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 definition 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?
The good news is you can actually measure how corrosive your system is. 2 common methods are:
- 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.
- 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
- Find out whether you have (or soon will have) a corrosion problem by testing the water and measuring the corrosion rates.
- Put the measures above in place in the right combination for your system.
- 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:
- 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.
- Get the system under control with a planned approach and keep testing to make sure you are going in the right direction.
- Be prepared to invest some time and money to rectify the situation – keep in mind how much the corrosion is costing you!