Water Treatment-Buyer Information:
The cost of corrosion and fouling in HVAC systems is something that is difficult to measure or even understand for many owner/operators. Taking advantage of this are unscrupulous vendors that say they can save you 50% off your costs and many people jump at the chance. In any business, there are always those who will provide little or no service at a great discount. In our business, where water is a cheap additive, it is even more difficult to compare.
Some of our clients have been suffering from today’s hard times and have requested that we provide a reduced service program. It is difficult for us to do that and maintain the same high quality service as we have done in the past but we are aware of the necessity of a practical solution.
Our products are among the best in the industry and are designed to maintain maximum system longevity while minimizing heat transfer losses. To do so our programs contain polymeric dispersants to keep systems clean. These cannot be field tested so they are usually one of the first thing’s that are reduced or eliminated by the low budget competitors. In older or previously poorly maintained systems, it is often wise to use a supplemental online cleaner dispersant. It will slowly remove scale and deposits without causing operational problems. Our condenser water inhibitors contain sodium molybdate and zinc which are expensive(add $5-10.00 per gal). We include them at high levels to reduce pitting and galvanic corrosion. We also include an organophosphate corrosion inhibitor. Many of our competitors only provide the organic corrosion inhibitor. Some companies offer low level treatment programs that are barely better than nothing! Unfortunately there are some mechanical service providers that always recommend these companies. The inhibitor savings to us with such a program would be at least 50% of its cost so we can pass it on to you and you will still get 3-15 years of life out of your system. Poor bacterial control results in additional costs to you for corrosion, energy and health related liability.
Service frequency can also be reduced, but if a pump or controller fails, it will be a long time before it is noticed. It is vital to use chemical pumps to install the products. Today’s environmentally sound products break down in a day or two shock dosing without chemical pumps is worthless.
The more expensive your system is, the more cost effective it is for you to have more frequent service. Pumps lose prime or fail often. Solenoids stick and waste either too much water or not enough. In summary, the cost to you for the inferior program will be: increased corrosion, pitting and “white rust” attacks to galvanized surfaces, more maintenance, reduced system longevity and higher energy costs. These costs always exceed the cost of a better treatment program. If you are concerned with operating costs as well as capital costs, perhaps the proper choice for you is to deal with a company that has integrity- Worldwide Water Technologies.
While it is difficult or impossible for most facilities mangers to evaluate these programs there are some measures that can be taken. Do you know what you are buying or are you just going on faith? Metal sample monitoring, ultrasound testing, spool pieces, accurate chemical testing methods, and corrosion meters are all available to help. Do you know the difference between 30 mils/ year and 2 mils/year. corrosion rates? It works out to a three year replacement instead of a fifty year replacement. We can provide you with a low budget program if you request it. We will define it for you, specifically for your needs, and help you obtain independent corrosion monitoring, if you desire. It is normal for dirt and rust to build up in even the best maintained systems. Every five-ten years the rust, often called pipe scale because it comes off the interior of the pipe in curved scaling sections. It breaks loose when it reaches about a 1/16 –1/8 of an inch thickness.
We do so for the New York City Department of Education, The Department of Sanitation and The US Post Office. To be fair, you should also be aware that there is no “Silver Bullet” for all corrosion concerns. Many buildings have switched their water treatment vendor frequently. Sometimes for good reasons, but other times it is simply because the system got dirty.
This “pipe scale” is the result of long term corrosion that is actually normal and reasonable and will still allow 70 year useful lifetime. Systems that are drained in the winter, or improperly started when new, are more prone to this problem. The major concern with “pipe scale” is that it could cause serious, albeit, temporary maintenance problems if and when it comes loose. This would include clogging tubes and strainers and even damaging unprotected pump seals. New pipe connected to old pipe corrodes faster than the old pipe. Ask us for our Technical Bulletin that discusses the long term build up of corrosion products in systems or invite us in for a consultation. Systems must be chemically cleaned periodically to remove this normal build up to reduce the far more dangerous potential for pitting corrosion. Cleaning cooling towers is helpful but the dirt also accumulates on the pipe surfaces. Proper filtration is always a good investment for system longevity. We have the expertise to help you select the right one.
We are proud that many of our clients have been using our services for over 20 years. You can trust Worldwide Water Technologies, Inc. to always recommend the proper program that meshes with your business plan. We have invested many years in product development and take pride in providing the highest quality programs at a fair price. Our union service technicians care about the quality of their work and usually will take an extra moment to discuss the job with you. They are our greatest selling point. We are a privately held company that does not have the overhead and stock share burdens of the conglomerates and this allows us to provide a higher quality product at a lower price. We are also involved in many technical associations so that we can find the best available technology to suit your special need.
Ask us about our Waterite System that generates chlorine dioxide on site. Our industry association, The AWT, calls chlorine dioxide “the best product for biological control where corrosion is a concern.” We are also a multi-state distributor and service provider for LightStream Pulsed Ultraviolet. This non- chemical UV system has been proven effective by HydroQual, the EPA’s east coast UV verification lab. It will kill all known pathogens, break down many harmful chemical constituents, and provide bio terrorism protection if desired. It is used for drinking and waste water as well as larger swimming pools and cooling towers.
Just to confuse matter further - courts have documented that word of mouth referrals, even by well meaning people, is insufficient for technical products. We have also noticed that some of the independent “Water Consultants” seem to always end up with the same vendor after bidding. Unscrupulous or sometimes well meaning, but non-technical, salespeople have caused major engineering firms and management companies to specify or purchase bogus systems such as “special” magnets or other phony devices that cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars to install and are totally worthless. Others have provided filters that were designed for other purposes, such as centrifugal separators for removing rocks from irrigation systems or heavy metal particles from milling machines. They are not very helpful when needed to remove the very fine airborne dust that builds up in cooling tower systems. Others sell “super efficient” filters that are both smaller and more expensive ( read more profitable to the vendor) than industry standard. Unfortunately these investments are often not much better than placing a Band-Aid on the pipe!
Our sister company, Associated Environmental Technologies, Inc. (AET), regularly provides corrosion consulting services to major corporations. We have documented system failures in as little as 6 months. At 2 World Trade Center, for Carlson Engineering, utilizing ultrasound testing, AET documented 100% failure in 3 year old condenser water pipe. I’m told that the lawsuit was only recently settled.. This problem was caused by poor water treatment; particularly overfeed of chlorine, a strong oxidizing, biocide. For Bovis Lend Lease, at the NY Times plant in College Point, Queens, AET was part of a team that evaluated the failure of a 5 year old waste pipe system. This, over $ 20,000,000.00 problem was structural.
Challenge us to provide the proper solution for you.
You will not be disappointed.