professionals and highly qualified DEP personal keeping this system going and going.

      NYC water supply is indeed a wonder of the world.

      How many building on “5th AVE” do you think have been torn down and sky scrappers put in its place USING these same 100+ year old sewers and water mains?

      You should honestly think about taking a look at this cities Aqua ducts and really look into the actual water quality we are blessed with.

      NY State water is the envy of the world ALL without filtration systems (until certain folks found they can rip off the general public with scare tatics re: filtration systems)

      Almost every home center and FLY BY NIGHT now offers some type of filtration system for no valid reason. Water quality in this country is second to none UNTIL engineers get involved .

      FYI: The New York City (NYC) water supply system is the “largest surface storage” (So much for your SURFACE water theory HUH?) and supply complex in the world, yielding 1.2 billion gallons of water daily. Dave welcome to life in the BIG city

      Dave come to NYC and Marvel at our wondrous systems. Respectfully, SylvanLMP.

      [Edited by SylvanLMP on 24 June 2000]

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