If your home’s plumbing system uses copper or brass pipes, you may have noticed some stains that are blue or green in color around your plumbing fixtures. If this happens, then it’s important to call in a professional plumber to properly diagnose and resolve the issue. Read on to find out more about these mysterious water stains and what causes them.
What are blue or green water stains?
Blue and green stains are caused by your water, just like typical water stains. The difference is the content of the water. If the copper in your pipes has started to corrode or dissolve, it will leech into the water. When this contaminated water is left to sit in and around your water fixtures, it will leave a stain behind that’s blue or green in color. If you’re drinking tap water in your home, you may also notice a slight metallic taste to it.
Possible causes of this problem
There are a variety of things that can lead to this problem. One of the most common is acidic water. When water reaches a pH of 6.8 or lower, it starts to dissolve copper. This will occur slowly over time, so not only will your water supply become contaminated, but your pipes will also become weaker over time as corrosion gradually occurs.
Another, less common, cause of these stains is related to improperly installed electrics. If your water undergoes a process called electrolysis as a result of nearby electrical currents, then metal corrosion will be accelerated. This can affect different types of metals, but only copper or brass pipes will create the blue/green stains.
What to do about it
The first thing to do is deal with the problem at the source. Call a plumber to assess the condition of your pipes. They can advise whether any repairs are needed or if your pipes need replacing. You may also need to call a water treatment specialist if the quality of your water is the cause of the corrosion.
Then you’ll want to clear up those blue and green stains around your bathroom and kitchen plumbing. White vinegar or lemon juice can both be effective at cleaning these kinds of stubborn stains. Dissolving a tablespoon of salt in a cup of white vinegar is a good technique to try. Soak a cloth in the solution and lightly scrub the stains. Baking soda can also be added to the solution to act as an abrasive.
If you fall victim to these blue or green stains in your North Carolina home, then call us to resolve the problem as soon as possible. We serve homes around Forsyth, Davie, Davidson, and Guilford Counties.