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Thread: Slamming with old copper pipes

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    Slamming with old copper pipes

    I recently talked to a pool contractor and he said copper used to be the material of choice for skimmer and return pipes. But over time, they didn't last up under the chlorine and are now being replaced. We have copper pipes that are well past the normal lifespan (30 years) and are concerned about keeping them corrosion/leak-free.

    What risks would I be taking when slamming a pool with very old copper pipes?
    ~ 15' x 30' gunite/16800 gall; Hayward D.E. Filter

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Slamming with old copper pipes

    For copper, your biggest enemy is pH, not chlorine. Metal corrosion is entirely dominated by pH. Copper corrosion is easily initiated at low pH (<7.0) because the cupric ion (Cu2+) is stable below a pH of 7.0.

    So you need to limit your pipes exposure to low pH by not using acidic sources of chlorine (trichlor or dichlor) and by always diluting acid additions in the deep end of the pool. If proper water chemistry is maintained, copper pipes can last for decades.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Slamming with old copper pipes

    Municipal water is chlorinated and copper pipes last many decades in homes carrying chlorinated water. Water with FC of 1 ppm and 0 CYA is harsher than water with CYA and FC at shock level. What municipal water supplies do is make sure the pH is never below 7.2 to avoid corrosion of pipes.
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    Re: Slamming with old copper pipes

    My pools were built is 1972 indoors, the copper pipes are just beginning to corrode through and get pin hole leaks, our pH has always been kept pretty normal I think it's just the age of your pipes. I'd keep a heads up for pinhole leaks to prevent worse

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