green on all my copper pipes, sorry last post

Discussion in 'Engineers' Talk' started by lady_new_2_diy, May 7, 2018.

  1. Hi I own a flat and the old owner bodged the plumbing, horizontal piping, he boxed it in so it is unaccessible, but i noticed blobs of green in the joins and along the pipes and am worried about leaks because i have googled and found that green on pipes means leaks that can turn into disasters. i own my flat and it is top floor and i dont want leaks because the flat below has a false timber ceiling plus asbestos artex so it could be a disaster if pinhole leaks suddenly get bigger. The flat is 4o years old. I cannot afford a re pipe for the whole flat. I own the flat on a mortgage and am worried sick. The copper piping is horizontal and there is loads of green in the joins and on the underside of the pipes, its an emerald green colour.
    Sorry for all the posts but i have a fear of water leaks as i am in a top floor flat.
    Thank you for your help. The green is on the joins, elbows, and along the pipes, and I made the mistake of reading the internet and it says leaks leaks leaks which worries me sick.
    Any reassurance would be helpful. As mentioned in my other post, the flat is 40 yrs old, but as the old owner bodged the pipes, which he should not have touched, I could be in trouble with the freeholder as I am a homeowner but on a leasehold and not a freehold basis.
    yhanks for reading.
  2. koolpc

    koolpc Well-Known Member

    Get it checked out by a reputable plumber!
  3. Does green on pipes reallyean leaks. The pipes are boxed in plasterboard but I can see green where they enter the boxing. Just worried it's as bad as they say online about leaks getting bigger.
  4. koolpc

    koolpc Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily.
  5. teabreak

    teabreak Well-Known Member

    Green blobs without any sign of crusty scale are more likely to be flux left on the pipe and not cleaned off, clean off with a bit of wire wool and chances are it will not come back.;)
    Astramax and dobbie like this.
  6. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Well-Known Member

    If you clean it off with wire wool, be sure to wet the wire wool to keep the dust down. The green is copper oxide, verdigris, if the dust is inhaled it will cause flu like symptoms, it is a mild poison if inhaled.
  7. Hi @teabreak and thanks all for your answers, the green is crusty, so does that mean, given the 40yr age of the flat, that there are pinhole leaks? thanks
  8. Astramax

    Astramax Well-Known Member

    Please stop looking for problems that don't exist:mad:
  9. Thanks for your speedy reply but before coming here I checked loads of sites including a leaflet from the Foundation for Water research and they say that especialy if pipes have had stagnant water in them, then they are more likely to corrode from inside, and mine have been stagnant because, due to faults in my plumbing, ive been using my friends shower and not used my bath for ages.
    Its the fact that all the sites say that green on the pipes are pinhole leaks and there is thick crust on some of the joins, and whats most worrying is that the pipes were altered by a bad DIY'er who lived here before me so he probably never reamed the pipes or did them properly, some even don't look soldered where the joins are. (I'm not talking about the ones in the loft in the other post)
  10. Astramax

    Astramax Well-Known Member

    Sorry finding it hard to type as I just slit my throato_O
    Dr Decorator likes this.
  11. :( I'm sorry I've got autistic traits and tend to best with specific answers. I dont mean to make you feel bad, I just wanna know if boiler pressure would go to zero if pipe leaked cos i am not sure i trust the plumber who did my work on my heating pipes even though he is gas safe.
  12. CGN

    CGN Well-Known Member

    No need to worry. Think about your pipework for a mo. You are worrying about green stuff on your water pipes and assume you may have a leak.
    Then you're worried about green stuff on your gas pipe which carries gas and not water, but still has green stuff on. Draw your own conclusion!
    teabreak likes this.
  13. I dunno what to think to be honest. I also have an unsleeved pipe in my airing cupboard and made a post but no one has answered it despite me bumping it.
  14. teabreak

