green on all my copper pipes, sorry last post

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

  1. I had it confirmed recently by a solicitor that I have inherited the problem as I was naiive about leases so the cowboy built pipe is my responsibility. I am worried as the pipe where I had managed to wipe the flux off was rough, whereas the rest of the pipe was totally smooth, plus the pipes in the loft which I cannot access are lagged but I felt some of them near the hatch and got thick green waxy stuff on my fingers, so am worried that this will corrode the pipes eventually causing bigger leaks. The ceiling i have is asbestos artex so if it falls in eventually, the flat will be contaminated and need a deep clean from a specialist asbestos company.
  2. Astramax

    Astramax Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you're glass is always half empty! :( rather than always half full! :)
  3. I've got the plumber coming round tonight. The bit where i wiped the flux off is definitely corroded, I'm not happy with his service, he has a year guarantee, I dunno what to do, get a refund. All other plumbers are busy, my ex plumber who moved to other end of county says all local decent plumbers booked up until august.
  4. Plumber on way.
  5. mentally exhausted, will come back to this thread, thanks all for your valuable help in the meantme
  6. Hi
    Im ready to write about plumber now.
    He isn't going to check all the joints for flux spillage. He at first denied the green streak of flux running down the pipe in the airing cupboard, then he said he may have missed it, especially if it was towards the end of the day.
    He uses Laco, which is why I am quoting your post @Heat
    When I raised the concern that the flux I had wiped off had caused minor corrosion on the pipe in the airing cupboard, he looked at the corrosion and said that just because the laco started to corrode the pipe doesn't mean that any laco still on any of the pipes in the loft will corrode right through the pipes.
    He told me off for worrying but i said that if the ceiling came through cos of leaks, I would be devastated.
    He said the flux he uses is non corrosive and heat activated, meaning blowtorch temperature heat.
    As I have autistic traits, I am unable to tell whether someone is lying and i am unable to anticipate their motives.
    I did offer to pay him as i had other plumbing questions but he said no need.
    I complained that while he used the right sized lagging on some pipes, on others, it was too loose, which it is, but he said it got me through one of the worst winters in ten years, and will get me through other winters.
    He said to forget about all the green on stagnant pipes etc.
    I would like to be able to just forget about it and if in the future, a leak happens, then que sera sera, what will be will be, thats how I am when anxiety not too high, but when it gets high I start worrying again and I take 'a stitch in time saves nine' type of attitude.
    He offered to change the lagging for free, but if I get him to i might pay. I might get him to change the lagging as I have had new breathable roofing felt and its colder. I had this done in April.
    I noticed a marked difference in temp. The new roofing felt is on the lower level loft. I have two lofts spaces, the upper loft where the pipes are, and a 'room' the old owner created out of crawl space, by removing studwork, ducting and shfting soil stacks and vents about.
    The old owner was an unbelievaably **** diy'er but his alterations have gone so far into the structure of the flat that god knows what nasties are hiding behind plasterboard,but as this is plumbers talk i wont go into that.
    Anyway, its got me really mentally tired so im gonna stop there cos there might be more to say but im exhausted to write about it but will be more than happy to get any replies to this post.
  7. Hi Sorry to be a pain, but I just googled La-co flux and while it says it reduces the risk of corrosion on here a forum member says it eats through copper if not washed off.
    This makes me want to contact another company called XXXXX from the trustmark site in my area as I spoke to XXXXX this morning and they said they would send someone round to have a look at my pipes.
    I am also going to email OFTEC for thier advice as they have an advice section for homeowners.
    I just don't want to take the risk of leaving la-co on the outside of my pipes if it is eventually going to eat through the copper because knowing my luck, it will be christmas day or something like that when i get a leak.
    BTW my plumber gave me a picture of a home with 50 year old pipes covered in blue not green, he said they were fluxed and were not leaking, but to me it seems shoddy workmanship to leave flux on the outside of pipes, especially if he has left it on all of the pipes in the loft, its an unknown that is just going to play on my mind if i dont get someone to wash it off.
  8. dcox

    dcox Active Member

    I don’t know what I can write to put your mind at ease. I see a lot of pipework with green staining like yours and it is very rarely an issue.

    Now you’ve got me worried that an untrustworthy plumber may take advantage of your concerns and charge you a lot of money to change pipes that I really don’t think need changing.

    Please - trust us. Carry on using them and try not to worry.
  9. teabreak

    teabreak Well-Known Member

    Flux will become exhausted after a time it is not going to keep eating away for years!
  10. Two sensible posts above, LadyN2DIY.

    Some things to remember: any flux left inside the pipes has almost certainly been flushed out by now, or has been diluted to the point it has no further effect (a bit like Homeopathy...)

    Flux on the outside of the pipes - which you clearly do have - will lose effectiveness as it goes green; it doesn't remain an acid, but neutralises over time.

    Yes, your plumber was lax and didn't demonstrate that extra level of tidiness and care you would like, but it isn't the crime of the century. Don't employ him again, tho' - he's had his chance! Although not the perfect plumber, I suspect he has not had any cases of leaks due to the use of flux, or I'm pretty sure he'd be taking greater care these days - so accept what he says about this. But don't use him again...

    It is EXTREMELY unlikely that any of these pipes will develop a leak due to this - extremely.

    Your flat is insured, and none of this is your creation. Should the most extremely unlikely event actually happen, two things to bear in mind - (1) it won't go 'whoooosh' and wreck the place, and (2) that is what insurance is for - and you'll be covered.

    If the flat below gets damaged - which it almost certainly won't - then that's what insurance is for too.

    You are a 'lay-person'; you are not 'meant' to understand this plumbing stuff or feel any concern about it. Pretend you are a person with no knowledge whatsoever! You had a plumbing issue, you called in a plumber, he sorted it, you paid him, all is fine!

    Honestly - this is NOT something to worry yourself about. I'd would happily place a bet on nothing ever happening because of this flux - ever. And, if anything were to happen, that's what insurance is for and that's what professional tradespeeps are for.

    In short - nothing will happen, but if it does then it'll be sorted! This is the situation in every single house in the country :)
    lady_new_2_diy, Astramax and teabreak like this.
  11. Hi thanks,

    Unfortunately pipes not covered by insurance as I should not have allowed central heating installer up in the loft as the loft space is not mine.

    Thanks for advising me flux neutralises over time.

    I'm worried about the electric cables though as the pipes are not very well lagged and the base of one pipe near the cable is bare, this pipe gets very hot when i run my bath ( i dont hve a shower) so am worried that the hot copper pipes too close to the cables will cause a fire.
  12. As I said in another thread, this 'very hot' pipe is at around 60oC - that's 'OUCH!' to touch, but CANNOT cause a fire.

    It also won't melt the cables.

    Relax - and have another bath :)
    lady_new_2_diy likes this.

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