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I'm using copper piping -- about 5 feet total -- externally, to make it easier to water the grass. In addition to copper pipes, the connectors and valves are brass (Sharkbite).

Should I prime/paint those metals, or will they be fine (not leaking) for many years as is, even if copper becomes green with patina?

I'm a bit concerned, that, if I undertake the painting once, I'll commit to redoing it again and again every few years...

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    When miners dig up primordial copper that goes back to the earth’s creation, it is in metallic form, I.e. lumps of copper. It’s one of the only metals capable of that. Most metals are only found as oxides. So yeah, a billion years from now, that thing will be elemental copper and be pipe-like. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 5 '20 at 2:37
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I would not paint the copper. If you ever need to repair it, paint would be one more problem on making a good leak free connection. If you want to cover the pipe, use foam. Remember, copper water supply’s are quite common direct burial, the sun and elements won’t hurt it. I suggest insulation, if in a location that the temps drop below 27°F.

(Yes water freezes at 32°, but it takes time, in most locations 27°F is where damage to pipes starts as it takes ~4 hours at that temp to freeze your pipe.)

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  • Thanks for advice! The pipe will be outside, aiding watering grass (and garden), thus used only in summer. Above ground -- exposed to Sun -- but not freezing, because I always drain this part in October. – Mikhail T. Jul 5 '20 at 20:48
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    I put in several feet of copper tube with brass compression fittings 20 years ago ,one foot at each end is exposed the rest is buried .It only shows a little green patina. . – blacksmith37 Jul 6 '20 at 1:58

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