Blue Corrosion On Copper Pipe & SOLUTIONS!

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Blue corrosion on the copper pipe is a result of a reaction with its environment. Long and prolonged exposure to moisture and air will cause the metal from the piping to dissolve into the water, thereby creating pipe failure and corrosion of water heaters, fixtures, and appliances.

It is usually best to solve copper corrosion at the sources, but it doesn’t help with the stains that are already there.

What solution to use to remove the stains depends on what material the affected fixture is made with. We recommend starting with something “gentle, and gradually work your way up to heavier-duty cleaners and abrasives only if the gentle approach fails.

By doing this, you’re able to avoid unnecessary damage to finishes.

Try this white vinegar and salt homemade cleaner to remove blue-greenish copper stains:

  • Dissolve a tablespoon of salt in a cup of warm vinegar
  • Then soak a rag with the solution for 30 minutes.
  • Then place it on the stain for an hour. Sometimes, the stain may begin to lift immediately.
  • If it does not, try lightly scrubbing with the rag, and repeat until you’re satisfied with the result.

Because vinegar is a relatively weak acid and the salt is dissolved, this should be safe for any fixture material.

Table of Contents

What Is the Blue Stuff on Copper Pipes?

The blue stuff on copper pipes is caused by corrosion. Blue-green is the color you get when copper oxidizes.

If your pipe is a cold water pipe then there could be moisture on the outside making contact with the steel bolts and copper. If that is the case, then corrosion can occur rather quickly and when not noticed on time, could cost you a whole replacement.

In my experience, cold water pipes sometimes collect condensation and that can cause corrosion when in contact with other metals and or excessive flux residue.

So, condensation could collect and drip because there is some buildup on 1 side of the brass ball valve just below.

So, clean the corrosion away then retighten all the bots to make damn sure the cold water stays inside the pipes. Give it some time and double-check to make sure all is fine.

Should I be Worried About Blueish Corrosion on My Copper Pipes?

Yes, you should. Something must have caused the corrosion at the joints or other parts of your copper pipes.

The most common culprits of blueish corrosion on homeowner copper pipes are:

  • Leaks
  • Trapped Moisture
  • Improper Flux, or
  • Poor Soldering.
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Is Blueish Corrosion on My Copper Pipes Dangerous?

If the corroded copper leaks into your drinking water system then it could cause copper poisoning. Otherwise, you should be fine.

Copper poisoning can induce gastrointestinal issues in the near term and long-term damage to the liver and kidneys.

Blue Corrosion On Copper Pipe

What Causes Blue Corrosion on Copper Pipes?

Blue corrosion on plumbing systems and copper pipes is as a result of physical and chemical reactions between the material and water.

The main causes of pipe corrosion are:

  • Acid water or Low pH water is another cause. These are usually found on private well water but are also present in some small municipal water systems.
  • Other water chemistry causes high levels of dissolved oxygen, corrosion-causing bacteria such as iron bacteria or sulfate, and/or high levels of salts dissolved in the water.
  • Electrochemical causes, such as the improper grounding of electrical appliances to the copper piping.
  • The high velocity of water that is relative to the piping size, leads to hydraulic wear on the piping.
  • For example, a recirculating hot water system with a pump driving the water through pipes that are too small in diameter.
  • Sediment, sand, or other grit causes hydraulic wear on the piping.
  • Lightning strikes utility poles where the electricity travels to ground wires connecting to piping systems.
  • Poor plumbing installation practices, including not cleaning or de-burring the pipe properly and excessive flux in soldering the pipe fittings.
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How To Remove Blue Corrosion From Copper Pipes

  • Purchase and use a good copper pipe corrosion test kit
  • Check to see if there are bad or unneeded electrical appliances or wiring connected to the piping
  • Do a first draw copper test. Find out how high the levels of your copper are. To do this wait overnight and draw some water and test for copper (this is called a “first draw test”) using a home copper test kit.
  • Speak to a plumber and find out if your piping system is properly grounded or not. Verify that there is electrical continuity throughout the piping system.
  • We also recommend checking for alkalinity, pH, hardness, total dissolved solids, and water corrosiveness.

Now, do the following:

  • If incorrect, correct or minimize the cause of the corrosion above.
  • Install a soda ash feeder or a calcite neutralizer tank to raise the pH to 7.0 to 8.0 to correct for low pH and increase the water’s alkalinity.
  • Install a phosphate feeder before the copper piping. The phosphate from the feeder will coat the piping and reduce or slow down the corrosion effects by coating the piping’s interior surfaces and encouraging surface insulation build-up.

Author: Howard S. Baldwin

My name is Howard S. Baldwin. I am a work-at-home dad to three lovely girls, Jane + Hannah + Beauty. I have been blogging for the last 3 years. I worked for other Home and Lifetsyle blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to DIY life and homemaking.

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