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Masonry & Metal Pipes


Brian G
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Silly question time. I know you have to sleeve gas lines if they penetrate masonry, but I can't find much that speaks to other metal pipes penetrating masonry. In the IRC under "General Plumbing Requirements" they say protect all pipes from "concrete, cinder, or other corrosive material". Doesn't that include brickwork & mortar? Does anyone write up water lines, AC refrigerant lines, etc. that are in direct contact with brickwork or mortar? And are all metals subject to corrosion from the masonry chemicals, or only certain ones? For some reason I'm suddenly finding a flurry of these type situations; funny how often oddball issues run in bunches.

Brian G.

Oddball With an Issue [:-cyclops

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Originally posted by Brian G.

[navy]Silly question time. I know you have to sleeve gas lines if they penetrate masonry, but I can't find much that speaks to other metal pipes penetrating masonry. In the IRC under "General Plumbing Requirements" they say protect all pipes from "concrete, cinder, or other corrosive material". Doesn't that include brickwork & mortar?

I don't know about the IRC, but the Oregon Code specifically says, "No plumbing pipe shall be directly embedded in concrete or masonry."

Does anyone write up water lines, AC refrigerant lines, etc. that are in direct contact with brickwork or mortar?

Yes. I do when I see them. This only happens rarely.

And are all metals subject to corrosion from the masonry chemicals, or only certain ones? For some reason I'm suddenly finding a flurry of these type situations; funny how often oddball issues run in bunches.

I know that aluminum corrodes in the presence of cement and moisture.

I'm pretty sure that copper doesn't because I see copper flashings in mortar that have been there since the '50s.

Bare steel seems to do pretty well when it's used as lintels so I don't see why it should hurt pipes.

Galvanized steel seems fine because they use it for brick ties. Pipes ought to be safe.

Bottom line: I don't believe that corrosion is a rational reason for prohibiting metal pipes in masonry. It's more of a differential movement type thing.

From the Oregon code, "All piping in connection with a plumbing system shall be so installed that piping or connections will not be subject to undue strains or stresses, and provisions shall be made for expansion, contraction, and structural settlement.â€

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I live in a masonry city w/big bunches of steel, iron, copper, & aluminum that have been in contact with, buried in, or penetrating all manner of masonry. I agree w/Jim; not a lot of good arguments about corrosion other than the thin wall copper tubing completely embedded in slab on grade.

I routinely see copper flashing embedded in masonry that is >75 years old & still working fine. The thin copper does goes quicker (still several decades); the heavier gauge material holds up amazingly well (>80 years). I also see lead coated copper that's >100 years old, & it's in perfect condition.

I'd mention "it" on new construction, but the few new builds I see all have it sleeved or protected, so I've never had to. I never mention on existing.

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Hi,

Yeah, though the new codes prohibit it, I find incoming water service pipes made out of copper and galvanized steel in older homes all the time which are completely imbedded in concrete and seem to be fine. Some of those old galvanized pipes are 60 - 70 years old and so fragile on the outside that you'd think that sneezing on them would cause them to rupture, so I don't think it's that much of a corrosion concern.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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