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Thread: Co2 and copper

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Auburn, CA
    Posts
    48

    Co2 and copper

    Greetings,

    Anyone have any first-hand knowledge of adverse reactions from running co2 through type M or L copper pipe? My gas supplier says no ( and has a compatability chart to back it up). However, I recall from our start-up the coca cola boys required stainless or food grade pvc for their product line and my plumber thinks it's not a good idea based on his experience with the food-side.

    I am looking to run about 100 feet of 3/4" cu pipe from my bulk co2 tank to my new fermentation room.

    Any feedback?

    Thanks!
    Cheers,

    Brian Ford
    Auburn Alehouse
    [email]brewmaster@auburnalehouse.com[/email]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Palau
    Posts
    1,654
    Perhaps there is a very slight chance of water in the tubing becoming corrosive with the addition of CO2, but that wouldn't last long as the CO2 is extremely dry and this would flush out quickly. Obviously you'd never run Coca Cola through copper. Not for long anyway! But an inert, dry gas should be safe with clean copper. We leased a six ton CO2 receiver and installed it under the watchful eye of the owner/CO2 provider using copper exclusively--both L and M. That was more than 10 years ago, and to my knowledge it's still installed and working fine. I can't understand why any compatibility chart would recommend against it. I'd ask why to understand the underlying concept and also get a second opinion. And please post the results here so I can learn something! Good luck!
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--
    Worldwide Brewery Installations
    www.GitcheGumeeBreweryServices.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Santa Rosa CA USA
    Posts
    962
    I have used thin wall before without problems. I'd be cautious about moisture. Is it possible to put in a T and drain valve at the low spot? Especially with a section of stainless pipe to the valve so if moisture showed up, it would ideally drain to the stainless not the copper. Rarely beer can get backed up into your CO2 line which would be a problem. It might prove useful to engineer in cleanability or adequate check valves for such emergencies.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Auburn, CA
    Posts
    48
    Gitchegumee, I guess I wasn't clear in my post, but the gas company has a compatability chart that says co2 is okay with cu pipe! The coke guys don't like to run co2 through cu to thier carbonating unit for the fountain mix. My Plumber also wasn't keen on the idea so before I spent the $ I wanted to check with folks like you who know firsthand.

    It sounds like both you and Moonlight have a positive experience with it and that is what I was after!
    Great advise about the drain tee and check valve!

    Thanks guys!
    Cheers,

    Brian Ford
    Auburn Alehouse
    [email]brewmaster@auburnalehouse.com[/email]

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Ypsilanti, MI
    Posts
    1

    Exclamation CO2 and copper ok - Soda Water and copper - NOT OK

    This past week end - at a beer festival - I saw a jockey box built with copper coils!

    Dry CO2 in copper is ok - but moisture in your CO2 lines can be very dangerous!

    from soda-dispencers.com
    Warning:

    Soda water in contact with Copper or alloys containing copper (such as Brass) will react producing toxic compounds. If those compounds are ingested, you could become violently ill and/or die. Please take the appropriate precautions, such as using stainless steel fittings and installing a secondary flow-back preventer.

    The compounds produced when carbonic acid and copper react are toxic, and will induce vomiting, nausea, and a whole host of unpleasantness you don't even want to know about. Seek medical attention immediately if you ingested any such thing. Remember that when CO2 enters water, it becomes carbonic acid. Use stainless steel fittings to be 100% sure. Also remember that brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, and reaction will still take place

    And from an 1854 New York Times article:
    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive...B166838F649FDE

    Is it worth the risk?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    7
    Praxair has an entire document on CO2...

    Page 26 actually suggest copper or sch 40 / 80 steel pipe.

    http://catalogs.praxairdirect.com/i/27114/32


    I didn't read the entire document, so make sure you go through it all.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
    Posts
    602
    We've been running our CO2 system through type M copper, 3/4" and 1/2" with soft-soldered joints, for 18 years. 30' of the line is before the primary regulator, which takes the pressure form the 300-350 psi of the Dewar flasks to our line pressure of 80 psi for the brewery and pub. Not a single problem or leak.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

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