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Blue corrosion on all copper press-fit coupling fittings

marius888
marius888 Member Posts: 10

Had someone coming up for a different issue and he mentioned the blue corrosion on the copper pipes fittings (see attached photos) is electrolysis.
Only the press-fit fittings are corroded the soldered joints are fine, I'm on city water, ln Westchester county, NY
thoughts ?


«1

Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,165
    It certainly is corrosion. But two points -- first place, it's not on all the pressfit fittings, and second, it can't be electrolytic, as electrolysis requires two dissimilar metals -- or an imposed electrical current with a DC voltage difference (even a very small one).

    It also requires at least some -- often a very small -- amount of water present where the corrosion is occurring. Straight chemical corrosion -- which I think is what I'm seeing there -- does require the water, but also oxygen.

    Interesting...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,009
    What brand press-fitting?
    How is the electrical system bonded? Is it bonded to the water main and a ground rod or UFER?
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,001
    Is this a heating system piping issue?
    If so, do you have glycol in the system?
    Zmankcopp
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,390
    Antifreeze
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    SuperTech
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,350
    I do a lot of chilled water piping with glycol and non of my joints look like that. 
    Manufacture of the fittings?
    we’re the tool approved?
    mattmia2
  • marius888
    marius888 Member Posts: 10
    Zman said:

    What brand press-fitting?
    How is the electrical system bonded? Is it bonded to the water main and a ground rod or UFER?

    I'm not sure, we just moved here and the sellers are difficult type.
  • marius888
    marius888 Member Posts: 10
    JUGHNE said:

    Is this a heating system piping issue?
    If so, do you have glycol in the system?

    yes id the heating system and I don't think I have glycol.
  • marius888
    marius888 Member Posts: 10
    pecmsg said:

    I do a lot of chilled water piping with glycol and non of my joints look like that. 

    Manufacture of the fittings?
    we’re the tool approved?
    Not sure, I just moved here.
  • You probably paid a lot of money for your house. I'd make a fuss.

    Was there a home inspection? If yes, did it say anything about the corrosion?

    If the previous owners are being difficult, I'd go back to my real estate agent to find out what options you have to get it corrected.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • marius888
    marius888 Member Posts: 10

    You probably paid a lot of money for your house. I'd make a fuss.

    Was there a home inspection? If yes, did it say anything about the corrosion?

    If the previous owners are being difficult, I'd go back to my real estate agent to find out what options you have to get it corrected.

    Real state here is crazy, war bids and everything, I don't have high hopes on going back to the previous owners.
    Any idea how to fix this ?
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,001
    Could this be some magic boiler cleaner/preservative/leak sealer?
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,374
    I am thinking antifreeze as well. The op mentioned he's on "city water" but I don't know if that is what those pipes are.

    Back to the torch.

    I didn't like the stuff 20 years ago and my thinking has not changed yet I installed tons of that stuff because my employers insisted on it and it's supposed to last 50 or 60 years
    SuperTech
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,350
    Again I haven’t seen that reaction with glycol!
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,374
    There were posts on this forum in years past about problems with PP with glycol
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,140
    I 'd start by taking a system fluid sample and checking the PH,EC,SAL,TDS,CU,FE levels...
    marius888
  • CLamb
    CLamb Member Posts: 92
    The corrosion might not be from the current fluid leaking but the fluid it was filled with previously.
  • marius888
    marius888 Member Posts: 10
    CLamb said:

    The corrosion might not be from the current fluid leaking but the fluid it was filled with previously.

    good point!
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,066
    Do you know the what brand the fitting are. A green dot would indicate Viega.
    Viega put out a statement on glycol "green fuzz" a while back. I'd check to see exactly what is in the fluid first.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    PC7060
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,985
    MikeAmann said:

    Could a plumber's assistant have prepped those fittings for sweating (fluxing the joints), not knowing that they were crimp fittings? He only missed one joint. Or maybe he was smoking a joint at the time?

    One of the joints looks like a street press elbow, I highly doubt it.

