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Most common criteria
Residues: ideally, the water in a system is free of residues. The
corrosion products, magnetite (black) and rust indicate corrosion and can
themselves cause damage (clogging, erosion).
pH: determination of the heating waters pH is an important factor. Water
with a pH of less than 7 is referred to as "acid" while water with a pH of 7 -
14 is referred to as "basic". Water used for heating must be basic and is
regarded as not promoting corrosion if its pH is no less than 8.3 and no more
than 9.5. A pH that is too high will tend to erode aluminum components if the
flow conditions are unfavorable.
Oxygen content: the water used to fill systems generally contains 5 to 10
mg/l. The ideal value is less than or equal to 0.1 mg/l. However, measuring the
oxygen content is an involved process in practice so judgments are generally
based on the other parameters.
Electrical conductivity m S/cm: the value
should be as low as possible. A figure of less than 1/3 of the conductance of
the water used to fill the system is regarded as good. High electrical
conductivity promotes corrosion (electrolyte). In absolute terms, water with a
conductivity greater than 500 m S/cm is regarded as
jeopardizing the system (SWKI Guideline 97-1). Chemical inhibitors increase
conductivity. However, the current consensus is that a conductance greater than
1,000 m S/cm jeopardizes the system, even when
inhibitors are used.
Iron content: the iron content detected should be negligible. Dissolved
iron is a direct indicator of actual corrosion phenomena in the heating system.
Hardness: as with conductivity, the hardness of the water in the system
should be about 1/3 or less of the feed water. High hardness in heating systems
indicates that fresh water is being fed in or that the equilibrium has been
disturbed by inhibitors. Systems containing a large amount of water should be
filled with fully dematerialized water if possible.
Analysis of the heating water is a central part of an expert assessment
and should prevent bad investments. Generally speaking, it helps in the
- Clarifying the need for corrosion protection measures
- Clarifying the need to clean a system
- Checking the results of system cleaning
- Checking the effect of corrosion prevention measures