Question about copper corrosion

I noticed blue/green staining in the 4.8.2 Inlet Side picture of the plumbing class indicating corrosion. I just went through this situation and 3 different water tests showed high levels of copper exceeding EPA standards. Are we required to report this?

Right there in the SOP

II. The inspector is not required to:

E. Determine the water quality or potability or the reliability of the water supply or source.

That’s what I thought. It’s a situation I just experienced and I did tons of research. Would it be okay to mention, although not required?

Water testing is outside the scope of a home inspection. If you’re getting paid to do a water test then it should be in your water test report.

Thank you again, I don’t mean testing the water, I just mean pointing out the potential for high levels of copper. I’m just not sure of the legal ramifications of such an event.

Can you post the photo from the course?


That’s usually caused by water that has a low pH. The lower the pH the more acidic the water is. I would mention it verbally to my client but would tell them it won’t be in the report because water testing is outside the scope of a home inspection.

Yes, well water generally. It breaks down the copper and switching the water source will not remediate, or lower the copper levels. At least not for quite some time… if ever.

Thank you for your help, Stephen!!

I had one like that a few years ago. It was a bummer!
The H2O was way too acidic causing corrosion to the interior of the pipes & then high levels showed up in the water.

It was a VA re-fi & I felt bad for the owner 'cause they had to re-pipe before the mortgage company would fund.

They were so desperate they asked me (in writing) to re-issue the water report & take off the cu. They said they only drink bottled water so everything is AOK.
I politely told them I understood their predicament, but altering the report could be considered fraud.

That is a bummer! The owner of my scene switched from well to City water and then re-piped the entire house. He is now selling the property, due to the costs incurred.

Thanks for the reply!

You can mention anything you know to be factual. If your wrong, you are liable for it…

Thank you, David. That says it all right there. This is one instance that I would be confident in mentioning.

I did a house yesterday, and it was only 4 years old. there was patina on the copper, and rust on the gas lines that seemed excessive for the age of the home. Any idea why there would be such oxidation on pipes that are 4 years old?

Im wondering if cleaning and painting of these pipes would prevent further deterioration. Thanks in advance for any help.

Good talk.

Someone likely stored chlorine or some other oxidizer in the room causing the exterior surface of the pipes (both copper and iron) to oxidize. There is absolutely no reason to declare that the interior of the pipes are contaminated unless you have cut a cross section, examined and tested it. It would be a most irresponsible thing to put in a report.

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Chuck is correct. In my area we have a lot of pond systems where the water is drawn from the pond and eventually gets chlorinated (besides other treatments) by a injection system in the basement/crawlspace. The copper pipes within 10-15 feet of this are always oxidized.

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SO this was in a garage, with ventilation. I thought the same thing, about chlorine, or other chemical gases, that were accelerating the oxidation. However, there is constant air exchange in the garage, and there was no pool/spa at the location. I recommended the pipes be cleaned of oxidation, and possibly painting to prevent further oxidation.
Thanks for the responses.