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

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by dayster, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. dayster

    dayster New Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    Vancouver, BC

    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?

  2. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Nov 29, 2010
    Shinnannagins :)
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    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.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    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.
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