MIC, pinhole leaks, scale build up - it comes in many forms, but it is all based in one thing: fire sprinkler corrosion. It costs facilities millions every year. Corrosion from water and oxygen causes microbial build up and leaks. The result could be anything from a fire sprinkler not activating as it should to a valve trip causing massive water damage. We're going to answer three questions for you today:
1. What causes corrosion?
2. How does a nitrogen generation system work?
3. Why use a nitrogen generation system?
What causes fire sprinkler corrosion?
You are going to find corrosion issues in wet-pipe, pre-action, or dry-pipe fire sprinklers, but it is much worse in dry pipe. Why, you might ask. Dry-pipe fire sprinklers are always filled with compressed air and oxygen is a major component of corrosion. Each quarter, dry-pipe fire sprinklers are tested. Water is sent through the system and drained, but do you ever drain a bathtub and it is bone dry in the end? If you have, tell me your secret. There is always some water left sitting in the tub, same with the fire sprinkler pipe. The water sits there, mixing with oxygen for weeks or months. The combination causes corrosion in the pipe - learn more about the causes of corrosion here. How do we stop corrosion? You get the pipe pitched so the most water drains as possible. You get your drum drips drained regularly, to remove excess water. Lastly, you add a nitrogen generation system.
How does a nitrogen generation system work?
A nitrogen generation system is added to a dry-pipe fire sprinkler system to remove oxygen from the system. Top of the line nitrogen generation systems create 98% pure nitrogen. This eliminates the oxygen from the system. Additionally, nitrogen is very dry. It has a dew point of -71 degrees. The negative dew point dries out any excess water. Ultimately, the nitrogen generation system eliminates the two elements that cause electrochemical corrosion.
Why use a nitrogen generation system?
Studies have shown that by adding a nitrogen system, fire sprinkler pipes made of black steel extend their lifespan from 16 years to 48 years. Fire sprinkler pipes made of galvanized pipe extend their lifespan from 7 years to 92 years. The nitrogen generation system protects the fire sprinkler system in two ways: 1) it removes the elements that cause corrosion; 2) it removes excess water, reducing the likelihood of frozen pipes in the winter.
Dry-pipe fire sprinklers with nitrogen generation systems are safe from corrosion. Kick corrosion for good by adding a nitrogen generation system, drum drips, and properly pitching the fire sprinkler pipes. The cost of protecting your fire sprinkler from corrosion and burst pipes will come back to you tenfold.
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