should unused copper piping be removed?

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Old 01-24-17, 05:07 PM
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should unused copper piping be removed?

Hello all! I have some old copper piping in my basement that is completely unused - I think the previous owners moved the location of the clothes washer and just left the old plumbing there. There was also an old toilet that has been taken out but plumbing is still intact. Should these old copper pipes be removed? I had someone over who saw them and said they could leech bacteria and bad things back into my active water supply. Is this true? If so, how hard is it to do this on my own? How do you cut and cap them?
 
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Old 01-24-17, 05:30 PM
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Unused but are they still hooked up to the main water supply?

If so, they are not hurting anything and who knows you might change something some day.

Leaving hooked up is not going to cause anything to go bad.

Unused but not hooked up to the main water supply?

Guess you could sell them at scrap yard for some beer money!
 
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Old 01-24-17, 05:32 PM
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Can't speak to the bacteria issue but if you want to learn a new skill here's your chance. For about $40-$60 bucks (for the torch and accessories) you can learn how to solder, just buy a bunch of inexpensive copper cap, cut out the old pipe. Practice cutting the old removed piping and soldering on caps. When satisfied, solder a cap where you cut the old pipe out.

After you have the skill, you could cut and cap the old piping in less than 2 minutes (not counting the time to drain your piping of water). Soldering is a lot cheaper than shark bites and it's very satisfying when your done. I think it is very easy to do (but looks intimidating).

Your results are immediately known, if the pipe doesn't leak when your done, then very small odds of it ever leaking.
 
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Old 01-24-17, 07:20 PM
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If the unused piping is a dead end leg then yes, it should be removed.
The chlorine that is found in municipal water looses it's ability to disinfect in stagnant water.
This is a concern in settings where there may be immune compromised people like in a hospital or personal care home.
 
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Old 01-24-17, 09:11 PM
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Thanks! They are pipes that are hooked up to the main water supply but they're just dead ends. Sounds like removing them isn't particularly urgent but it ideally would be done. I've definitely never tried soldering before and it does look intimidating so thanks for the pep talk.
 
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Old 01-25-17, 05:17 AM
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No real need to solder. Drain the pipes, cut them back to stubs and apply a Sharkbite push on cap. Easy. Then go sell the copper for scrap to pay for the fittings.
 
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Old 01-25-17, 06:01 AM
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If pipes are unused, even if connected to the water supply, I remove them. More pipe and more fittings is just more chance for a leak in the future. Also, I like to clean things up so there is less confusion in the future and time is not wasted going back and forth figuring out if pipes are being used or not.
 
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Old 01-25-17, 08:05 AM
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I have to agree with this, nothing to it....

After you have the skill, you could cut and cap the old piping in less than 2 minutes (not counting the time to drain your piping of water). Soldering is a lot cheaper than shark bites and it's very satisfying when you're done. I think it is very easy to do (but looks intimidating).
 
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Old 01-25-17, 11:39 AM
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said they could leech bacteria and bad things back into my active water supply. Is this true?
A direct answer to your question is yes, it is possible to leech bacteria and bad things into your active water supply.
You may not get sick anytime soon but it is considered a bad practice in commercial plumbing circles to leave non-circulating lines to over time harbor any kind of growth.
 
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Old 01-25-17, 12:43 PM
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any piping that served that fixture had to be removed and capped back to the main run to prevent stagnant watery
Was thinking this might be an urban legend but found a couple references that commented on removing.

However the articles provided many, many more examples of actual contamination that this was way down on the list.

Personally, if my house I'd just leave it be!
 
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