copper pipes for radiators

17 Jan 2007
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United Kingdom
My house has copper pipes (not painted white) to radiators (& they're slightly wonky). Cosmetically they aren't like the straight in/out pipes I see in other peoples houses.

1 Are copper pipes common (better/worse) for radiators

2 On a couple of them, they are slightly green near joints - is this a sign of weakness/something to worry about?


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1 When piped straight and correctly then copper is the best imo. Some use plastic straight into rads, but then that is their choice.

2 The green you are talking about, is more than likely flux residue, that has not been cleaned off, when the joints were soldered. sometimes you see a greeny crust underneath a compression nut, where the pipe goes into the valve, This is usually signs of a weepy joint that has been left for a long period.

Hope this helps

Thanks Graham.

My radiator pipes both come up under the floor next to each other and one has to run along under the radiator to meet the valve at the other side - this makes it look 'less pretty' than those with pipes straight up/down from each side. Good to know copper is good.

Will keep an eye on the weeping/leaking that might be causing the green residue - but been in the house 4/5 years and not had any major leaking problems.
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1) If the pipes are on view in a room, then it has to be copper. Plastic is great for long runs, especially when fed through inaccessible areas. Long curving runs with plastic mean no joins. Plastic is OK when not on show.

Having 2 horizontal pipes under your rads may not look as neat as a short vertical one under each valve, but its fine. Many houses seem to have been piped like this in the 50s and 60s.

2) Wipe the green residue off with a damp cloth. If it reappears, it might need further investigation

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