Take Note: Blue / green stains are telling you something is wrong. Preventing a pinhole leak could save a ton of time, money and hassle.

So, you’ve noticed a blue/green colored stain in your sinks, tubs and showers. Maybe even your blond hair is turning green. Maybe your hot water tank, dishwasher, clothes washer or even your coffee pot or refrigerator ice or water system suddenly sprung a leak? All these are warning signs, your water could be corroding the metals it comes into contact with, including your copper pipes and appliances. When you notice blue green stains and / or premature failures of metal components your water is flowing through it pays to notice and take action. Failure to address these problems does not make them go away and in cases a pinhole leak will develop and the end result is spending a ton of time and money dealing with the hassles of repairing or replacing plumbing, fixtures and appliances. In all cases, if you see any of theses indicators you should take action to resolve immediately.

Blue Green Stains

Example of blue green stains from corrosion of copper pipes.

What is a pinhole leak?

A pinhole leak is a water leak that develops because of corrosion inside your pipes, fittings and valves. When copper pipes are corroded enough a small hole will appear as water finally breaks through the pipe. A pinhole leak can go unnoticed for a long time and your home is could be severely damaged before leaks are noticed and action taken.

What causes blue green stains and premature failure of plumbing, fixtures and appliances?

Well, there could be one or more of quite a few correctable issues all contributing to the inevitable pain and suffering caused by corrosion. The 3 most common causes are high velocity water flow, low pH and very clean water with low TDS (total dissolved solids).

What can I do if I have any of these problems?

High velocity causes turbulence and turbulence corrodes metals. To address velocity problems simply reduce the total volume of water being used at one time or re-pipe your home with a larger sized pipe.

Low pH or acidic water slowly dissolves the pipes, valves and fittings of plumbing and appliances from the inside out. Low pH can be corrected by addition of an self sacrificing acid neutralizing media such as limestone. A major side effect of an acid neutralizing media is that it increases the hardness of the water so a hard water treatment may also be required. A 2nd corrective action that doesn’t increase the hardness is to install a PolyHalt® filter when stains that indicate corrosion are first seen. PolyHalt® will coat metal surfaces protecting them from the low pH condition.

Low TDS water behaves like low pH water but corrosion is due to leaching not acid. Low TDS leaching is a tough one to deal with using common treatment methods. Fortunately, just as with low pH water, PolyHalt® will coat metal surfaces protecting them from the low TDS condition.

The trick to saving time, money and hassle is to take action sooner rather than later to protect your plumbing, valves, fixtures and appliances. None of the treatments above will prevent problems caused by advanced corrosion.

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