5 Early Warning Signs of Pipe Corrosion

Did you know that replacing damaged and corroded piping in the US would cost over $75 billion? Up to 18 percent of pipeline failures are caused by corrosion. That is why corrosion is high on the list of concerns, making it one of the most potentially damaging losses to a commercial or industrial property.

But how can you tell you may have a pipe corrosion issue on your hands? Let us look at some warning signs of corrosion to watch for.

1. Pipe Corrosion: Pipe Thread Leaks

This is one of the earliest warning signs that corrosion could be a concern. Pipe threads are an obvious point of weakness and leaks are a common sight when there is corrosion in pipes.

You may notice only a small leak at first, but over time this can turn into a serious issue as pressure increases on the pipe thread. If not taken care of, this can cause total pipe separation.

Although plant managers focus on the condition of large piping mains, threaded pipes can actually cause the most damage.

2. Multiple Pipe Repairs

Having to repair a pipe multiple times is another of the most important warning signs of pipe corrosion. Not investigating whether corrosion is the culprit of issues that arise with the pipe result in multiple repairs that do not fix the underlying issue.

3. Visible Damage

Rust is easy to see and so is galvanic corrosion. Galvanic corrosion happens when different metals are joined together and come into contact with acidic solutions. It is common in open condenser water and process water systems.

The most serious galvanic corrosion can occur between galvanized steel and brass valve connections. To confirm this issue is present, you will usually see a deposit at the valve that is bluish-green in color.

Discoloration or crystallization of the pipe’s outer insulation are other signs of corrosion. If you see wet insulation, that, too, can tell you there is a problem.

4. Pitting

If you see small holes, or pits, forming along the pipe, they other signs of corrosion. Although they appear small at the surface, they will be larger underneath. Stainless steel, nickel alloys, and aluminum alloys are the most vulnerable materials.

Environmental factors can cause pitting corrosion. Chloride, hypochlorite, bromide, and fluoride can cause it. The presence of water or sulfides in the area can make the pitting worse.

5. Mold or Algae

Although mold and algae do not have a direct link to corrosion, they can tell you there is a leak. The leak tells you there may be corrosion to the pipe.

Mold will not contribute to the failure of the pipe, but it is a visible sign there is something wrong.

Avoid Corrosion Damage

By watching out for pipe corrosion signs, you will be able to prevent the most costly of repairs. Corrosion prevention can have an impact on the efficiency of the piping and the avoidance of expensive damage.

When you turn to Rak Industrial Services, Inc. you will get the quality services you need. Contact us today for more information!

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