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Counteracting Corrosion in Hot Water Heating Systems

HeatingHelp.com
HeatingHelp.com Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 6
edited May 25 in THE MAIN WALL
We have all seen the effects of corrosion at some point, right?

From pipes and fittings to major components, corrosion is part of a natural process and will occur in every system where any type of metal is present, and once a new system is installed, the clock to counteracting corrosion begins ticking!

Hands up if you have had callouts for boiler leaks, ECMs that have failed or heat exchangers that are cracked? Corrosion can dramatically reduce the efficiency of a system, and even cause boiler failures. Magnetite, or black iron oxide is a result of oxidation inside an untreated hydronic system and is one of the main causes of heating system breakdowns.

Corrosion can never be completely stopped, but it can be prevented from occurring in a new system and slowed down in an existing system via three simple steps: Test. Clean. Protect.

Test
- Testing is a vital step in understanding the quality of the water in the system.

Clean - Any system with corrosion occurring will need a clean.

Protect - The process of corrosion never stops, which is why any hydronic system will need the long-lasting, continuous protection of a magnetic filter.

To learn more about counteracting corrosion, click HERE.

And always remember - Test. Clean. Protect. Every install. Every repair. Every service!



(This is a sponsored post. Thank you to ADEY for supporting the work we're doing here at HeatingHelp.com.)

Comments

  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 171
    I always wondered why dont we have sacrificial anodes in heating systems (like in a water heater, boat motors etc)
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,545
    Hi, I'm right on the edge of what I know here, but I think it has to do with the amount of oxygen in the system. In theory, if iron saw no oxygen, it couldn't rust. Galvanic corrosion may not care if oxygen is present, as it just needs an electrolyte that's conductive.

    An interesting test would be to put iron and copper, bonded together in an oxygen-free conductive fluid and see what happens. Will the iron just sit there and smile, or will it dissolve away?


    Yours, Larry
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,508

    An interesting test would be to put iron and copper, bonded together in an oxygen-free conductive fluid and see what happens. Will the iron just sit there and smile, or will it dissolve away?

    That is what you do in a closed hydronic system, you have steel and iron components and fittings and you connect them to copper piping and as long as there isn't oxygen getting in to the system from fresh water being added to replace water added from a leak or non oxygen barrier plastic components are used, it for the most part doesn't.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,286
    Test, test, test is the key. Test the water before it goes in, fix it if needed. Check the fluid after a weeks run, then occasionally through the years.

    It is almost impossible to keep 100% of the O2 out. Pump seals, gaskets, perhaps even press fittings o-rings? leak some O2.

    A research piece at the CDA site claims even new copper connected to old copper can set up a small galvanic cell. So dissimilar metals certainly can and do.

    I believe the hydronic conditioners help a lot with O2 scavenging, film providers, etc. They too want good quality water blend with them.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 422
    I added powered titanium anodes to both my boiler and stainless steel IWH.
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,280
    MikeAmann said:

    I added powered titanium anodes to both my boiler and stainless steel IWH.

    MikeAmann said:

    I added powered titanium anodes to both my boiler and stainless steel IWH.

    Are you operating with chemicals or without chemicals in your heating system ?
    MikeL_2
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 422
    No chemicals any more - just tap water.
    I have had to drain & refill more than a few times, and each time adds O2 and contaminants.
    The powered anodes that I am using do not get consumed and are guaranteed for life.
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,280
    What is your PH and EC ?
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,831
    Both for steam and hot water there are methods to minimize O2 & CO2.
    Not used too often on closed systems.
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 422
    @Derheatmeister
    What is your PH and EC ?
    You mean me? I never tested. I just want the protection without anything disolving into the tanks.
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,280
    MikeAmann said:

    @Derheatmeister
    What is your PH and EC ?
    You mean me? I never tested. I just want the protection without anything disolving into the tanks.

    Yes...Sorry, I should have Quoted your post :#
    How did you install the Titanium Anode in your heating system ? Is it installed in a "reaction vessel" ?
    EC stands for Electrical Conductivity which is measured in micro siemens.
    In order to keep the different materials from reacting towards each other (Galvanic action) we try to keep it low.
    In Germany in a "Chemical Free" system such as you are trying to maintain we try to keep the EC below 100 micro siemens . We also try to maintain the PH between 8.2 to 8.4 unless you have a Aluminium HX. :s
    However,In order to keep any warranty in place always follow the Manufacturers system fluid recommendations.

    IMO there are two ways you can handle "Counteracting Corrosion in Hot Water Heating Systems"

    1. Try to become a chemist and throw a bunch of Chemicals towards it which is not so great for our enviroment !
    2. Approch it without chemicals by using Deionized water and Sacrificial Anodes .

    If you have a constant buildup of Magnetite that is just a indication of issue that has been left unaddressed..Most installers will start by using a "Magnectic filter" which is not getting to the root of the cause.

    If you want to know more regarding this subject you can read the VDI 2035, The new ANSI H1001.1 Standard or you can Email me directly.
    Sorry for the Germenglish ..Richard.
    PC7060
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 422
    edited May 5


    Here is the one I have installed on my SS IWH. You just remove the aluminum rod that the unit came with and install the powered unit, connect the circuit, and plug it in.

    I got mine here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/142271777319?hash=item21200f0a27:g:0dMAAOSwZgtiN63S
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,280
    edited May 13
    MikeAmann said:



    Here is the one I have installed on my SS IWH. You just remove the aluminum rod that the unit came with and install the powered unit, connect the circuit, and plug it in.

    I got mine here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/142271777319?hash=item21200f0a27:g:0dMAAOSwZgtiN63S


    Can you please post Pictures on the location of the Heating system Anode?
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 422
    edited May 7
    I just put it in the unused rear tapping, which is right at the bottom of the tank.
    This boiler is old, but when I removed the plug that was there, all the threads looked brand new.
    I took a look inside the tank and was blown away with what I saw - great shape.
    So I installed the powered titanium anode because I want to keep it that way.





  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 709
    MikeAmann said:
    I just put it in the unused rear tapping, which is right at the bottom of the tank. This boiler is old, but when I removed the plug that was there, all the threads looked brand new. I took a look inside the tank and was blown away with what I saw - great shape. So I installed the powered titanium anode because I want to keep it that way.  
    Nice labeling.  Always good to leave a clue for the next guy.  That remind me I need to add a few labels to my system.