Case Study: Sprinkler System Corrosion Monitoring

Posted by Experts in Nitrogen Generators and Automatic Air Vents on Jan 12, 2016 12:08:33 PM

Mission Critical Case Study of ECS In-Line Corrosion Detector

An ECS In-Line Corrosion Detector was installed on each of 39 preaction sprinkler systems at a new colocation data center to provide sprinkler system corrosion monitoring in conjunction with the nitrogen generator corrosion control system.

Prior to the commissioning of the ECS Nitrogen Generation System all fire sprinkler systems were hydrostatically tested per NFPA 13 requirements and maintained with supervisory gas from the air compressor only. Approximately 8 weeks after hydrostatic testing the facility received a signal indicating activation of a 4” ECS In-Line Corrosion Detector installed on a preaction system. Within two weeks the facility reported activation of a second 4" ECS In-Line Corrosion Detector installed on a preaction system. Analysis proved both failures were the result of rapid oxygen corrosion at the thin-wall section where trapped water was present.

After activation of the second ECS In-Line Corrosion Detector the ECS Protector Nitrogen Generation System was commissioned and within 14 days all preaction fire sprinkler systems were protected by a minimum 98% nitrogen atmosphere. Once the nitrogen generator was placed in service and the preaction fire sprinkler systems were exposed to a high nitrogen atmosphere the facility reported no additional activation of ECS In-Line Corrosion Detectors. Since July 2014 there has been no additional corrosion activity within the fire sprinkler systems at the facility. 


Stay Ahead of Leaks with Corrosion Monitoring

The ECS In-Line Corrosion Detector is specifically designed to monitor metal loss in fire sprinkler systems and is the first true in-situ corrosion monitoring device that effectively addresses NFPA 13 corrosion monitoring requirements. The device matches the same pipe size, schedule, and material used in the system being monitored and provides active monitoring with an FM Approved, UL listed pressure switch.

The 360° surface area ensures that corrosion activity can be effectively detected in both wet and dry pipe fire sprinkler systems while representing no obstruction risk. The thin-wall section is milled to 0.035 inches which are approximately 30% of pipe wall thickness of schedule 10 piping.

It is difficult to determine when fire sprinkler systems are actively corroding over short periods of time because pipe failures are the result of cumulative corrosion over several years. An effective corrosion monitoring device not only provides early warning detection but also delivers direct feedback to building owners and operators regarding the effectiveness of their corrosion control program.

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