Your water system is vulnerable to a wide array of potential issues, from Legionella bacterial overgrowth to rust and sediment. Creating a proper water treatment plan that addresses these risks comprehensively requires more than just guesswork; you will need to conduct testing to understand what vulnerabilities your system is facing. One such option is the use of corrosion coupons. If this term is unfamiliar to you, or if you are just looking into using coupons to better understand the health of your water system, continue reading to learn more about how this diagnostic approach works.
What Is A Corrosion Coupon?
A corrosion coupon is a material that is used to determine how corrosive your water is—and by extension, how much damage your pipes may be suffering as a result. Typically, this coupon takes the form of a small metal piece (often in the shape of a coupon, hence the name) that is affixed within your water system so that the water can flow freely past it for a set period of time.
After that time, you can remove the coupon and see how it has reacted to your system’s water; this will give you an indication of what your pipes are experiencing and how to remedy the situation. If it is corroded, you can expect some corrosion damage on your pipes, too.
Benefits Of Corrosion Coupon Monitoring In Your System
Corrosion coupon monitoring can provide valuable insight into the acidity and other elements of your water without having to completely remove a segment of piping in order to check its durability and condition. Identifying corrosion as soon as possible is vital so that you can avoid premature repair and replacement of critical equipment; corrosion can cause not only leaks that cost you money in water damage and higher water bills, but it can also contribute to inadequate performance of your machinery.
If you operate cooling towers, for example, corrosion may impact how heat is exchanged. Corrosion coupon monitoring is a simple and effective way to gather important data about your system so that you can make a plan.
How To Properly Set Up A Coupon
Setting up a corrosion coupon is not as simple as just placing it into a pipe. Instead, you must be strategic about where it is located so that you can gather the most relevant data about your system. A professional can help you to identify the most appropriate location for your coupon if you need assistance.
One of the most important aspects to decide when you are installing a corrosion coupon is how long you will test. While it is possible to test for only 30 days, this may produce results that are more difficult to learn from. Instead, the recommended time frame for corrosion coupon monitoring is at least 90 days, though you may continue for longer if needed.
Coupons should be placed so that water flows from the holder (rather than toward it), and they should be located differently depending on the material you are testing. Follow the galvanic series; the most active metal should be placed first so that unwanted metal deposits do not cloud the results.
Flow And Environment
In order to procure accurate results, water flow past the corrosion coupon should not dip below three feet per second, up to a maximum of five. Any faster could result in erosion of the material, which will cloud the results of the test. Place your coupon in the area with the warmest water, as cool water can artificially lower the rate of corrosion.
Things To Avoid
Never couple your corrosion rack to valves made of galvanized steel or brass. These materials will react with the corrosion coupon setup through the release of copper or zinc ions that will skew the results. Copper ions will accelerate corrosion, and zinc ions may synergize to artificially create a layer of protection against corrosion that is not present in the entire system, leading to the false belief that your system is safe from corrosion.
Trust The Experts To Help You Manage Your Water System Effectively
Whether you are just hearing of corrosion coupons for the first time or you are ready to install them but are not sure how to do so by yourself, trust the experts. The professionals at Tower Water set the standard in water treatment and would be happy to help you identify the proper location and usage for your corrosion coupons so that you can gather relevant data. Reach out to learn more or to schedule an appointment to achieve your water treatment goals.