What causes corrosion in pipes? How can we stop corrosion? These are serious questions that left unanswered can have costly consequences. Next to fire, pipeline corrosion represents one of the most serious threats and potential monetary losses to any private, commercial, or industrial property. Even with countermeasures in place the estimated cost for replacing corroded pipe systems last year cost the US economy over $1.1 trillion. Pipe system failures due to corrosion can be found in the most unlikely of places — fire suppression systems now fail within 2-3 years of installation and even cooling systems fail within 5-10 years. To make matters worse corrosion in pipelines continues to be unrecognized, unaddressed or even ignored until high-corrosion plumbing emergencies occur. What causes corrosion in pipe systems in the first place and more importantly is there a cost effective way to solve the challenge of corrosion in pipes?
What Causes Corrosion in Pipes?
There are a number of variables to consider when looking at why many pipe systems corrode. Often the first sign of a corrosion problem is a plumbing failure resulting in water damage from a pinhole leak or loss of water pressure due to tuberculation from corrosion restricting the diameter of the pipeline. The following are three common reasons why many pipelines corrode.
Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC)
MIC is one of the most severe cases of corrosion pipeline systems face today. Metals, nutrients, water and oxygen (all of which are commonly found inside any pipe) are the main ingredients for this naturally occurring chemical process which eats away at the metal in the pipe. The existence of MIC in a piping system usually is a serious sign that if unnoticed or left untreated can ruin the integrity of the pipe system. MIC has been found to destroy copper, brass, and stainless steel pipes.