    Regardless of the reason I'd say all of those joints are seeping and need to be repaired.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,552
    I don't think corrosion is the right word. I think it's more like staining. I remember when propress first came out and there were lots of pictures with this type of staining. Antifreeze, if I recall correctly, is thinner than water, and will find its way through a mechanical joint. Not really a problem, just unsightly.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,066
    "molecular level seepage" is how it was described in a 2007 post with a similar issue. It is most often on glycol systems.

    Is seepage the same as a leak? If pressure does not drop some would not consider that a leak.

    Really the best way to know would be remove a fitting and have it analyzed by a lab.
    A sample of the fluid, color and smell would tell if it has glycol or other chemicals in it.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Derheatmeistermarius888
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,985
    hot_rod said:

    "molecular level seepage" is how it was described in a 2007 post with a similar issue. It is most often on glycol systems.

    Is seepage the same as a leak? If pressure does not drop some would not consider that a leak.

    Really the best way to know would be remove a fitting and have it analyzed by a lab.
    A sample of the fluid, color and smell would tell if it has glycol or other chemicals in it.

    If you want to keep the glycol inside the system, and it's leaving the system, I'd consider that a leak. :D
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    mattmia2MaxMercy
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 492
    I had a problem with Pro Press fittings oozing water on a job quite a few years ago. Pro Press at that time was fairly new or at least new to us. I found out that one of my helpers was using a fine sand paper to clean the ends of the copper which left scratch marks on it. After this event I would rarely clean the ends of the copper but when I did I used a fine steel wool to eliminate the scratching of the copper. This may not be the same problem you are having but it is a problem I had.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,374
    When you pressurize a bladder expansion tank the air moves through the bladder by osmosis and over time (a long time) the air side of the tank loses pressure.

    I think this is similar with fluid moving through an o ring. Water not so much. Glycol seems to weep as @hot_rod mentioned this has been hashed over years ago,

    PP limits the glycol content to 50%........who is to say what that means. Does 51% start deteriorating the O ring or will 40% do it over time?

    This wouldn't be the first time a manufacturer overrated a gasket.

    I have worked on multiple Victaulic systems where there gaskets were rated 235 degrees (they are rated 250 now I believe).

    We found if you ran the 235 rated gaskets at over 190 after a few years they became as hard as a rock and lost their flexibility.

    When the system was hot it would hold pressure. If allowed to cool it became a sprinkler system
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,140
    There are many reason why this can be happening...
    A Guessing game is not the way to handle this.

    IMO you should :

    1.Take Sample of system Fluid and approch it from analytical standpoint.
    For a modest fee Rhomar can check the sample https://www.rhomarwater.com/
    If the test come back Okay that still does not reduce the fact that the fluid could have been compromised and just cleaned up..


    2. Have a contractor Replace/Cut out a couple of the fittings and send them back to the manufacturer ,They can dissect the joint and check were it has been compromised..
    It could be Over crimped due to a cold jaws..O rings could have been compromised by not deburring a cut..The wrong Crimping tool could have been used..The wrong pipe could have been used..And so on...

    These repairs can be VERY,VERY Intrusive and expensive...

    It looks like some of the joints are exposed and a Home inspector should have picked up on this !!!!!!

    Purchasing a "New" home with these issues is very fustrating and unless you were made aware of this and signed off on this you should make some waves.




    MikeAmannmarius888Steve Minnich
  • marius888
    marius888 Member Posts: 10

    There are many reason why this can be happening...
    A Guessing game is not the way to handle this.

    IMO you should :

    1.Take Sample of system Fluid and approch it from analytical standpoint.
    For a modest fee Rhomar can check the sample https://www.rhomarwater.com/
    If the test come back Okay that still does not reduce the fact that the fluid could have been compromised and just cleaned up..


    2. Have a contractor Replace/Cut out a couple of the fittings and send them back to the manufacturer ,They can dissect the joint and check were it has been compromised..
    It could be Over crimped due to a cold jaws..O rings could have been compromised by not deburring a cut..The wrong Crimping tool could have been used..The wrong pipe could have been used..And so on...

    These repairs can be VERY,VERY Intrusive and expensive...

    It looks like some of the joints are exposed and a Home inspector should have picked up on this !!!!!!

    Purchasing a "New" home with these issues is very fustrating and unless you were made aware of this and signed off on this you should make some waves.




