copper and gasoline

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I'm sure I read somewhere that one should not use copper for fuel
lines for gasoline that something happens between the copper and the
gas.
Am I dreaming all this up or what?
Mike in BC

Re: copper and gasoline
mcgray@telus.net wrote:
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Copper tends to work-harden and become
brittle where there's high vibration.





Re: copper and gasoline
says...
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Ie, near engines.   My take on this is there
are plenty of other materials to use instead
of copper, for fuel or oil lines.  Sure they
look purty all shined up, but that won't get
you home when the motor pumps all its oil
out on the ground, or a fuel leak hits a hot
manifold and lights off.

Jim


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Re: copper and gasoline
Been done for probably 100 years I imagine. I do not know of any chemical
reaction. It is sometimes not recommended because of vibration causing
cracks or breakage.
Don Young

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Re: copper and gasoline
    Keep the lines short and supported and there will not be an issue.
Barring the ability to keep it short, I use copper for my oil pressure lines
in my car, but I put a little coil to spread any movement out over a longer
span, and supported in a way that it wouldn't vibrate unnecessarily.  The
nylon that came with the gauge set got brittle and broke, making a royal
mess inside my car on the way to work one day.
    Copper fuel lines were used for years in old machinery, cars, and so
forth.  You'll find little really old equipment lacking a copper fuel line
somewhere.

| I'm sure I read somewhere that one should not use copper for fuel
| lines for gasoline that something happens between the copper and the
| gas.
| Am I dreaming all this up or what?
| Mike in BC


Re: copper and gasoline
carl mciver wrote:
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No chemical reaction whatsoever. Careful design must be used  to prevent
fracture due to vibration 'work hardening'.
I had a copper oil pressure gauge line (OEM with this top of the line gauge)
that decided  its service life had been exceeded one fine night.
This in itself would not have been a really big deal except this particular
line was in my boat and it decided to let go (right at the instrument panel)
on a particularily nasty night while trying to dock said thirty foot boat in
a 60 Knot SE gale.
The phrase "I didn't know whether to shit or go blind" really applied there!
It is truly amazing how slippery and vision impaired things can get with a
lousy 1/8" stream of  hot  oil at 80 PSI   ripping round the helm - fast
too.
And, by the way, shutting down the engine was NOT an option!
Being a firm believer of the various 'Laws o Murphy' I had that sucker
crimped off in a few seconds with my ever-present Vice Grips. Hell of a mess
anyway.
Bottom line - copper and vibration *can* lead to disaster.
I highly recommend 'fuel rated' tubing!

Regards.
Ken.


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Re: copper and gasoline

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A similar thing happened on one of the BC Ferries boats a year or two
ago.  These use big diesel engines for propulsion.  There was a copper
line leading to a fuel pressure gauge that cracked due to work
hardening.  It started spraying diesel fuel around, and some of it
landed on the exhaust manifold.  Instant fire.

The crew managed to put out the fire with the CO2 extinguishing system,
and the boat was towed back to port with no loss of life.  But it could
have been much worse.

    Dave

Re: copper and gasoline
On Fri, 07 Jan 2005 04:38:53 GMT, "carl mciver"

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Or use the system the folks who make aeroplanes learned the hard way
by about the 1930s. Interrupt the run of copper tubing with a short
section of rubber tubing near the ends.  

Yes copper is subject to vibration fatigue, but so is steel, and steel
also rusts.




Re: copper and gasoline
On Fri, 07 Jan 2005 04:38:53 GMT, "carl mciver"

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Ever see a fuel system with a good case of the "greenies"? Todays fuel
and copper lines do NOT get along well. Fuel (gasoline) is hygroscopic
- meaning it attracts and absorbs moisture. Possibly the alcohols and
other oxygenators contribute too, but the copper corrodes (forms freen
oxides), and the green stuff makes a mess of jets and injectors.

Re: copper and gasoline
Yeah, I finally  found some with the same experiences I have had--Green s**t
inside the line after a summers dis-use..The old Aircraft manuals said--Anneal
copper lines
after 50 hrs of use..( anneal,--heat dull red & plunge in water}

nospam.clare.nce@sny.der.on.ca wrote:

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Re: copper and gasoline
Since copper has a lower melt temperature than steel it won't hold up in the
event of fire.  Then again, neither will a plastic gas tank LOL.

Tony
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Re: copper and gasoline

and the gas.(clip)
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
You may be remembering something you actually read about copper and *gas,*
but it may have referred to *natural gas* used to heat houses, etc.  Natural
gas causes copper to corrode to a black, flaky substance that clogs jets,
etc.  I have seen this, 'cause did it before I knew.



Re: copper and gasoline
On Fri, 07 Jan 2005 05:18:58 GMT, "Leo Lichtman"

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Yet copper is now not only approved, but is the line of choice for
connecting natural gas appliances.

Re: copper and gasoline

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copper
*gas,*
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Natural
copper  is used on propane, not natural gas, i believe the reaction has to
do with the odorant used in nat gas versus propane.



