A common problem for building owners is pipe corrosion. When pipe corrosion is visible, it is possible that other equipment may be affected by scaling or corrosion too. Corrosive water can cause hot water heater failures, water source heat pump (water source air conditioning) unexpected short cycling, and pipe leaks. Understanding what causes pipe corrosion and reducing it can save you from costly repairs.
What are some common causes of pipe corrosion?
1. Imbalanced pH levels
Low pH levels (acidic water)
High pH levels (alkaline water) – Chemical scaling may form on the pipes to protect against corrosion, but bacteria may be prevalent and lead to Microbiologically Induced Corrosion
2. High oxygen or other gases levels
Oxygen is a corrosive agent. It can degrade and rust your piping over time.
3. Water turbulence and design flaws
Excessive water velocity can erode piping, especially at angled fittings.
4. Microbiologically Induced Corrosion (MIC)
Bacteria such as Sulfate Reducing Bacteria may lead to pinhole leaks and corrosion.
5. High water temperature
The rate of corrosion increases as the temperature of water increases.
How to reduce pipe corrosion?
1. In mechanical and sprinkler systems, properly sized air vents, air scoops, and air separators are great ways of reducing air presence in your system.
2. Neutralizing filters and chemical feed pumps can maintain the proper water pH levels
3. Check for proper water temperature for your system.
Reducing corrosion will reduce systemic problems in the building and save you from costly repairs.