Oxygen Corrosion in Fire Sprinkler Systems

Oxygen Corrosion in Fire Sprinkler Systems

Every fire sprinkler system is at risk for corrosion, but with regularly scheduled maintenance and inspection calls corrosion can be managed. Oxygen corrosion in fire sprinkler systems is caused by many number of things, but can be reduced and even eliminated if it is managed correctly.

Corrosion in fire sprinkler systems cause two major problems: leaking and clogging of the sprinkler pipe, limiting the flow to water when water is needed!

Factors that accelerate the corrosion reaction and increase leak frequency include:

Managing Corrosion: Wet Pipe Fire Sprinkler Systems

Reducing and controlling oxygen corrosion in wet pipe fire sprinkler systems can be accomplished by reducing the introduction of oxygen rich air to the fire sprinkler system. The most cost-effective approach to reduce oxygen corrosion in wet pipe fire sprinkler systems is the installation of an automatic air venting device. These devices automatically vent air while the system is filling. The greater the amount of ventilated air, the less the corrosion will take place. The 2016 Edition of NFPA 13 Installation Standard requires the use of a venting device on all wet pipe fire sprinkler systems.

The only way to completely stop oxygen corrosion in wet pipe fire sprinkler system is through a process called Wet Pipe Nitrogen Inerting (WPNI). In this approach, nitrogen gas is used to dilute and displace oxygen from the fire sprinkler system piping before it is filled with water.

Managing Corrosion: Dry and Pre-Action Fire Sprinkler Systems

Corrosion can only occur in dry pipe systems if liquid water is present within the system piping. Unfortunately, it does not take very much liquid water to support the oxygen corrosion reaction. Low point drains and pitching can remove some of the water from the system piping, but never enough to completely stop the oxygen corrosion.

There are two (2) ways to stop corrosion in dry pipe systems:

  1. Completely remove all of the water
  2. Completely remove all of the oxygen gas

The concept of removing all water from the system piping and keeping it out is virtually impossible; however, corrosion can be stopped by completely removing the oxygen gas and replacing it with nitrogen gas. Dry Pipe Nitrogen Inerting (DPNI) is a process for diluting and displacing oxygen gas from the dry pipe system.

Work with Delta Fire Systems for all of your corrosion management needs. We can help you maintain the integrity of your system and keep systems running as optimally as they should be. Contact us today to get started.

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