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Any toxic fumes from heated copper?

  1. Dec 5, 2014 #1
    Hello,
    Im thinking of using a copper heat exchanger to heat small room. Is there a temperature where bare copper starts giving off anything evil?
    Thanks,
    yarbl
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2014 #2
    Not that you'd have to worry about, typical home heaters from a water furnace use copper piping.
     
  4. Dec 5, 2014 #3

    Danger

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    I agree with the foregoing. There is something that I'm going to mention here, though. It has nothing to do directly with what you are working on, but I'm putting it out just as a super-paranoid safety issue. Copper is poisonous. In the context of this question, that is totally irrelevant. There is no way whatsoever that the use of it in a heat exchanger can cause any harm. The one time that it nailed me was actually my older cousin's fault :olduhh: .
    Once when I came back here on vacation from the Windsor/Detroit area as I did every second year for vacation, my cousin who was as much of a child at heart as I was suggested that it would be a shitload of fun to have a "pea-shooter" fight. His 3-year-old daughter and baby son were safely in the house. I don't know what the bushes were that overwhelmed his yard, but they had really juicy round orange .38 calibre berries. He happened to have .38 calibre straight copper tubing kicking around in his garage. (Okay, the dimensions are approximate... :oldeyes:) Anyhow, long story sh... not quite as long... We had at it in grand fashion. Duckin' and weavin'... shuckin' and jivin'... sniping each other at every opportunity until we were both soaked in some sort of orange mash. We determined it to be a tie and retired to the comfort of the house. Two hours later my upper lip looked as if I'd been French-kissed by a neutron star. The swelling went down over night, and we engaged in renewed combat, but that time I wrapped the input end of my tube with plastic tape. No allergic reaction for the whole day. :approve:
    I really don't know whether or not that is a common occurrence, but it is definitely possible.
     
  5. Dec 6, 2014 #4

    CWatters

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    Some people are allergic to copper jewellery but it's quite safe stuff. How are you planning to join the copper pipes? Lead based solder :-)
     
  6. Dec 6, 2014 #5

    Doug Huffman

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    Elemental lead, as in lead alloy solder, is quite insoluble in water.
     
  7. Dec 6, 2014 #6

    CWatters

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    Hence the smile. Some people worry too much.
     
  8. Dec 6, 2014 #7

    Danger

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    If that's a reference to my post, I'm not the least bit worried. I merely wanted to point out, as I believe I did in a thoroughly boring fashion, that copper can be toxic with prolonged skin contact. That incident was over 40 years ago, and I can still feel exactly what it was like when my lip was blown up like a cocktail weenie. (Try to think of a cold-sore 6 cm wide...)
     
  9. Dec 6, 2014 #8

    Doug Huffman

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    Yes, I know, I agree. It is a conventional wisdom meme derived from the ancient Roman's use of Lead acetate as Lead Sugar for a sweetener, that came down to us like a lead pipe cinch, never to be doubted.

    Ahh, smilies, my browser does not display smilies and such non-text.
     
  10. Dec 6, 2014 #9

    Danger

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    And they managed to conquer most of the known world... Go figure... :oldeyes:
     
  11. Dec 6, 2014 #10

    Doug Huffman

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    It is not possible to sustain an assertion of non-existence, as of the non-existence of hazard, without an examination of the entire universe of discussion.

    As there are 7 billion humans, certainly one of them became acutely ill from its ~5 mg/kg normal copper load.

    I grew display quality copper sulfate crystals in Jr.HS and was so heavily loaded with copper that I could taste copper just by holding a bright penny in my fingers. Submarine recycled air is full of huge funky molecules that give a submariner his distinctive odor. When we'd ventilate the ship, the fresh air smelled like a cut copper penny.
     
  12. Dec 6, 2014 #11

    Danger

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    This might very well be the first time in my life that I'm glad to be land-locked.
     
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