Burst pipes in a home can be caused by different factors. The most common cause for this plumbing issue is freezing conditions. Pipe failure can also be caused by usual wear and tear or old age, misuse, and intense physical damage because of great pressure.
Burst pipes are one of the most chaotic plumbing problems any household can undergo. This particular plumbing issue will cause damage to a property and put people out of homes for a number of days. It can also leave people without water and homes for a long period of time.
The first step to avoid having burst pipes in your home is to use pipeline corrosion protection methods. Below are some useful tips for preventing the occurrence of this plumbing problem:
1. Have outside taps and piping insulated. When doing this, don’t forget to include the drain pipes for heating and overflow pipes. Lagging or foam can do a good job of insulating these fixtures, however, it is necessary to make sure that you do not leave any joints, bends or taps uncovered. If you have taps outside, you can insulate them with fitted covers.
2. Make sure the pipes buried in the ground outside such as pipes that lead to garages or sheds are buried deep enough.
3. Make sure that pipes in unheated areas such as lofts, basements, and garages are lagged with good quality pipe lagging.
4. Before the cold season comes, fix all dripping taps or existing leaks since they can cause pipes to burst. This will prevent pipe corrosion that inevitably happens during wintertime.
In the instance that some pipes have already burst your home, here are some tips you can follow to minimize its effects and the damage they can bring:
Unfortunately, not every burst pipe is characterized by a torrent of water from the ceiling. Damp patches on walls, ceilings, and floors can also be signs of a burst pipe. A decrease in water pressure, unusual noises in the system, and even electrical faults can also indicate burst pipes.
If you think you have a burst pipe, immediately isolate the water from the stopcock. Make sure the stopcock is completely closed. The next thing to do is to open all taps to remove the water from the system.
Move any furniture and belongings immediately from the affected area so that they won’t get too wet.
Do not use electrical devices. Also, keep away from light switches and sockets as they can cause electrocution.
Call an emergency plumber immediately. A qualified plumber will be able to determine if your plumbing issue is really a burst pipe. The plumber will also be able to quickly isolate the burst pipes, identify the cause, and find the ideal solution to the problem.
If you are traveling during the winter months for an extended period of time, one of the first things to do is make sure your heat is set to 55 degrees. Always have a neighbor check on your house to make sure the furnace is working and the heat remains at 55 degrees because if it goes below freezing, you run the risk of a broken pipe.
If you do experience a broken pipe, you must act quickly to prevent further water damage to your home or business. The first thing you must do is shut off the water immediately. Know where the water shut off valve is located and make sure all members of the household are aware of its location and how to shut it off.
If you experience water damage from a burst pipe, contact a local reputable water damage repair company right away. They can advise you on the proper steps to take to clean up and restore your home or business. Taking care of the problem right away can prevent the need for mold remediation later.
If the house will be unoccupied for an extended period of time during winter months, it is a good idea to shut off and drain the water system prior to leaving to prevent frozen pipes. To do this simply turn off the main shut off value, then turn on all the faucets throughout the house. Leave the faucets on until all the water is drained from the pipes, then it is all right to turn them off. If the house will only be unoccupied for a day or two, leave the furnace on low and open all of cupboard doors where water lines are located.
If there is a pipe is suspected to be frozen, do not take any chances, and call a plumber immediately. In the case of a burst pipe shut off the nearest shut off valve, if there is not an isolated valve for that area of piping, shut off the main valve. Call someone offering emergency plumbing services immediately. Failure to do so could result in greater costs and damage.
Due to a combination of factors such as oxygen, leaks, and what not, your pipes will begin to corrode over time. This corrosion takes on a number of forms such as leaks, increased pressure, and ultimately bursting pipes if the situation is not identified and corrected early enough. For that reason, getting to know what causes pipes to corrode and observing the warning signs early enough can ensure that you are protected as well as healthy since corroded pipes can usually infect water, thus leading to health complications. The following signs should be able to tell you where and when the pipes are getting corroded so as to take preventive measures and avoid a disaster in advance.
1. Discolored Water
If you start to notice brownish looking water flowing out of your pipes in a dense manner, then this is a sign that your water system has been compromised by the corrosion. The discoloration often happens as a result of the water crapping off the oxides that have been broken down from the water and thus causing the water to be colored in a strange way. However, a corroded pipe is not always the case as the water could turn brown after a routine maintenance where pipes have been replaced. The duration that this water stays brown should be able to indicate the severity of the situation and whether you need to do something about it or not.
2. Strange Taste
Oxidation, which is a leading cause of pipe corrosion in water supply systems, can often result in the water taking up too many minerals and as a result, taking on a strange taste which is sometimes too strong for the person tasting the water. This is a sure sign that there is something wrong with the water, which could prompt you into checking with the water supply to see whether the water is safe for your health and if it will get clean anytime soon. A health inspection at this point could prove to be life-saving as it will determine whether the water is safe for human consumption or not.
