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First time seeing this


Robert Jones
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This is a home built in 2002. This wall damage is caused by the hot water pipe that is coming from the water heater. The water heater is driectly on the other side of this wall in the garage. From the relatively small area of damage it doesn't appear to be a water leak. The area is very hot to the touch and the damaged drywall is crumbling. Is this a bonding issue? Insulation issue? Somethng else.

Thanks.

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Hmmm... well, I wonder if that pipe has taken a nail, which will seal in a copper pipe quite nicely. Often at first they don't leak at all, but eventually begin to seep and then become a fine constant spray. It's another one of those now and then disaster restoration happenings. They can take years to actually leak significantly. Of course, you'd get a high reading with a moisture meter if that is the case.

How'd things look below?

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The ultimate reaction between a hot copper pipe and Cinese drywall? - throwing it out in total ignorance... Unfortunately, I have no other thoughts.. but I'm quite interested to see what the brain trust comes up with. Good luck!

As a matter of fact, looking at the composition of the material around the hole, it hardly resembles drywall anymore. It looks to me like a chemical reaction between the copper and the gypsum.

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The gypsum looks completely expanded (blown out) - no longer dense. That's my bet - a reaction.

I've dealt with a ton of water damage, and it usually not only shows stains, but would not typically be so isolated and defined. It seems to outline be where the pipe contacts. I'm no rocket scientist, but there are seversal possible players in the scenario, if it is a reaction: the gysum, which I believe is basic; the copper, possibly excessive flux and heat (an accelerator?). The materials apparently don't like each other. And, if it's as hot as you say it is, I'd definitely urge the home owners to stop ignoring it.

Good luck, Robert.

MIke

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I can't tell from the picture. Is the pipe close to the drywall in the second picture? You said that the bottom of the wall was dry. Could it be that the plumber used soft copper in the wall and did not have enough room to make the bend required to come out of the wall at the top? Maybe he came up in the center of the wall at the bottom and then pushed it up against the drywall to make the bend at the top. Without any insulation on the pipe it could have been sweating inside the wall. The moisture made an outline of the pipe on the wall until it got towards the bottom where it fell off. If the hole has been there for two years, as the owner said, the warm air getting into the wall may have stoped the sweating and any further damage.

Ed

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I can't tell from the picture. Is the pipe close to the drywall in the second picture? You said that the bottom of the wall was dry. Could it be that the plumber used soft copper in the wall and did not have enough room to make the bend required to come out of the wall at the top? Maybe he came up in the center of the wall at the bottom and then pushed it up against the drywall to make the bend at the top. Without any insulation on the pipe it could have been sweating inside the wall. The moisture made an outline of the pipe on the wall until it got towards the bottom where it fell off. If the hole has been there for two years, as the owner said, the warm air getting into the wall may have stoped the sweating and any further damage.

Ed

Why would a hot water pipe sweat? You think it is condensation?

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I can't tell from the picture. Is the pipe close to the drywall in the second picture? You said that the bottom of the wall was dry. Could it be that the plumber used soft copper in the wall and did not have enough room to make the bend required to come out of the wall at the top? Maybe he came up in the center of the wall at the bottom and then pushed it up against the drywall to make the bend at the top. Without any insulation on the pipe it could have been sweating inside the wall. The moisture made an outline of the pipe on the wall until it got towards the bottom where it fell off. If the hole has been there for two years, as the owner said, the warm air getting into the wall may have stoped the sweating and any further damage.

Ed

Why would a hot water pipe sweat? You think it is condensation?

I should have said condensation.Rob said the water heater was in the garage on the other side of the wall. Cooler air from the garage, or air conditioning in the house, getting into the wall condensing when it reaches the warm air around the pipe.

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. . . I should have said condensation. Rob said the water heater was in the garage on the other side of the wall. Cooler air from the garage, or air conditioning in the house, getting into the wall condensing when it reaches the warm air around the pipe.

Condensation doesn't happen when cool air hits a warm surface.

It happens when warm air hits a cool surface.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Jim

You are correct. Warm air does condense when it comes in contact with a cold service. After thinking about it my original thoughts on this topic are probably off the wall. However dismissing the idea of condensation based only on your argument is also wrong. A solid cold service is not required for condensation to occur. All that is required is a warm and cold air mass. That is why warm air will condense in the middle of a wall cavity that is not insulated and then freeze on the inside of the exterior sheathing. Also the cold surface could have been the back of the drywall instead of the pipe.

That is what I like about this forum. It is where a group of men can come together to discuss opinions, some good some bad, in an effort to solve a problem.

Ed

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