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  • Black cold water line?

    So I took my bathroom medicine cabinet out to reveal the waste pipe and cold water main for my apartment. I took some 0000 steel wool to the cold water line to reveal the metal underneath, I assume this is copper based on the color (however, it is marked, WOLVERINE GRADE A85-15). Is this jet black patina normal? Could it be the result of electrolysis? In the picture you can see that some electric conduit is running down the same line, and I know some of the original bathrooms have galvanized supply lines to the showers and sinks.




  • #2
    Re: Black cold water line?

    I'm not saying this is whats happening but I think I remember reading an article that said some sheet rock emits a sulfur and will turn metals like copper black...at any rate I wouldn't be too concerned unless somebody else knows something I don't...which is very likely...
    Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
    You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

    Derek

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    • #3
      Re: Black cold water line?

      yeah I think bad chinese sheetrock had sulfur and other toxins in it that was reacting with the copper, but seeing that these walls are from 1950ish and made from perforated plasterboard and plaster, I doubt it. I was just curious, and was wondering if the black film was any indication of the state of the inside of the 50-60 year old pipe.

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      • #4
        Re: Black cold water line?

        Also, i think the pipe may be red brass (judging from the 85-15 stamp), and if that is the case it looks like they went with some good quality stuff, so I assume the black film is nothing to worry about.

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        • #5
          Re: Black cold water line?

          Originally posted by JJJAAAMMM View Post
          yeah I think bad chinese sheetrock had sulfur and other toxins in it that was reacting with the copper, but seeing that these walls are from 1950ish and made from perforated plasterboard and plaster, I doubt it. I was just curious, and was wondering if the black film was any indication of the state of the inside of the 50-60 year old pipe.
          I personally don't think there's any thing to worry about...you ain't dead yet!!
          Poor Planning On Your Part Does Not Constitute An Emergency On My Part!!
          You can fire me...but you can't tell me what to do!

          Derek

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Black cold water line?

            I would have guessed maybe there was a fire at some point that deposited some soot, but then I realized that nothing else is black. So, I have no idea what it is, but I don't think it's anything serious.
            Ideal Plumbing

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            • #7
              Re: Black cold water line?

              I was reading it could have something to do with the condensation on the cold line and it reacting with the copper over a really long period of time. but I am not sure.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Black cold water line?

                Also, how does that waste line look? It is scaling a bit. What is the life expectancy on something like that? Not sure if it is cast iron or galvanized steel.

                If that ever failed how is it possible to replace it? Would every apartment have to have its walls opened up?

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                • #9
                  Re: Black cold water line?

                  Worked in brooklyn and manhattan for years. That my freind is theftproofing. We used to do it all the time saved the copper lots of time they didn't know when we put it in so it lasted

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                  • #10
                    Re: Black cold water line?

                    Originally posted by JJJAAAMMM View Post
                    I was reading it could have something to do with the condensation on the cold line and it reacting with the copper over a really long period of time. but I am not sure.
                    Bingo!
                    Time flies like an arrow.

                    Fruit flies like a banana.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Black cold water line?

                      Wolverine is a manufacturer of copper fittings, pipe and tubing. http://www.wolverinebrass.com/default.htm
                      Not totally sure about the cause of the black. I have found it on older lines, never been concerned. It has never looked in any way corrosive to the pipe, and seemed to be related to condensation and environmental conditions.
                      Last edited by shock1964; 03-25-2011, 02:42 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Black cold water line?

                        Originally posted by 59 WAGON MAN View Post
                        Worked in brooklyn and manhattan for years. That my freind is theftproofing. We used to do it all the time saved the copper lots of time they didn't know when we put it in so it lasted
                        no offense but I doubt it, it is in an inaccessible place in a residential building. Only way a thief is ripping this out is if he somehow breaks into 5 apartments all at the same time with a wreaking ball.

                        I think it is a chemical reaction, but the new super came over the other day and was shocked to see it as well. He was thinking it was fire damage but ruled it out quickly.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Black cold water line?

                          Originally posted by shock1964 View Post
                          Wolverine is a manufacturer of copper fittings, pipe and tubing. http://www.wolverinebrass.com/default.htm
                          Not totally sure about the cause of the black. I have found it on older lines, never been concerned. It has never looked in any way corrosive to the pipe, and seemed to be related to condensation and environmental conditions.
                          and I think you are close, but I believe it may actually be Wolverine Tubing http://www.wlv.com not Wolverine Brass.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Black cold water line?

                            Ya that could be. Funny, so many manufacturers and so few original names to choose from.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Black cold water line?

                              Ha, also not to be confused with the Wolverine Pipe Line Co.

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