Copper Pipe Corrosion
Name: Lawrence B.
Our community is experiencing 20 - 30% of the homes requiring the copper pipes throughout
the homes to be replaced after only 10 years. Some authorities are trying to blame it on micro
organisms. Eating the pipes? Others are saying that it is because pure oxygen is used in the
water purification process and oxygen is highly corrosive but we are not told of this by the
Anyone have any information to help us?
The micro-organism cause should not be overlooked. Have the water company check out that angle before
Is the water acidic or (preferred) alkaline? Is the plumbing system electrically isolated from an earth
ground? Either or both of these will encourage corrosion of copper plumbing. Acidic water and
ungrounded pipes can favor corrosion. I discount the "pure oxygen" argument because oxygen is
not used in the purification process. Ozone -- a highly reactive form of oxygen -- is used in
some purification plants. However, there should be no residual ozone left in the water by the
time it reaches the distribution system.
Please check out the reference listed here. It bears on your situation and
is better information than that which I sent to you yesterday:
Chemical and Engineering News magazine.
August 18, 2003 Page 51
It should be available in any good library.
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Update: June 2012