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How a water system is specified, designed and constructed has a big impact on the future likelihood of it developing corrosion. Correct construction and pre-commissioning cleaning are the first steps and then it’s important to ensure the system is regularly maintained to prevent corrosion in your HVAC system.
LTHW and chilled water systems that are made from mixed materials can cause problems. Stainless steel is corrosion resistant, but it is often combined with components made of materials such as copper, brass or mild steel, which aren’t. Thought should be given to the suitability of the materials used within a system, from the very start.
Culprits of corrosion:
NB: Bacteria cannot breed without oxygen, monitoring and removing oxygen should be the main focus in corrosion prevention.
Taking steps to prevent corrosion in your HVAC system from the outset and regular monitoring are key elements of water systems management. Setting up an effective monitoring regime from the start will save money, long term and lead to more sustainable working practices.
There are steps we’d recommend to ensure a robust system from the start:
Although BSRIA guidelines call from sampling and laboratory analysis, we believe 24/7, real-time monitoring of important system parameters such as dissolved oxygen, pressure, conductivity and corrosion rates will provide a more accurate picture of what’s happening in the system.
Keeping an eye on things
According to BG50, regular monitoring should be kept up once the system is running, particularly after any significant system changes such as the replacement or addition of plant or terminal units.
The Hevasuire system will enable FMs to keep an eye on a range of parameters: pressure, corrosion, inhibitor and pH levels, so that corrosive conditions and potential leaks can be identified before they become a problem.
When maintenance does take place, care must be taken to minimise the amount of oxygen re-entering the system. Pressure settings must be kept at the correct levels. If they exceed pressure relief valve (PRV) settings, water can be lost, which means more aerated water will need to be added to get the pressure up. again. Under pressurisation will result in air being sucked-in through air vents and dissolved oxygen rising to dangerous, corroding levels.
For more information about how to prevent corrosion in your HVAC system, click here.