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Thread: Draining Copper Pipe Causes Corrosion? "Old Wives Tale" or ?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member dayster's Avatar
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    Default Draining Copper Pipe Causes Corrosion? "Old Wives Tale" or ?

    Hello,

    I have gotten very good advice from this forum in the past, there appear to be many helpful and knowledgeable members here.

    My neighbour just took a plumbing course over several weekends. She was told by the instructor not to install new fixtures in her old house until she was ready to replace all of the piping, because "as soon as you drain old copper pipe that has had water running through it for 50 years it will start to corrode". The instructor claims that as a plumber that he makes lots of calls to rectify problems caused by air contacting the inside of old pipes.

    I call BS, there is no science in such a statement. Water has oxygen in it, and the OUTSIDE of the pipe is bathed in air 24/7,

    This sounds like urban myth to me.

    Anybody heard this before? Anybody think there is any truth to it based on actual experience?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    In the Trades Tom Sawyer's Avatar
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    Shinnannagins

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    HE is either trying to "dazzle them with brilliance" or "baffle them with B.S.", and it is mostly the latter. Hundreds, if not thousands, of houses sit with empty copper lines for long periods, even years, and are as good as new when the water is turned back on to them. He impresses me as one of the "contract price/flat rate" plumbers who try never to do the job for the lowest price possible.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    What could happen is any buildup on the inside of the pipe might slough off and when you turn things on, clog aerators or screens. Always best to flush the lines with them off, and the showerhead off until the water clears. But for corrosion, unlikely.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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