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Corrosion in Fire Sprinkler Systems – Causes, Inspection and Repairs - americanfireinc

americanfire June 9, 2021 No Comments

Corrosion problems with wet and dry fire sprinkler devices are nothing new. Metal, water, and air are used in many fire sprinkler devices. These three components are essential for the right operations of fire sprinkler systems, but these are exposed to corrosion over a period of time. Solid particles can sink to any low spots in wet systems and start to corrode. If fresh oxygen is ever added to the system, the process starts over, introducing more and more solids. Corrosion can occur in dry and pre-action systems alike. Due to the higher levels of oxygen found in dry pipe structures, corrosion is more likely to occur. Corrosion is caused by moisture in the device. However, once corrosion reaches a critical stage, it can leads to expensive failures, water damage, and system underperformance.


Oxygen is the primary source of fire sprinkler corrosion. The following are the key factors that can accelerate fire sprinkler corrosion:

  • Oxygen
  • Solids contained inside the pipe
  • Corrosion influenced by microbiology
  • Pipe removal and replacement
  • Machine being drained and replenished
  • Solids and bacteria
  • The condensate’s low pH
  • Quality of water
  • Inadequate monitoring and inspections of fire sprinkler systems on a regular basis

Detecting Corrosion on Sprinkler Systems

Corrosion is common when property owners fail to check fire sprinkler systems on a periodical basis. Internal pipe inspections and routine maintenance help to detect problems and correct them before fire sprinkler corrosion becomes a problem. Scanning through the fire sprinkler facility on a regular basis and being mindful of any of the symptoms of corrosion will help to spot the problem until it becomes too expensive to fix. Leaks, discolored water, rusting, and obstruction are all some symptoms of fire sprinkler corrosion. A fire protection service company will inspect an existing fire sprinkler system in addition to looking for any of these physical inspections.

What do you do if Corrosion is found?

Sprinkler device corrosion causes pinhole leaks and expensive service calls. While a repair can temporarily solve a crisis, it’s just a short-term fix, and repairs have the potential to cause workplace disruption. Repairing leakage cannot be a regular part of fire sprinkler system maintenance.

There are solutions to ensure that the root problem is avoided, and does not return. It is possible to attempt to strip moisture from pre-action or dry processes, but this is only mildly successful. Instead, removing oxygen from a fire sprinkler system is the most effective way to prevent corrosion. This will remove the solids produced by the dissolved oxygen-pipe reaction, which encourages bacterial growth. Therefore, inspection professionals will try to reduce the amount of oxygen in the fire sprinkler system (wet or dry) and replace it with nitrogen to avoid rust of the piping. Furthermore, using nitrogen to strip corrosive oxygen reduces the expense of a modern sprinkler device by 75-90%.

Protect Fire Sprinklers from Corrosion

It’s in your best interest to keep an eye on your fire sprinkler system for corrosion. If fire sprinkler pipes have been corroded for a long time, the device can fail to function in an emergency. This is why one needs to be mindful of the signs of sprinkler corrosion and get an internal pipe inspection performed by professional fire safety and fire protection firm. If you are in a need of fire sprinkler system installation or sprinkler system inspection, American Fire Inc. can help you. Call us to know our fire protection services:

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