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Current IssueAugust 30, 2015
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Ask The Expert: Blue or green, copper often the culprit
Question: Q: Mechanical Systems, a Cheyenne, Wyo., contractor installed the plumbing in a new house approximately three years ago. Since the beginning, the homeowner has experienced blue/green staining of their plumbing fixtures and their daughter's hair. The house is on city water, which has a pH of approximately 7.4. None of the other houses in the area are experiencing similar problems. A water analysis was done and it showed slightly elevated levels of copper. We have checked for potential electrolysis and everything is isolated. The anode rod in the water heater is magnesium. Any idea of what the problem may be and how to fix it? Everything was OK with the homeowner until green hair for teenagers went out of style.

Bob Strasheim
Cheyenne, Wyoming

Answer: A: We ran an article on this topic in our January 2000 issue ("Solving Blue-Green Water: What It Is and How to Deal with It," By Larry Henke). We also ran in March 2001 a related article, "Copper Pipe Leaching and Proper Electrical Grounding" by Pete Ostwald, who we ran a "Dealer Profile" on in our July 2000 issue. If you have further questions other than what the articles provide, Ostwald is from Albuquerque, N.M., and can be reached at Peteostwal@aol.com; Henke, senior technical director at Minneapolis' Robert B. Hill Co., is on WC&P's Technical Review Committee and can be reached at lrhenke@email.msn.com

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