- This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 19 years, 9 months ago by MOE.
27 Aug 2002 at 8:32 pm #275736MasterPlumbersKeymaster
I have a problem with elevated copper concentrations in my drinking water. It actually comes out of the tap blue after sitting in the pipes for a long period of time. Electrolysis is suspected. Does anyone have information on this process? How do you test for it? What does the precipitate coming out of tap consist of?
27 Aug 2002 at 8:49 pm #292805Robert Stephen MortonParticipant
H2OBLU. Start saving money.
28 Aug 2002 at 12:16 am #292806MOEParticipant
H20: How fortuitous that you have made this inquiry at this particular time.
The composition of the the precipitated compound if it is blue in colour, is Copper Sulfate and carbonates..If it is green, it will be Copper Chloride with Calcium/Magnesium carbonates.
Electrolysis taking place on the inside surfaces of your piping is what is causing this
disintegration of the copper. The process is the result of different levels of electrical charges within the loop of copper that is your piping system.
The water flowing through your piping is an electrolyte (has the ability to conduct electrical energy), and trys to equalize the disparity in ambient voltage levels within the piping. In order to do this equalization trick, it borrows copper ions (positively charged copper electrons)with the plan to deliver them to the deficient (Negative) sections of the piping system.
As more and more copper atoms are coaxed into giving up ions for the cause, the copper goes into solution and is quick to join up with many
other minerals or gasses dissolved in the water.
If the water contains free Chlorine Atom, the copper will be irresitably drawn into a dalience to emerge as Copper Chloride. If the water has free Sulfurous compounds, the copper will hook up
with it and form Copper Sulphate.
As this Hydrolysis goes on, Hydrogen is liberated and will jump at the chance to play house with any available Chlorine atoms to form HydroChloric acid. The Oxygen liberated in the same Hydrolysis raction is now free to cohabit with the free Sulfur and Hydrogen to cook up H2SO4 (Sulfuric Acid)
While all this mixing and matching is going on the water is becoming laden with more and more dissolved gases, soluable minerals and particulate materials and becoming ever more efficient as the electrolyte, so the process kicks it up another notch.
After a while things really get humming inside your pipes and before long, pin hole leaks start popping viscousup.
The only effective means of dealing with the pox of pin hole leaks is to frustrate the mechanism that creates the situation.
The addition of a Sacrificial anode placed within the piping system and powered by a small DC power source can provide all the ions needed to satisfy the demands within that system and the viscous cycle is broken.
Copper piping is capable of delivering service for 100 years or more if it can get a little help from friends.
Check out this site.. “CopperKnight.com”
for some additional info on the subject
In the meam time buy bottled water for drinking an cooking.
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