Do you know the status of the drain, waste and vent (DWV) pipes located within your Chicago facility? Many of these pipes, especially the ones located in the ground or within industrial buildings are constructed out of metal, like cast iron or steel, and while they can last an exceptionally long time, they are prone to corrosion, like rusting, scaling and particulate matter build-up.

Causes of Pipe Corrosion

Metal drain pipes are prone to corrosion because the metal can react with a variety of different chemicals and minerals, and it doesn’t matter whether the pipe carries water, waste or air. If the pipes are metal, they are prone to corrosion.

1. Acidic Water

The pH level of the water can affect how fast your drain and vent pipes corrode. Acidic water is considered any water that has a pH value less than seven. When it comes to common household liquids, lemon juice has a pH value around two. Vinegar has a pH value of around three, and milk has a pH value around six. Low water pH values mean that there are more dissolved solids in the water, like calcium, lime, lead and copper. As the acidic water passes through your metal drain lines, it can absorb more chemicals and minerals from the walls of the pipe, which thins the walls. Likewise, if that acidic water is converted to steam or the excess moisture finds its way into your vent stack lines, it can sit on the metal and cause corrosion.

2. Corrosive Chemicals

Corrosive chemicals, like drain cleaners, soda and beer, should never be poured down drain lines because they can dissolve the walls of the pipes. For example, let’s say you have a drain pipe clog. To clear the clog, you pour drain cleaner down the line, wait a few minutes and flush the pipe with water. If you fail to completely flush the pipe or the drain cleaner fails to clear the clog, it will sit in the pipe and slowly eat the walls until there is a hole.

3. Hot Water

Hot water contains more dissolved minerals and chemicals than cold water, which can increase the rate of oxidation in metal pipes. To visualize this process, think about your hot water heater. Hot water heaters often need cleaned due to the build-up of calcium, lime, sand and grit, and all the pipes that receive that hot water or the steam from that hot water can also experience a build-up of those solids. This means that hot water can increase the rate of corrosion and lead to a narrowing of the interior diameter due to scale.

4. Water with too much Oxygen

Water with too much oxygen can speed the oxidation process of metal pipes. Oxidation occurs when metal pipes, especially cast iron, come in contact with water and oxygen, which causes rust. Rust can thin the pipe walls, leading to holes.

Pipe Corrosion Repair with Nu Flow of Chicago

Drain corrosion can lead to cracks and holes in your drain lines, which results in the need to replace certain sections of the metal pipe. Thankfully, an epoxy pipe liner can be used to make a successful pipe corrosion repair. When this drain corrosion repair method is utilized, there’s no need to dig up your yard or put holes in your walls in order to reach the deteriorated drain line. Instead, the troublesome line is cleaned and prepared for the insertion of the pipe liner. Then, the liner is threaded through the pipe and expanded with a bladder so that it presses against the walls of the host drain pipe. Once the liner has cured, it is as hard as a new pipe and resistant to corrosion because the liner does not contain any metal, and the water can no longer come in contact with the metal pipe.