Many people often forget about their plumbing systems until they have a problem. One common issue that affects the systems is copper pipes turning green. The greenish color is often referred to as a patina. Read on to learn why your pipes are turning green and ways to get around the issue.
The most frequent reason why copper pipes turn green is oxidation. Oxidation takes place when copper pipes are exposed to moisture and air for a continuous period. The color is formed by the creation of copper oxide that forms when copper metal reacts with air. While a slight color change is not detrimental, more cases can affect the integrity of your pipes.
2. Exposure to Chemicals
Aside from oxidation, exposure to chemicals is another prevalent reason copper pipes turn green. When copper pipes come in contact with chemicals, especially sulfur, they tend to change color. Your pipes might also get patina if they come into contact with ammonia, chlorine, and nitrogen.
3. Water Leaks
Another cause of copper pipes turning green is water leaks. This is often the case when the leaking water has a pH of 6.5 and below. Your pipes will turn green on the sections with leaks.
How to Prevent Copper Pipes From Turning Green
Fortunately, there are various ways to prevent your copper pipes from turning green. First, you can coat your copper pipes with a protective layer to prevent oxidation. You should also avoid exposing your pipes to various chemicals notorious for forming patina when they come into contact with metals. Lastly, schedule frequent plumbing maintenance to help identify leaks that may result in discoloration of your pipes.
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