    teabreak Well-Known Member

    Your pressure is staying up, pin holeing on copper is in fact rare, a leaking pipe will almost certainly have white scale bubbling through the green, have a go with a brillo pad.
    Don't worry about it, if anyone here thought you had a problem it is no skin off their nose to tell you to spend a fortune replacing your pipes, no one has, so stop worrying and relax.
    lady_new_2_diy likes this.
  15. Hi@teabreak
    Does lowered boiler pressure only apply to central heating pipes?
    The green circles are on the cold water pipe that leads into my cistern?
    I can;t see if there is any white scale bubbling further along the pipe feeding the cistern as it dissappears into some loft insulation in plastterboard boxing cos the cowboy plumber hid all his bodge jobs so its hard to tell. I'm worrying cos there is a flat below me, and the floors are concrete so a leak may not be immediately noticeable and as the flat below has a false timber ceiling, that could be rotten behind his asbestos plasterboard ceiling, so yeah your right, I am worrying, cos im thinking it could all go terribly wrong.
    I dunnoo i got this idea that its just a matter of time before the suspected pinhole leaks turn into a big nasty leak that i cannot see and loads of expense for me as the solicitor i recently spoke to said i would be responsible as the old owner breached the lease by altering the building owners pipework.
  16. teabreak

    teabreak Well-Known Member

    1 Yes heating only.
    2 Here are some pictures of pipework I recently removed from my house they were perfectly fine! As a pipe fitter of 40+ years I would be quite happy to have continued using them indefinitely, I only removed them to reroute the supply to a new bathroom.
    The stains are from flux not cleaned off after soldering if you look at the inside pictures the cut made at the fitting shows a lot of staining where flux ran inside fitting when soldering, the cut made away from a fitting is quite normal almost totally clear of deposits just a light sprinkle of deposits that are always left in pipework.;)
    As a side issue pin holing is usually due to impurities in the tube manufacture very rare these days. most was made around 1970 during the Rhodesia crises when they declared UDI they were the main source of copper so loads of cheap rubbish came onto the market, if you had that junk it would have failed years ago.;)

    Attached Files:

    Dr Bodgit, lady_new_2_diy and KIAB like this.
  17. Hi@teabreak
    Thanks for putting in your pictures. I understand that the pipes get a layer of green on the inside, and this is a good thing because it protects the pipe (I don't mean to tell a plumber his job so no offence meant) I read that this film is good, and its bad if new pipes are left stagnant as the film comes off causing problems. Thanks for showing me the flux on the outside of the pipe also. i have pipes like that and understand lots of others do, I'm just worried because the flux I cleaned off the outside of the pipe in the airing cupboard has left a rough area where the flux was suggesting corrosion, and i felt the rest of that single pipe and it felt totally smooth, the roughest bit was at the end of the streak of flux where it had turned into a 'ball'
    I got into the loft and felt the pipes I could reach around the hatch and all of them have big streaks of flux on but i cannot access them to clean them, I felt around them and there was thick bright green on my fingers.
    The plumber has a good reputation apparently, but he used the wrong sized lagging to lag my pipes and did not tape them properly so there are big gaps. I've had frozen pipes before. Thanks for the post and pics.
  18. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    The plumber is not doing things right if he leaves flux on pipes or fittings without wiping it off with a damp rag while some heat still left in pipe a few minutes after soldering.
    The flux type is important as some flux are extremely corrosive (“self cleaning fluxes”) and imo shouldn’t be used. Everflux is one of the nasty fluxes and if you leave some of it on a cutting of copper to prove what it does.
    Probably Laco flux is a good choice, or my usual flux - Fluxite or Yorkshire ‘grease’ based flux, as not damaging to copper or solder
    lady_new_2_diy likes this.
  19. hi @Heat thanks for your reply.
    I don't know the brand the plumber used, but when I wiped the flux off the pipe in the airing cupboard, there was a rough surface where the flux had been suggesting corrosion.
    I compared the area where the flux had been with the rest of the pipe, the rest of the pipe felt smooth, but only the area where the flux had been felt rough. I could not clean the pipes in the loft due to access difficulties and they are lagged.
    I felt around the pipes under the lagging and there was thick waxy green stuff on my fingers.
    Is the bad corrosive type of flux waxy to the touch?
    Many thanks
  20. joinerjohn1

    joinerjohn1 Screwfix Select

    I honestly think you’re worrying needlessly. How could the freeholder find you responsible for plumbing the previous leaseholder had done ?

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