    Thank you so much! I will take those actions.
    As for house inspection report, I was reading the report (10 th time) and they have a catch all plumbing issues phrase saying I should call a plumber for investigate, but I'm planning to make waves
    the cold season just started and I have to deal with this.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,374
    @marius888

    is this part of your heating system? Do you know if this system contains antifreeze
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,350
    marius888 said:

    There are many reason why this can be happening...
    A Guessing game is not the way to handle this.

    IMO you should :

    1.Take Sample of system Fluid and approch it from analytical standpoint.
    For a modest fee Rhomar can check the sample https://www.rhomarwater.com/
    If the test come back Okay that still does not reduce the fact that the fluid could have been compromised and just cleaned up..


    2. Have a contractor Replace/Cut out a couple of the fittings and send them back to the manufacturer ,They can dissect the joint and check were it has been compromised..
    It could be Over crimped due to a cold jaws..O rings could have been compromised by not deburring a cut..The wrong Crimping tool could have been used..The wrong pipe could have been used..And so on...

    These repairs can be VERY,VERY Intrusive and expensive...

    It looks like some of the joints are exposed and a Home inspector should have picked up on this !!!!!!

    Purchasing a "New" home with these issues is very fustrating and unless you were made aware of this and signed off on this you should make some waves.




    Thank you so much! I will take those actions.
    As for house inspection report, I was reading the report (10 th time) and they have a catch all plumbing issues phrase saying I should call a plumber for investigate, but I'm planning to make waves
    the cold season just started and I have to deal with this.
    Good Luck making waves but probably a waste of time.

    A plumber and or HVAC contractor Should have been contacted before going to closing.

    As ive said i do a lot of chilled water work with glycol and never have seen that on our jobs. Consider replacing the bad sections using Viega Fittings and there approved press.
  • marius888
    marius888 Member Posts: 10

    @marius888

    is this part of your heating system? Do you know if this system contains antifreeze

    Yes, from what I'm observing only the heating system is affected.
    I'm not sure if the system contains antifreeze or not, I'm planning to test what is inside, already in discussion with the guys from rhomarwater to see what they need.
    I'm starting to think that I should replace the whole heating system + pipes, I have 4 zones (two hydro, one baseboard and one indirect water heater ).
    Derheatmeister
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 149
    Do it once - do it right. Otherwise you will be chasing this for decades.
    EBEBRATT-Ed
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,374
    Yeah, do it right all right solder it!!
    mattmia2ChrisJdelcrossv
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 4,008
    or flare or compression
    ChrisJ
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,691
    marius888 said:
    @marius888 is this part of your heating system? Do you know if this system contains antifreeze
    Yes, from what I'm observing only the heating system is affected. I'm not sure if the system contains antifreeze or not, I'm planning to test what is inside, already in discussion with the guys from rhomarwater to see what they need. I'm starting to think that I should replace the whole heating system + pipes, I have 4 zones (two hydro, one baseboard and one indirect water heater ).
    Two hydro air units....is one in the attic? I would bet it is. If so then I would bet your system has glycol antifreeze in it and that is the root of your problem.  The glycol is probably old and needs replacing anyway, I'd dump it and repair all leaks with soldered joints.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 4,008
    I guess the bigger question would be is it actually leak free with plain water or is there just no residue with that tiny a leak and water which evaporates much more quickly than glycol and contains no dye.
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,140
    edited November 23
    If you just "dump" the Glycol you may loose any insight/evidence on why this may be happening..
    It is great that you are allready talking to Rhomar..You are on the right track.
    Althought most service companys do not want to be bothered with recycling the old glycol :(
    Even if you have to pay a fee for the recycling of the Glycol,For enviroment reasons i highly recommend recycling vs just putting it down the drain..
    As you may tell everyone has a different opinion on behalf of the Piping/connection techniques
    "different strokes for different folks"...
    I personally have petty much tried and used any technique from Old school Pipe fitting using raw black pipe that is bent, shaped and then oxy torch welded/ Screwed together to Plain Copper soldering,Brazing,Crimping,Groving all the way up to pressing my first Black Pipe joint back in the 1980 ties..
    Some of the joints that i personally pressed back then are still leak free today and with proper fluid maintenance probably will outlive me..
    BTW...If you have Viega Pro Press fittings a proper installed joint is warranteed for 50 Years !
    It is not the norm that a proper press joint should leak the way they are leaking in your Home..
    Hope this helps..
    Richard.
    pecmsg
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,380
    edited November 23
    From the deterioration of the polyethylene foam pipe insulation, I would say this is a very, very old installation. The press-fit fittings are probably first generation. I would also assume that the system has glycol in it. If the fluid is acidic, the orings would probably not fair well. Anti-freeze doesn't last forever.

