Microbiologically influenced corrosion, or MIC, is corrosion caused by microorganisms in water that could compromise the pipes in your commercial sprinkler system.
There are several reasons why your pipes may have MIC, so it’s important to understand how the problem starts and the warning signs. So, let’s take a look at how you can prevent MIC from compromising the safety of your commercial sprinkler system.
Causes of MIC
There are three main causes as to why you may have MIC in your pipes. The first is the changes in pipe materials. As the plumbing industry develops and finds new ways to do things, there are standards that become commonplace across the industry. The changing in pipe materials has led to rising cases of MIC in commercial sprinkler systems. Second, the way we disinfect water has helped lead to an increase in MIC cases. Finally, increased maintenance on sprinkler systems is also leading to MIC. The microorganism doesn’t directly cause MIC damage to your pipes, but the biological processes produced by the microorganism creates chemicals that accelerate the rust of pipes. It’s estimated that North American companies can spend as much as $1.5 billion per year on chemical treatments to fight off MIC.
Detecting MIC & Preventative Tips
When you install a new commercial sprinkler system, you should flush the new systems as soon as possible. This will help to remove debris and oil, which is what the microorganisms will use for food. Newer systems are already established to be easy to flush. After you do your initial flushing, only test and drain your systems as infrequently as possible. New water can bring in more food for the microorganism to live off of.
Solutions for MIC
If you know that your pipes are prone to MIC, you may need to invest in thicker wall piping. You can also use water tests if you suspect that you have issues with MIC, but make sure not to rely solely on those tests. Microorganisms will always be present in small amounts, so the tests could be inconclusive. But, water tests are going to be your first step in identifying if you do have a larger issue with MIC in your commercial sprinkler system.
Get In Touch With Biles Fire Protection Services Today
No matter your fire protection needs, Biles Fire Protection Services can design and install a system that will work for you. We are proud to offer top-notch customer service including fast response times, reliable support, and affordable prices. We are certified through the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies and have the knowledge and experience to create the right fire protection system for your home or business. To learn more about what we have to offer, give us a call at 443-701-8330, send us an email, or request a quote online.