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Rust on sink drain pipe Answered

HI,

I have noticed this year that the exposed drain pipe from my bathroom sink is rusting badly, turned all green. Why is this happening? Anything I can do about this? I guess I should replace the pipe, but this will be complicated cause it is going into the tile floor and the cent under it. Any advice would be welcome.

Thanks

Discussions

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bpark1000
bpark1000

4 weeks ago

Most likely the pipe is corroding from the inside, and is now breaking through. If you don't replace it, it will start "weeping", then leaking. When you go to replace it, you will most likely find the pipe crumbles when you take a wrench to it. Replace it now!

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Josehf Murchison
Josehf Murchison

5 weeks ago

Its the heater beside the pipe, you should never have steel or iron anywhere near copper or brass, especially when you have heated convection currents. I think it is called a cathodic reaction.
Clean or polish to the desired sheen, clean off any residue and apply ProtectaClear or Everbrite to protect from tarnish and corrosion.

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Veters
Veters

Reply 4 weeks ago

Thanks. Not much I can do about the heater being there:( I will get ProtectaClear or Everbrite to protect from tarnish and corrosion.

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Veters
Veters

4 weeks ago

Thanks. Just had a plumber replace it, and it was not that cheap:(
I will make sure to get ProtectaClear or Everbrite now to protect it for the future. Thank you both.

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Jack A Lopez
Jack A Lopez

5 weeks ago

There are some who use the word "rust" to refer only to the red, orange, brown, colors of iron oxides and hydroxides, seen on corroding iron alloys, like steel.

The more general word, that applies to any kind of metal, is "corrosion".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrosion

That green stuff on your drain pipe, looks to me to have parts that are the same color as basic copper carbonate, or the same color of the Statue of Slavery.

Although that light shade of blue-green, is just one of the colors present. There are other shades of green, and white, and few brown spots too. It might actually be kind of pretty if were in a different context, than some odious maintenance task requiring your attention.

Regarding your question of, "Why is this happening?," do you think it might your fault somehow? Like maybe for neglecting to say your prayers, or like, something bad you did in a previous life, or this one. Maybe God is testing you?

Or maybe there is a more rational explanation, like this drain pipe being made of layers of different metals, e.g. brass, with a thin layer of nickel or chromium on the surface. That plus, some tiny scratches in the top layer, plus humidity surrounding the pipe, maybe even humidity condensing into drops of liquid water on the pipe's surface. Then the surface of the pipe could be covered with numerous tiny, electrolytic, corrosion cells,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_corrosion

You might wonder why anyone would engineer such a clever combination of metal layers, basically designed to slowly self destruct under the influence of time and humidity.

The answer to that question is that, if you look for them, you will find all kinds of examples of thoughtless engineering, or even products intentionally designed to self-destruct.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_obsolescence

Another example of a metal artifact seemingly designed to destroy itself through corrosion, is the FUS one cent piece. This coin is zinc on the inside, with a layer of copper on the outside, essentially corrosion waiting to happen.

Coincidentally, "the cent" is the name you use for the place under the floor, that this drain pipe connects to. I am not sure why you call it, "the cent"


"into the tile floor and the cent under it"

The cent sounds like a scary place, and I understand if you are reluctant to go there, just for the trouble of replacing a piece of drain pipe.

I mean, replacing the drain pipe probably will involve disconnecting it below the floor, in the cent.

Unless of course the connection there is so loose that you can just lift the pipe up (after disconnecting it from the U-shaped trap above it) and have it come free... although that would probably be even more scary. Right? Because then how to you reconnect the new pipe? Uh... just stick it back into that same hole in the floor?

The reason drain plumbing connections should be air-tight (gas-tight?) is because there are foul smelling odors that rise from the septic tank, or sewer connection. In fact, that is what the U-shaped trap is there for. There is a U-shaped plug of water in that trap, which acts as a barrier to gases, enough to carry a smell, that travel upward through the drain pipes.

Also if there are leaks in your drain plumbing, through which gases can escape, you might be able to locate those leaks just by sniffing for them.

Anyway, regarding low-maintenance ideas for making that pipe less corrosionful, one way would be to simply scrub off the corrosion, e.g. using a metal pot scrubber, or sandpaper. Honestly, it does not look that bad to me, and I am guessing there is still plenty of solid metal (brass?) in that pipe. Then put a layer of paint on the exposed metal, to protect it from additional corrosion.

That is almost the same advice as Josehf Murchison's, although my advice is more general because I do not care what color, or brand, the paint is. It just has to be kind of paint that adheres to metal. Like grey metal primer spray paint, the color seen sometimes on unfinished car parts. You might think that paint is just for steel, but it sticks to other metals, and some kinds of plastic and other materials.

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Downunder35m
Downunder35m

5 weeks ago

It is not rusting.
The green stuff is from the corrosion of the Chrome and not really healthy, so don't lick it and wash your hands after working on it.
Best option is to replace the lot with a PVC kit from your local hardware store.
You already have pics, so take some measurements for the required lenghts and go shopping.
If in doubt some nice guy in the shop will help you getting the right parts if the ready to go kits are not long enough.
Replacing (and fixing) should not take more than a few minutes of your time and is cheap.