    Sorry to say, You may need to replace the press-fit fittings. A water sample sent to Rhomar would be very helpful in understanding the problem, as suggested.

    How many press-fit fittings do you have and are they accessible? You do have soldered joints, I see.

    A cheap fix, I would try this because I'm cheap. Drain the system, clean the press-fit fitting to pipe joint with emery cloth tape, ruffing up the pipe and the fitting and removing all the corrosion, clean the joint with lacquer thinner, then put a bead of JB Weld around the joint. Let it set up for 24 hrs before refilling the sys. Epoxy continues to harden over time, the longer you wait, the stronger it gets. If you just want it looking nice, clean the joint with a stainless steel scouring pad.

    As my mentor said, "If the rate of evaporation exceeds the rate of drip, you don't have a leak."
    PC7060
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,066

    If you just "dump" the Glycol you may loose any insight/evidence on why this may be happening..
    It is great that you are allready talking to Rhomar..You are on the right track.
    Althought most service companys do not want to be bothered with recycling the old glycol :(
    Even if you have to pay a fee for the recycling of the Glycol,For enviroment reasons i highly recommend recycling vs just putting it down the drain..
    As you may tell everyone has a different opinion on behalf of the Piping/connection techniques
    "different strokes for different folks"...
    I personally have petty much tried and used any technique from Old school Pipe fitting using raw black pipe that is bent, shaped and then oxy torch welded/ Screwed together to Plain Copper soldering,Brazing,Crimping,Groving all the way up to pressing my first Black Pipe joint back in the 1980 ties..
    Some of the joints that i personally pressed back then are still leak free today and with proper fluid maintenance probably will outlive me..
    BTW...If you have Viega Pro Press fittings a proper installed joint is warranteed for 50 Years !
    It is not the norm that a proper press joint should leak the way they are leaking in your Home..
    Hope this helps..
    Richard.

    Richard, most oil change shops will take small quantities of glycol, 5 gallon buckets. Pretty much any dealer or repair shop has glycol recycling same with O Reilly auto parts, etc.
    They do mix EG and PG in the recycling drums, it's tough to know which is in vehicles these days.
    Safety Kleen takes large quantities, drums, but for a fee.

    Most airports recycle the glycol de-icers. It goes into a bio pond for a few days for O2 exposure then into the sewer system if it is not recycled.

    Actually EG breaks down quicker than PG and used to be used for deicers. Info I learned from the Dow engineers that did a seminar for Coffee with Caleffi.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,066

    From the deterioration of the polyethylene foam pipe insulation, I would say this is a very, very old installation. The press-fit fittings are probably first generation. I would also assume that the system has glycol in it. If the fluid is acidic, the orings would probably not fair well. Anti-freeze doesn't last forever.

    Sorry to say, You may need to replace the press-fit fittings. A water sample sent to Rhomar would be very helpful in understanding the problem, as suggested.

    How many press-fit fittings do you have and are they accessible? You do have soldered joints, I see.

    A cheap fix, I would try this because I'm cheap. Drain the system, clean the press-fit fitting to pipe joint with emery cloth tape, ruffing up the pipe and the fitting and removing all the corrosion, clean the joint with lacquer thinner, then put a bead of JB Weld around the joint. Let it set up for 24 hrs before refilling the sys. Epoxy continues to harden over time, the longer you wait, the stronger it gets. If you just want it looking nice, clean the joint with a stainless steel scouring pad.

    As my mentor said, "If the rate of evaporation exceeds the rate of drip, you don't have a leak."

    I wonder why some solder joints, and some press on the job? Sweat on the domestic?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 4,008
    My guess would be convenience vs cost. Assemble and sweat assemblies on the bench then put them in place and press them together.