Re: copper and gasoline
On Fri, 7 Jan 2005 23:01:10 -0600, "Travis Thompson"

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Sorry, but you are wrong.
From the Wolverine copper tubing site -
re: B149 code.
The 2000 edition of the Canadian Standards Association B149
Installation Code, permits only three Types of copper tube for above
ground natural gas and propane installations:
Type G/GAS, Type L, and Type K. Bare and plastic-jacketed versions of
these products are available for this purpose.

For underground applications, Type K copper tube, plastic-covered Type
G/GAS or plastic-coated Type L tube are required.


also, from the ccbda site:


The results of a CCBDA survey of gas contractors, have confirmed that
copper tube is the most cost-effective material to choose for natural
gas distribution in residences.Copper is less than half the material
cost of corrugated stainless steel tube (CSST) and is quicker and
easier to install than threaded steel pipe. These factors combine to
give copper the lowest installed cost when compared to the other
materials. For every $100 spent on a copper system, it would cost, on
average, $134 for an equivalent system using threaded steel pipe and
$144 for the system using CSST.


and:

With soft temper copper tube (Type G/GAS or Type L), a contractor can
use a coil of small diameter copper tube, and easily bend it around
ducts and other obstructions, connecting it to an existing gas line.
This ease of bending and small tube size is especially important in
retrofit installations. The time-consuming and messy cutting and
threading of steel pipe is eliminated.



Flexible copper gas tube has several advantages over threaded steel
pipe and CSST. Copper is easier and faster to install than threaded
steel pipe, and unlike CSST, no special fittings or joining techniques
are required. Copper tube and flare fittings supplied by different
manufacturers are completely interchangeable and readily
available—which is not the case with CSST systems.



Operating a natural gas fireplace is easy, and many come with an
optional wall thermostat or remote control. The natural, flickering
flames have all the look and feel of a wood fireplace, and can help
supplement the heating of a home. Natural gas fireplaces are usually
very energy efficient, and are generally much less expensive to
operate than wood or electric fireplaces.
The CCBDA publishes an installer manual, Publication No. 14E, Copper
Natural Gas Systems, as well as Publication No. 35, The Real Cost
Story…Natural Gas Installed Cost Comparison, and No. 37, Installing a
Natural Gas Barbecue. Available free of charge, they are guides for
professionals involved in the design and installation of natural gas
systems. They are also available on the Association’s website at
www.coppercanada.ca. For further information or literature contact the
Association toll-free at 1-877-640-0946

and it's not just in Canada. Florida and Alabama too:
Copper Delivers Gas
Winter 2000

Many builders in Florida are now specifying copper for gas
distribution as a result of a concerted program to promote copper tube
to deliver natural gas within new homes. To builders and contractors,
the main advantage of copper tube over competitive materials is lower
cost, plus the fact that the copper is available in long, flexible
rolls and is easy to install, which can reduce labor costs
tremendously. The program was started in 1995 in Tampa by Peoples Gas,
since acquired by Teco Energy, a division of Tampa Electric Company.

When Peoples Gas launched its drive to promote gas usage, builders
told the utility's executives that gas installation costs for heating
and cooking weren't competitive with electricity. However, Mike
Romano, the utility's vice president of marketing, decided to find out
what other suppliers of natural gas were doing to stay competitive.
 
At Alagasco, the Alabama gas company, he was attracted to its
two-pound-pressure system for distributing gas with copper tube. "With
a two-pound system, you can install ½-inch or 3/8-inch copper tube
instead of ¾-inch or 1-inch rigid black steel tube," Romano says.

As a result of Romano's investigation, the utility launched its
Peoples Gas Advantage Dealer program, which Romano describes as "a
partnership with developers and contractor-installers to promote gas
service for new homes." The program provides information to builders,
training for installers and sales-support materials for homeowners
about the benefits of a gas home, plus rebates on gas-appliance
installations to defray costs.

 
I couls add dozens of more citations - but you get my point.



Re: copper and gasoline
On Fri, 07 Jan 2005 20:05:54 -0500, nospam.clare.nce@sny.der.on.ca
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Sure, but that's very low pressure, _and_ low to zero vibration.
Not at all like an automotive application.



Re: copper and gasoline

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I would NEVER use copper in an automotive or aircraft application, due
to both the work-hardening/fatique issues and the "greenies".My 1928
Chevy had copper lines. So did my 35 Chevy and 37 Terraplane.
My old 2 stroke lawnmower built in 1957 HAD copper fuel lines.
All of the above had "greenie" problems, and the lawnmower line
cracked. (still have the lawnmower).

Aeroplanes use aluminum fuel lines, which also suffer from work
hardening and fatigue - but the lines MUST be well supported, and
isolated from vibration with rubber flex lines.

Re: copper and gasoline
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It's not a reaction; copper washers are common on fuel line fittings
(at least in cars with Bosch fuel injection systems).  I wouldn't use
it for lines because of copper's habit of work hardening.

Dave Hinz

Re: copper and gasoline
mcgray@telus.net wrote:

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There was a belief by some that copper would make gasoline form gummy
deposits
But I think the "problem" was just poor quality gasoline or maybe some
kind of bioligy
living in a water / gasoline mix.

I don't have a clue as to the facts.

Bill K7NOM

Re: copper and gasoline
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I doubt it'd be a biology issue, copper is really good at killing
things.


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