Help, plz! Copper pipe question.

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by seanc, Jul 12, 2005.

  1. seanc

    seanc New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Hi there,

    i just finished the plumbing for the basement, everything went really well and looks fantastic. I put up the drywall before finding the answer to this question and need to figure this out before i finish painting it.

    I am running the copper pipe through mainly wooden studs, it does however pass through some metal studs. I didnt use nylon gromets around the holes the copper is running through. Is this a problem? Do I need to pull the drywall down and redo this? I'm not sure if copper and metal studs will create an electrical charge and cause the copper to corrode.

    Thank you for your time!!!
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,118
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    You don't want the copper touching the metal studs.

    Now is the time to fix it.
    They make plastic inserts that fit a 1-3/8" hole and they have winged clips that can be screwed in.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pipe

    The problem is not any electrical charge. You do not want the copper tubing rubbing against the steel which will wear a hole in the pipe.
  4. seanc

    seanc New Member

    Messages:
    3
    well, I anchored the plumbing down with copper straps such that there is little to no chance of the pipes rubbing against the metal studs. Is this the only concern? I do not have to be worried about chemical/electrical reactions between the copper and the metal in the studs?
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    copper

    If there were a reaction, which there will not be, the copper would eat the steel away, not the other way around.
  6. srdenny

    srdenny Plumbing Contractor

    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    SF Peninsula
  7. srdenny

    srdenny Plumbing Contractor

    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    SF Peninsula
  8. dx

    dx General Contractor

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Michigan
    Sean,
    The issue is galvanic corrosion. Do a Google search and learn for yourself. If you have high relative humidity and the copper touches the galvanized studs, the zinc will be consumed first, and quickly (small relative anode area). Then the steel. The copper is the more noble of the 3 metals, so will not eat away much. You will likely end up with rusted studs. The process may stop when enough of the stud is eaten away to break contact with the pipe. If relative humidity is very low, nothing much is likely to happen.
    If it were me, I'd fix it.
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