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Copper turned black


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Clean vacant home built in 1908 in Southern Illinois. Throughout the house and mostly unfinished basement there is substantial discoloration of the copper water lines and exposed coper wiring inside the electrical panel (basically they are black). But a few wires look normal, I can only assume they are newer...? From what I have read this could be have been caused by: Chinese drywall (but there is no drywall in the basement and I have never heard / read of any Chinese drywall in this area). storing fertilizer or swimming pool chemicals inside (but there is a detached 2 car garage, and no pool). The house is on city water so it can?t be sulfur from well water. Is this a possible sign the house could have been a meth lab? There are some black lights installed in the basement ? are black light used by drug manufactures for some reason...? hell I don't know.

In the report I will describe what I have seen, but am not sure what to recommend. Environmental testing firm? This is new territory for me so I appreciate your experience and knowledge.

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My experience(s) are exposure to raw sewage or aerosols. Also (aerosols) from wet cell battery gas. I would suspect a plant fertilizer in this instance. I am not much on punting to air quality people, but would in this case.

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I had two in November like that. A 1946 cape, every copper pipe in the crawl was black, but none of them were more than 12" above the high water mark on the stemwall. And, a 1964 log cabin, every pipe and wire (including the copper bus in the panel) was black. Even the brass valves on the boiler and water softener were black. Someone stole the chlorinator and half the water softener but left six open and mostly empty 5 gallon jugs of chlorine behind.

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An observation not proving anything.....

The copper pipes in my apartment building basement were relatively clean and pure looking copper. I stored an open bag of Scotts Turf Builder in the basement. 6 months later the pipes had noticeably changed color toward blackish. Circumstantial, but interesting.

Fertilizer, charging batteries, swimming pool chemicals, etc. have all been shown t cause the issue. At least, that's what gets talked about all the time when people bring this up.

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Black lights have nothing to do with the manufacture of drugs, but they might have something to do with the use of drugs. . .

The blackened copper was caused by something in the environment, which is probably not there anymore. I wouldn't send people off on a wild goose chase trying to find the exact cause.

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