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Pipes are often subject to failure, especially if they have been in use for a long period of time. They often deteriorate with time, making them vulnerable to failure. It is essential to buy the right kind of pipe fit for service. Pipe failures need to be thoroughly investigated with care to ensure that future failures are prevented. Down below are 4 common reasons as to why pipes usually fail:

  1. Too much exposure to sunlight: When your pipe is exposed to the sunlight for a very long period of time, disasters can happen. This is because the ultraviolet rays produced from the sun usually break down the material of the pipe, making it become more brittle over time. Thus, if for any reason you need to make use of a pipe above ground, make sure that you have a certain kind of covering for it or paint it so as to avoid it from becoming brittle. You also need to make sure that whoever you purchase pipe from is storing it properly, protecting it from the sun. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with pipes that have already been damaged.
  2. Velocity of the water: If water travels way too quickly in the pipe, it can lead to problems such as water hammering. which may develop surge pressures. Both of these have the power to wear down your pipe over time, regardless of how durable the material may be. If you are using pipes for irrigation purposes, you need to make sure that the flow of water is at the right pressure to prevent any kind of mishaps from occurring. buy pipes that will help you make use of the velocity of water you need.
  3. Soil and debris: Usually when pipes are fitted underground, we think that they are not exposed to any damage. However, this is not true. Underground soil and debris may create friction that can in turn damage the pipes. This is why it is a necessity to remove as much debris as possible before installing a plumbing system. At times, when the soil has too many rocks, you might even need to make use of a chain trencher to pulverize the rocks. Soil movement is another reason why pipes usually fail. All pipes have a breaking point that will be reached at some point in time. Freezing and thawing can cause the pipes to keep moving and as a result, get damaged completely.
  4. Problems with installation: It is extremely important to install the pipes properly. Pipes that haven’t been installed properly have high chances of failure well before their breaking point. When the pipe needs to be cut, the contractor should be careful about removing any debris that can later lead to the accumulation of residue. The outer edges of the pipe needs to be very smooth so that they join together easily and the cement can bond properly. Otherwise, it may lead to leaks. Another installation problem is known as “short insertion”. This occurs when the contractor doesn’t push the pipe all the way into the filling. This can cause the accumulation of contaminants, thus causing the pipe to fail.

Thus, these are the common causes of pipe failures. If these reasons of failure are kept in mind, we can avoid the failure of pipes at an early age. Often times, pipeline corrosion protection is used in order to protect the pipes from corroding away. This is one measure that must be taken by every pipe contractor to ensure that pipes don’t fail due to corrosion.

Corrosion's impact in the gas and oil industry

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Fuels and gases can be a bit destructive. A tragic accident involving gases — like an explosion — can cause a huge loss of lives and property. This is the reason why the best means of transport for fuels, gas and vapor is pipelines, usually underground. However, some of the fluids transported in pipelines can have corrosive properties or elements in them.

This means that after a period of time after a fluid has been transported for a while using pipelines, They start to corrode the pipelines which can eat up the material from which the pipeline has been created and in turn cause a leak in the pipeline. A pipeline leak can be very devastating. It can be a bit difficult to find the source of the leakage and repair it. Repairing a pipeline will require that you stop the flow of the fluid inside the pipeline at a certain point so as to allow either replacement or reinforcement of the pipeline.

You will need to implement pipeline corrosion protection methods when a pipeline fails. In order to do that effectively, you will need to install valves at certain points in the pipeline. Valves are very helpful at maintaining a pipeline. There is a wide range of valves that can be installed on a pipeline.

1. Ball Valves

Ball valves are very easy to operate. They also require just a little amount of motion to completely shut off the flow of the fluid in the pipeline. All that needs to happen is a simple 90 degree turn and the pipeline is either completely closed or completely opened. This is very essential when there is a need for emergency pipeline corrosion protection methods. The valve is able to do this using a simple ball shaped disk that either opens or closes to control the flow of the gas. The small disk has small holes on it. When they stay in line with the inlet allowing for passage, the ball valves are most commonly used for gas, air and liquids.

2. Butterfly valves

Butterfly valves are a very common type of valve. They are implemented in most pipelines because of their efficiency and simplicity and light material. They operate almost the same as ball valves. This is because they are also easy to operate and take a short time to completely open or close the pipeline. Butterfly valves have a simple metal plate which is supported at the middle by a strong and rigid metallic rod. When the plate is turned through an angle of 90 degrees, the metal plate stay parallel to the flow of the fluid in the pipeline hence opening the pipeline.

3. Gate valves

Gate valves are also very easy to operate. They are also used to either close or open the pipeline and allow for flow of the fluid in the pipeline to allow for implementation of pipeline corrosion protection methods. The gate valves can however not be used to regulate the amount of fluid passing through them. They either open or close the pipeline. This means that they cannot be partially opened as it would destroy the metal plate.

