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Posted on December 15, 2011

Preventing and Dealing With Fire Sprinkler Corrosion

In the Houston, Texas area, we’re lucky because we don’t have to deal with freezing sprinklers too often. However, we’re not immune to other problems many fire sprinklers have – most notably, corrosion. Corrosion of fire sprinkler piping is a big problem, and one that can potentially lead to system malfunctions and high water damage and repair costs. This is why annual fire sprinkler maintenance is so important – since you can’t see the inside of your sprinkler’s pipes, you never know when you need partial fire sprinkler replacement or fire sprinkler parts replacement!

What causes fire sprinkler corrosion?

One of the most serious causes of fire sprinkler corrosion is called Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion, or MIC. MIC can rapidly accelerate normal fire sprinkler corrosion, causing serious problems even in buildings that are less than five years old! MIC is caused by a bunch of microbes that get into your fire sprinkler pipes and basically rapidly eat away at the steel , causing complete pipe failure before too long. Strangely enough, corrosion of any kind (MIC and otherwise) is not a huge problem in wet pipe fire sprinklers, provided ALL the air is removed from the pipes and there is no MIC present. However, even a small amount of air is all it takes for scale buildup to start and the structural integrity of your pipes to fall severely.

Dry pipe fire sprinklers, on the other hand, are at serious risk of corrosion, especially MIC, since water collects in low points after the pipes are flushed (this is especially a problem since dry pipes are often thinner than wet pipes).

So how do you take care of corroded fire sprinklers?

The easiest way to take care of corroded fire sprinklers is through preemptive Houston fire sprinkler maintenance as opposed to emergency repairs. Using completely noninvasive ultrasonic technologies, we can detect the presence and monitor the progression of corrosion levels in your pipes, and if necessary we can schedule localized fire sprinkler replacement to replace parts of your sprinkler system that are about to fail long before they pose any hazards.

What are the risks of fire sprinkler corrosion?

The risks from fire sprinkler corrosion and MIC fall into two categories: loss of life and property that occurs because the sprinklers didn’t work and property damage caused by a leak or failure of the corroded fire sprinkler pipes. These risks are greatest in correction facilities, petroleum refineries, chemical and power plants, as well as in facilities with sensitive electronic equipment where a few drops of leaking water can do more damage than a fire.

Fire sprinkler corrosion is not something you can see – if you don’t have frequent fire sprinkler maintenance you may never know it’s a problem until your pipes fail completely! If you need Houston fire sprinkler maintenance, or if you need to replace a section of your pipes that is failing, you can’t afford to wait – instead, call Kauffman Co as soon as possible!

We provide estimates for new and replacement fire protection systems throughout Texas (TX) in:

  • Alvin
  • Angleton
  • Austin
  • Baytown
  • Beaumont
  • Bellaire
  • Clute
  • Conroe
  • Deer Park
  • Dickinson
  • Freeport
  • Friendswood
  • Galena Park
  • Galveston
  • Houston
  • Humble
  • Huntsville
  • Jacinto City
  • Katy
  • La Marque
  • La Porte
  • Lake Charles, LA
  • Lake Jackson
  • League City
  • Missouri City
  • Orange
  • Pasadena
  • Pearland
  • Port Arthur
  • Richmond
  • Rosenberg
  • San Antonio
  • Schulenburg
  • South Houston
  • Stafford
  • Sugar Land
  • Texas City
  • The Woodlands
  • Victoria
  • Waco
For more information, contact us online or call us now at (713) 893-1090.
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