Are you aware of the dangers that microorganisms can have on your commercial sprinkler system? MIC, or microbiologically influenced corrosion, is caused by organisms in water that affect the pipes of a sprinkler system. There are various reasons why pipes may have MIC, so it’s important to know the causes of the corrosion and how to prevent it from compromising the safety of your commercial sprinkler system.
Understanding The Causes
There are a few main causes of MIC, including the changing in pipe materials, the way we disinfect water, and increased maintenance activity in sprinkler systems. The plumbing industry is always changing and developing new standards that buildings must follow, including using new pipe materials. While changing pipe materials in your commercial sprinkler system may be common, it is a leading cause of MIC.
Also, while sprinkler system maintenance is important, too much testing and drainage can have negative effects on the system. This is because fresh water introduced after drainage carries in debris and oxygen that microorganisms survive off of, allowing MIC to develop.
Corrosion can lead to many problems, including leaks, system shutdown, slow water movement, or complete system failure. To avoid these issues that come with corrosion, it’s important to know how to prevent corrosion from occurring. First, replace oxygen with nitrogen in dry and wet systems. Since nitrogen is an INERT gas, it won’t react with metal and won’t result in corrosion. This method is very effective; however, it can be costly. A less costly option for wet systems is to install air vents to eliminate the trapped air. This will significantly reduce the oxygen available for the MIC to survive.
Another way to prevent corrosion is to install stainless steel or other corrosion-resistant pipes. Stainless steel is less susceptible to MIC and can help your sprinkler system stay free of corrosion. Lastly, ensure that you are monitoring your system to find early signs of corrosions. Implement a monitoring program for pipe inspections to provide maintenance before it’s too late and the system deteriorates.
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