System Rehabilitation - CORROSION

A badly corroded iron pipe

Corrosion is like the cardiovascular disease of building mechanical systems. It blocks heating pipes, creates leaks, freezes zone valves, causes pumps to fail and is the #1 cause of catastrophic system failure. Moreover, built up corrosion acts as an insulator (like scale), inhibiting the transfer of heat to and from the system, forcing the system to work harder and, ultimately, causing massive waste and increased cost in your energy bills.

Corrosion (iron oxide) is created when oxygen in the heating fluid (water) bonds with the iron in the heating system (pipes) to form layers of built-up iron oxide which flake off as the system heats and cools. As they flake off, fresh iron is exposed to the water creating more iron oxide and the flakes of iron oxide clog pipes (especially where it settles on lower floors). Corrosion causes zone valves to stick and pump impellers to seize.

Most plumbing contractors like to flush corrosion from the system, pumping the water contaminated with oxide flakes out and replacing it with fresh clean water. Unfortunately, this doesn't usually address the flakes settling in the lower floors and, even worse, it brings fresh, oxygen-rich water into the system which actually speeds up the corrosion process.

Some contractors will treat the water with a chemical dispersant, prior to flushing, which helps to pick up more oxide and may help flush the lower floors out better but it doesn't address the layers of iron oxide coating the system walls and, within a few weeks of heating and cooling cycles, the oxide flakes start to contaminate the system again, exposing pipe walls to the new, oxygen-rich water.

Prevent Mechanical is the only mechanical contractor currently operating in Alberta with the expertise, equipment and advanced treatment chemicals needed to properly restore corroded heating systems.

After properly assessing your corroded system, our technicians will inject an individually designed chemical additive package into your system. Over the course of two or three weeks, these chemicals will dissolve all existing iron-oxide solids in your system, clean iron-oxide from the walls of pipes, boilers and impellers and consolidate the iron surfaces of your equipment. We monitor the progress of this treatment, utilizing magnetic and cartridge filtration, to ensure a thorough cleaning has been achieved, finally adding corrosion inhibitors to ensure the corrosion won't return.

At this stage we are able to engage in a customized preventative maintenance program that includes monthly testing of all your systems to ensure the proper fluid chemistry, providing you with a thorough report on all your mechanical systems.

Iron pipe should last as long as the building it serves. If your mechanical contractor is telling you anything else, you need to call Prevent.