Copper and Your Well Water: Part 2 of 2
In this next post, we will look at what you can do to stop copper corrosion from happening in your pipes. Once corrosion occurs, ions in the copper can easily dissolve into solution with ions in the water. Oxygen in the water rusts, or oxidizes, the copper which turn it a blue-green color.
First, it is important to determine the source of the corrosion if you think it may be occurring.
Three Tests for Copper Corrosion
1. Test the pH of your water. An ideal pH is between 7.2-8.0.
2. Check to make sure unnecessary electrical connections or appliances are not attached to your system piping. In addition, make sure there is electrical continuity throughout the system. The piping should also be properly grounded in the earth.
3. Cut off portions of piping in the system to check for evidence of the type of corrosion happening. It is also important to look out for signs of poor craftsmanship in the copper piping. Affected areas should be replaced as soon as possible.
Installing a calcite neutralizer will raise the alkalinity and the pH of your water to non-corrosive levels..
Problem: High Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
Installing a reverse osmosis system for the whole house will filter dissolved ions out of solution that could be slowly eating away at your piping.
Problem: Bacteria and/or Sulfur odors
The water needs to be chlorinated or disinfected ozone treatment before it enters your household pipes.
A good, general, preventative strategy for protecting your piping against corrosion is to install a phosphate feeder. When Phosphate is fed into the system, it adds an insulating coating to the inside walls of the pipes. This strategy works best if the water has an intermediate hardness of 3-5 grains per gallon (or 50-100 mg/L).