The sight of corroded pipework or rusty flexi hoses around your heat pump can be the cause of worry for many people. They are both common problems that we get contacted about regularly, and are prevalent due to the normal environmental conditions we have in this country and the fact that most plant rooms are not heated. Here we highlight the causes of rusting pipework.
Both flexi-hoses and pipes can become corroded if they have fluid running through them which is highly oxygenated, as oxygen leads to the degradation of metals through the electro-chemical process of internal oxidation. This will then lead to the pipe gradually getting converted to an oxide where it will become thinner and weaker and eventually corrode. We often clean rusty flexi-hoses to extend their life span, however it is likely that they will require replacement at some point as the ongoing oxidation can occur rapidly between scheduled service visits.
In addition to environmental conditions, there are other potential causes for corroded or rusty pipework. As strange as it sounds, your pipe insulation could be a contributing factor. Modern insulation is of a standard where potential corrosive reactions are of no concern. However, if your copper pipes are insulated with the older style Phenolic foam insulation this could be leading to the rusting on your pipes. The phenolic foam reacts with the copper pipes over time which can then cause them to go rusty and if left too long can lead to corrosion of the pipework. If you suspect you have phenolic foam insulation it is a good idea to check the condition of your pipes, if the insulation is reacting with the pipes it will create a dust that will come off.
If you have concerns about your pipework and flexi hoses being corroded or rusting, feel free to contact us for free and impartial advice. Call 01483 603090 or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org