Corrosion is a continuous and virtually unstoppable force of nature, and it is on the rise. Corrosion occurs when the oxygen present in air trapped within fire sprinkler systems interacts with water or moisture and the metal pipes. Virtually all commercial fire sprinkler systems are susceptible to corrosion’s damaging effects.
It often starts with pinhole leaks, builds to mineral deposits that can clog pipelines, and ends with sprinkler pipes being destroyed from the inside out. In addition to attacking the sprinkler system, corrosion can also result in ceiling staining, water damage, mold growth, and even electrical system failure.
Corrosion monitoring is the key to addressing corrosion before it causes leaks and other damage.
Corrosion is More Common Than You Think
According to a VdS Survey, 35% of wet sprinkler systems will have significant corrosion issues within 25 years of installation. A staggering 73% of dry sprinkler systems will have significant corrosion issues within 12½ years of installation.
What Does Corrosion Cost?
Left unchecked, corrosion can grind businesses to a halt, cost millions in repairs, disable safety equipment, and put property and lives at risk. According to a study released by NACE (National Association of Corrosion Engineers) in 2002, the annual cost of corrosion was $276 billion dollars.
Building owners and facility managers that do not monitor and maintain their sprinkler pipes are exposing themselves to risk, and the direct and indirect costs of corrosion, including:
- Emergency repair costs
- Water & property damage
- Pipe replacement costs
- Critical services interruption
- Tenant loss of operations
- Data center failure
Corrosion Monitoring Lets You Address the Problem Before it Causes Damage
Early detection is critical to fast response and allows for more effective intervention methods. To address the increase of corrosion-related failures in both wet and dry fire protection systems, AGF has developed CORRinSITE™, a reliable monitoring tool designed to measure wall loss under real-world conditions.
CORRinSITE provides an inexpensive and foolproof method to monitor for hidden corrosion problems in any fire protection system. Incorporated directly into the sprinkler piping system, where it is subject to the same conditions as the pipe, CORRinSITE is easy to install and maintenance-free. As the pipe corrodes, the monitor corrodes. When the monitor corrodes beyond its limit, moisture penetrates the sealed chamber and transforms the white sight glass to a fluorescent orange color, indicating a corrosion problem and need for further investigation.
CORRinSITE comes in two models and various sizes. CORRinSITE In-Line Pipe (Model 7700) is suitable for new construction and retrofitting into existing fire protection systems. It is available in schedule 10 or 40, black steel or galvanized pipe. CORRinSITE™ Mechanical Tee (Model 7800) is easily retrofitted into existing fire protection systems and is available in painted red or galvanized steel.
To purchase CORRinSITE for your fire sprinkler system, find a distributor that serves your area.
Originally printed in the December 2016 edition of Fire Protection Contractor.