Corrosion In Water Systems

CORROSION PROBLEMS

corroded pipe

Corrosion in water system causes serious problems – blockages, failures, leaks, and it can cost you in downtime and repairs.

SO, WHAT IS CORROSION?

Here’s a diagram and Corrosion Diagramdefinition we found online:

Corrosion is a complex series of reactions between the water and metal surfaces (metal piping) and materials in which the water is stored or transported.

The corrosion process is an oxidation/reduction reaction that returns refined or processed metal to their more stable ore state.

 

 

This probably doesn’t help unless you are a chemistry nerd or rocket scientist, but assuming you are an Engineer or Facilities Manager trying to maintain your important water system – YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW THIS.

So – what do you need to know?

How about – knowing whether your system is corroding right now?

MEASURING CORROSION

The good news is you can actually measure how corrosive your system is. 2 common methods are:

  1. Corrosion coupons – place pre-weighed pieces of metal in your system for a while (1 – 3 months), then take them out and weigh them again. The difference tells you how much metal has been lost through corrosion. Simple, low cost and accurate enough for most applications.

 

corrosion sensor

  1. Corrater Sensor – install a sensor in the water system which can measure the corrosion rate and report it in real time. Costs several £thousand (still cheaper than replacing your water system), very accurate and reliable.

 

 

 

Using measurement methods like these is vital as they tell you that you have a problem – before it gets out of control.

HOW DO YOU REDUCE CORROSION?

Corrosion in water systems is impossible to stop completely but you can reduce it with the right combination of:

  • pH (acidity / alkalinity) – this needs to be correct for the types of metals you have in the system.
  • Filtration – clean up the water by reducing the solid particles contaminating it.
  • Bacteria – can cause corrosion so you need to control the bugs using biocide chemicals.
  • Corrosion inhibitors – clever chemicals that can protect the system and keep it healthy.

More background info here https://www.lenntech.com/corrosion-treatment.htm

 

IN SUMMARY OUR SUGGESTIONS ARE

  1. Find out whether you have (or soon will have) a corrosion problem by testing the water and measuring the corrosion rates.
  2. Put the measures above in place in the right combination for your system.
  3. Congratulate yourself and enjoy the peace of mind!

 

BUT…WHAT IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A CORROSION PROBLEM?

If you have blockages and leaks in your system right now – what can you do?

Firstly – DON’T PANIC, the right water treatment programme can get your system back in good health. Take it step by step:

  1. Take a methodical approach to make sure you fully understand the causes of the problem. You may need to spend some time on testing before you start taking action.
  2. Get the system under control with a planned approach and keep testing to make sure you are going in the right direction.
  3. Be prepared to invest some time and money to rectify the situation – keep in mind how much the corrosion is costing you!