black copper pipes

Five unit condo in southern Vermnot. 90% of the copper pipes (hot and cold) have turned jet black. I checked several of the other units in the same building with the same results. The building next door checked fine, no blacking copper. To old for chineese drywall. Has new carpet? Any ideas?





Photos are too small.

Not an answer, but a few things to consider (and debate) about…

Two possible answers/comments:

  • Observed that the copper wire in the garage panel has all turned black. The most common cause of this is sulpher dioxide coming in contact with the wires. Sulpher dioxide can come from a number of sources including: Chinese drywall, methamphetamine manufacturing, and sewer gas. Other causes of a blackening of copper include excessive moisture, and various chemical compounds such as pool acid, or chlorine. Recommend further evaluation by a qualified electrician to ensure that the panel is wired properly. The client may also wish to contact our office to conduct some test swabs to determine if there has been any clandestine drug manufacturing in the garage. Major Concern
  • Observed black copper water lines when tracing ground for service. There is a good chance that you have a problem with the neutral connections from the serving utility. Major Concern. Recommend consulting an electrician to investigate further.

This can be caused by chemical exposure. We had a meth remediation company speak at one of our office meetings. Discolored plumbing was one of the indicators that the house may have been used to make drugs. Of course, there must be other indicators such as bad smells, stains, etc. What was the rest of the house like?

Philippe… Re-read the first post… 5 unit condo, other units have the same problem.

So the question is: What do all the units have in common??? Same carpet manufacturer (off-gassing)? Same carpet cleaning company (chemicals)? Shared inadequate waste vent stack? Copper from same warehouse with unknown storage conditions? Etc… Too many possibilities…

Cupric Sulfate?