As pipes begin to wear down due to corrosion, you will find that leaks start to pop out all over the place. By doing an inspection of your piping system, you should be able to determine whether the leaks are spread out all over the pipes or just concentrated around one place which then indicates the degree of damage. A leaking system is usually a warning sign that your corroded pipe is unable to support the water supply any longer, thus this should be a cause for alarm whenever you begin to notice it. Additionally, leaks can spread the damage to other areas of the building such as the roof and floors, which then causes mould and, ultimately, respiratory infections. Leaks are also quite tricky to identify as they happen in small stages and over time spread to a greater area, causing even greater damage to your infrastructure.
4. Clogged Pipes
Corrosion often leads to a buildup inside the pipes, which causes the pipes to narrow down. As this happens, they happen to be clogged which can cause a pressure build-up and ultimately an explosion or a burst of the pipe. This would be an even greater disaster than the leaks, which can be patched easily as compared to replacing a whole length of the piping system.
Whenever you suspect that you have pipe corrosion in your system, getting into contact with the professionals can often prove to be the best course of action. This will ensure that a thorough inspection and damage estimation of the piping system has been done as well as determine the manner in which these pipes should be replaced and the cost involved. Corroded pipes often pose a health risk to the people involved and can lead to an escalation of costs where you have to take someone to the hospital as a result of infection by the leaking water or its consumption.
At the end of the day, corroded pipes pose an obvious health risk and as such, you need to ensure that it is looked into to avert a disaster.
Many countries across the globe now rely on oil and gas for a variety of everyday needs, such as heating and transportation. Therefore, it is no surprise that demand for fossil fuels remains high, especially considering the onset of cleaner-burning fuel sources like diesel and compressed natural gas. Things such as different types of materials are often used in the oil and gas industry.
Oil and gas companies must do all they can to ensure a steady supply of product to distributors and consumers. An infrastructure of pipes that carry oil and gas across the country and around the world is, therefore, essential. Parts such as piping materials, pipe shoes, and wear pads, must be durable and resilient, so maintenance and repairs do not interrupt the supply of product.
There are both inside and outside piping issues such as corrosion, heat, and pressure both inside and outside piping to contend with. Thus, choosing the right materials for pipes and pipe supports will make a world of difference. Here are just a few of the most common different types of materials used in the oil and gas industry.
This is easily the most important material used in the oil and gas industry. It is a strong and reliable metal. Virtually every element of oil and gas production, from harvesting and refining products to shipping them across the globe, uses it.
Steel is especially important for distribution. It is the main material used for piping and external parts because it is strong and resistant to wear. Consequently, steel is often paired with small percentages of other materials to enhance strength, durability, or other desirable traits.
Steel, combined with any number of other materials, produces improved alloys. For example, when paired with carbon, molybdenum, or nickel, steel becomes stronger and more resistant to corrosion. Thus, it is a common problem in the oil and gas industry.
Sometimes, steel alloys include chromium. Not only does it strengthen the steel but also it helps the metal to resist the effects of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, and high temperatures. Titanium is a popular additive because of its strength and durability. It is also resistant to a variety of substances, including seawater.
Copper and copper alloys are for special usage within oil and gas operations. These materials are often used for valves and seals. This is due to properties like electrical and thermal conductivity that help to transfer heat and cold without warping, cracking, or failing otherwise.
Petroleum products like gas and oil come from reserves located below the surface of the Earth. These reserves are tapped into by various means (mining, fracking, etc.), after which raw materials are harvested and refined to make the gas and oil products that we use in our homes, automobiles, and so on.
In order to get these products from inside the Earth and into the hands of consumers, so to speak, a vast transportation network is used. In some cases, products are transported by tanks that are moved around on all types of vehicles.
More often, however, gas and oil are transported by pipes, including pipelines that transport mass quantities across the globe, as well as those that transport smaller amounts to homes and businesses. As you can imagine, this requires miles of piping, pipe supports, and so on.
Corrosion, both inside and outside of pipes, is a major cause for concern. Piping may be located below or above ground, and both scenarios entail challenges where potential corrosion and other types of deterioration are concerned. How does pipe corrosion impact the gas and oil industry?
Threats from Inside
Natural resources and refined gas and oil products alike can carry impurities that are corrosive, including carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and even water. These agents can react with the internal metal of pipes and begin to eat away at them until enough breakdown occurs for leaks to form.
The velocity of materials being transported through pipes could play a role in how slowly or quickly corrosion occurs, as could temperature and other factors like the integrity of the metal. Corrosion can eventually compromise any surface if not addressed.
