Most stains that appear on the fixtures around our homes are yellow orange, or you may notice white spots caused by water hardness. So, it can be a little disconcerting when you see stains that are blue or green appearing on your fixtures. So, here we’ll look into this topic in further detail so that you can address your stain issues.
What Are Blue Green Stains?
With typical water stains, the cause is usually related to what is in the water. Sediment, minerals or even treatment chemicals can cause stains or interact with pipes and fittings to create marks. While these stains are annoying, they are generally harmless.
Blue green stains typically occur when you have copper fittings and pipes. They are caused by the corrosion of the copper itself. When a copper laden water sits, it will cause stains. Additionally, since the staining is caused by the dissolving copper, it can create a negative impact on the taste of your drinking water, creating a metallic taste.
Why Does This Happen?
The corrosion leading to copper stains is typically caused by acidic water. When your water has a pH higher than 7, it is acidic, but copper dissolution can begin at a pH of 6.8. This process is further enhanced if your water is high in carbon dioxide, dissolved oxygen or any other gases.
As the acidic water flows through copper pipes, minute amounts of metal are eaten away and become dissolved in the water. Since most of us don’t dry our fixtures after we’ve used them, the water will sit and eventually cause stains to occur on the surface.
There are several signs that you may have acidic water including the appearance of blue green stains on sinks, showers or other fixtures, unpleasant metallic taste, aluminum fixture corrosion or a green soap scum.
Addressing the Problem
While in low levels copper is not considered to be harmful to human health, higher concentrations can create a number of unwanted side effects. You’re not only likely to notice blue green stains, but an unpalatable taste in your drinking water. Traces of copper in water supplies can also impact drinks or meals prepared with the water.
Fortunately, you don’t have to struggle with these issues as there are some methods of addressing the underlying problem. While a calcium media may add hardness to your water, it can raise the pH to neutralize the acidic water. Typically, this treatment method is teamed with a device to reduce hardness. Although a water softener can remove some amounts of copper, it is crucial to address the underlying problem causing the copper staining issues.
If you have concerns about acidic water or copper staining, be sure to speak to a water treatment technician. An experienced professional can test your water to check for pH issues and levels of water contaminants. Once the underlying issues have been diagnosed, your technician can guide you through the treatment options best suited to the characteristics of your water.