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Hot Water Recirculation pipe erosion
I have a commercial customer who is experiencing major pipe erosion on the return line feeding the recirculation circulator for the hot water . I have attached a photograph for you review. I will try to give you an abbreviated description of the installation and history of the job. The return pipe is 1" copper with the exception of approximately 20' of PEX we used to repair the leaking sections. The circulator is a Grundfos stainless steel UPC-15-42SF which is good for 16GPM at a 0 head. I don't know how much equivalent pipe there is but I will estimate about 250'. The internal pipe erosion seems more prevalent closer to the inlet side of the circulator rather the supply side. The circulator runs 24/7. The water temperature is around 128 degrees.The last repair lasted around 6 months before another leak developed. The complex thought it may be the hard water. They installed a large water softener system. It seems to prolong the leaking intervals but did not stop it. We isolated the pipe in some instances where it lying against galvanized duct work. We added a ground wire and bonded the pipe back to the electrical service ground. I don't think it is a velocity problem in the pipe because I added a balancing valve on the outlet side of the circulator trying to restrict the flow. Has anyone else seen or experience this condition. Thanks in advance for your help. Dan