4. Globe valves

Unlike gate valves, butterfly and ball valves, the globe valves have the ability to regulate the flow of the fluid in the pipeline without being damaged by the pressure of the liquid. The only disadvantage, however, is that the globe valves require a longer time to operate than the ball and butterfly valves. The amount of fluid flowing through the valve is determined by the amount of distance left between the valve plug and the valve seat.

5. Diaphragm valves

The way the diaphragm valves operate is very simple. They operate in the same way as applying pressure in the middle part of a flexible pipe to stop flow of the fluid in the pipe. The one disadvantage involved with diaphragm valves is their inability to last for a long period of time while still functioning perfectly. A diaphragm valve requires constant replacement and/or repair. Diaphragm valves are most common with liquid transport. A diaphragm valve contains a simple diaphragm-like plate which can be either be pulled down away from the floor of the pipe to open or pushed down towards the floor of the pipeline to close and stop flow of the fluid.

What materials impact pipeline corrosion?

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Corrosion refers to the tendency of metals to return to their natural condition and the deterioration of material due to chemical and electrochemical reactions. Pipeline metals corrode when exposed to certain elements or materials. This is a natural process which can be halted if the conditions are changed or treatment is applied. If, however, there is no change in conditions or no treatment applied, the metal will continue to corrode until it disintegrates. So what are the main elements that impact pipeline corrosion?

1. High temperatures

High temperatures can cause corrosion in pipelines due to the increased temperature of the metal. If the metal is in contact with heat that contains oxygen or compounds chemicals such as sulfur, the metal will begin to oxidize. There is, however, a plus side. Oxidization can help protect many metals by providing a naturally protective layer, which prevents a further atmospheric attack on the surface. So some oxidization such as the green patina seen on bronze can be beneficial for the longevity of the metal.

2. A high-carbon environment

This causes metal dusting and occurs when metals are exposed to high carbon environments, such as synthesis gas. These gasses and high-CO environments wear away at the pipeline metals, causing them to break down into a powdery substance. Metal dusting is one of the most significant forms of pipeline corrosion.

3. Microorganisms

Microbiologically-influenced corrosion (MIC) occurs when metal is attacked by microorganisms which eat away at the metal, usually in localized areas. These organisms (usually chemoautotrophs) produce hydrogen sulfide which can cause the metal to oxidize and crack. MIC is most commonly found on metal which is immersed in sea water.

4. Atmospheric air

This leads to crevice corrosion to pipelines, a localized corrosion which occurs in areas where the metal has little access to air. Areas such as metal seams and between parts and spaces become filled with deposits and begin to eat away at the metal.

5. Low oxygen concentration

Low levels of oxygen or high levels of chloride can interfere with the structure of pipelines. The metal, when under attack, will show signs of localized erosion in the form of pitting. If not treated, the erosion will continue. Pitting corrosion is one of the most common forms of metal corrosion damage.

6. Impurities

Impurities such as impure gas, solids, or liquids can wear pipelines down. Though plenty of contaminated gasses do not damage metal in dry form, they can form harmful corrosive droplets if exposed to moisture. An example of such impure agents is hydrogen sulfide.

Pipeline Corrosion Protection

Pipelines can be treated to help prevent or halt corrosion from happening or advancing. There are many innovative corrosion management treatments around to stop corrosion from damaging the metal material. Some metals are naturally resistant to corrosion, such as stainless steel. However, most metals can incur erosion problems. In some cases, corrosion is removed using a chemical process. In other cases, it is removed by removing some of the surface metal. The best way, however, to deal with pipeline metal erosion is to treat the metal in the first place before erosion occurs.

There are many surface treatments and applied coatings that can be used on metal to help protect it from erosion. These treatments and coatings provide a barrier between damaging environmental factors and the metal structure. Most metals today are coated with a surface treatment to help preserve the metal, and then re-coated again at intervals over the years. Alternatively, some metals are painted to protect the surface. Painted metal coatings are easy to apply and provide an anti-corrosive protective seal on the surface.

Coatings will differ on the kind of metal involved along with the kind of corrosion being prevented. For instance, coatings made from aluminum and zinc are beneficial for preventing galvanic corrosion in steel alloys and iron. Large components like energy windmills and bridges can also benefit from these coatings. On the other hand, a thin layer of cadmium can be helpful for iron and steel fasteners and bolts.

If you notice any metal material or the pipeline metal under attack from these elements and rectification is difficult, you can call up a corrosion consultancy company to have a corrosion inspection carried out.

Ways to prevent burst pipes

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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.

Signs of pipe corrosion

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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.

3. Leaks

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.

Materials of pipes used in the oil and gas industry

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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 Alloys

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.

Corrosion's impact in the gas and oil industry

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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.

Outside Threats

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.

Pipe erosion

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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.

Pipe Materials

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.

Pipe corrosion protection tips

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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.