The elements tend to account for the greatest threat to the exterior of piping where corrosion is concerned. Certain environmental factors like temperature are also pertinent. Again, the quality of metal used and the use of peripheral products like pipe wear pads could also make a difference.
The gas and oil industry naturally prefers to prevent corrosion as much as possible in order to save money and ensure the flow of product to customers. There are various methods of preventing corrosion, and many are under constant development in order to improve existing techniques and products.
For example, most pipes are coated internally to prevent known types of corrosion. In addition, traditional metal alloys for pipes are being replaced by corrosion-resistant alloys. Using matching metals for pipes, pipe fittings, pipe saddles, and so on is also common. Corrosion can be a very expensive problem in the gas and oil industry, which is why so much effort is made to prevent it.
Like the aqueducts of old that were used to bring water into towns and early piping designed to reduce contagion by carrying effluent away from civilization, pipes have long provided a safe and convenient means of transporting liquids, gases, and even some solids. These days, pipes are many and varied, supplied for a variety of uses.
As such, there are many factors that could lead to pipe failure, and specifically, pipe erosion. It may depend on the piping materials and the contents moving through them. It could be related to environmental factors or whether or not proper pipe supports and wear pads were used.
In addition, erosion could occur both inside and outside of pipes. Regardless of the cause, however, no business wants to find itself dealing with the damage and cost that could result from pipe erosion. Here are a few potential causes you should be aware of and how you can prevent and treat them.
Certain materials may be more prone to erosion, especially when exposed to certain corrosive elements, or elements that create a chemical reaction. For example, certain metals are much more likely to suffer from rust when they come into contact with water or steam or if they are located outdoors.
Others may transport chemicals and undergo some type of erosion over time. It’s important to make sure that you select products, including pipes and pipe wear pads for example, that are designed to work properly in your environment and with the items being transported.
Some pipes will be subject to extreme temperatures as hot liquids, gases, or steam pass through, especially at high velocity. In such situations, it’s not uncommon to see erosion, particularly at joints where accelerated substances slam into a junction before rounding the bend and continuing forward. This scenario requires businesses to keep an eye out for wear and tear so that repair and replacement can occur before a fiasco develops.
Any number of chemicals can cause corrosion in and around pipes. Even something as seemingly innocuous as water can lead to chemical reactions with certain pipe materials or external elements like pipe shoes. Research is imperative to ensuring that you pair proper pipe materials with the substances that will come into contact with the pipes. Otherwise you could end up with corrosion, erosion, leaks, damages, and even injuries or fatalities.
Your best efforts may not be enough to stave off pipe erosion completely. There are, however, steps you can take to prevent erosion, such as selecting appropriate pipes and looking for products that have been coated for additional protection.
All kinds of metals are used in pipes, but the two most common are steel and copper. Unfortunately, both of these types of metal can suffer from corrosion that eats away at the metal and ultimately leads to leaks.
Whether you’re dealing with residential, commercial, or industrial pipes and pipe supports, you want to do all you can to ensure that your infrastructure continues to function properly. Regular inspection and proper maintenance and repair are all a must, but what can you do to prevent pipe corrosion?
It will depend on whether you’re trying to prevent corrosion inside pipes or outside, as well as the type of metal you’re dealing with. Here are a few things you need to know about protecting your pipes against corrosion.
Corrosion Inside Pipes
Whether you have water, effluent, chemicals, or other substances coursing through your pipes, there’s a chance you could suffer corrosion inside piping networks over time. Even water, which seems harmless enough, could carry contaminants that result in corrosion, or the velocity at which it runs through pipes could cause damage over time. Stagnant water is also a concern if pipes aren’t used for extended periods of time.
There are a couple of things you can do to protect the interior of pipes. First and foremost, pipes must be properly coated with protective materials prior to installation. In addition, proper welding and soldering seams must be smooth so as to avoid “burrs” inside pipes that could speed corrosion. You must also use pipes regularly to avoid stagnant fluids.
There’s not a lot you can do after the fact to correct such issues, short of tearing the whole kit and caboodle apart and replacing corroded pipes. Preventive measures are essential to protect against corrosion inside pipes.
Corrosion Outside Pipes
You may have more opportunity to protect against corrosion on the outside of pipes, supposing they’re exposed and you have access. Again, prevention is your best bet. Pipes should be properly coated on the outside to avoid corrosion. You can also add elements like pipe wear pads or pipe saddles to prevent corrosion over time.
These extraneous measures work by bringing dissimilar metals (like steel and zinc, for example) into contact, which protects one metal (the steel pipe) while transferring corrosion to the other. These pipe shoes, saddles, cradles, pads, and so on can be added after the fact, as well, if corrosion on pipes becomes an issue. However, it’s always best to prevent costly and hazardous pipe corrosion from the get-go if you can.