Corrosion is a major problem for hotels worldwide. As the building ages, the hotel’s pipes and fittings can corrode and the repair bill can run into the millions. Even worse, corrosion can occur prematurely when the owner isn’t expecting hefty repair costs, resulting in rooms that can’t be rented. Like most building maintenance problems, prevention is better than the cure. Luckily, the cost of preventing corrosion is tiny compared to the price of repairs.
What Causes Corrosion in Hotels?
There are multiple reasons why corrosion occurs and is so problematic in hotels.
The pH of the Water
In copper pipes, it’s ideal if the water has a pH of more than 8, because a copper oxide film usually forms on the walls of the pipe protecting it from corrosion. When the pH is less than 8, the copper oxide film doesn’t form or if it was there, it dissolves and the protective barrier is gone. A high level of calcium in the water also provides a protective coating on the pipes.
The hot water used in showers increases the rate of oxidation compared to cold water. Water velocity can also impact piping systems. Where the water changes direction sharply or passes through burrs or solder excess, erosion (turbulence) can occur.
Corroded pipes are expensive to repair because they’re located behind bathroom tiles and ceilings, which need to be removed for access. Until the pipes are repaired, the wall retiled or ceiling fixed, the hotel room can’t be rented out.
Blue and White Scale
Limescale deposits can accumulate quickly on shower heads and tap fittings. While it’s not considered unhealthy to continue to shower and wash your hands from the water flowing through affected fittings, it looks unsightly to hotel guests. If not cleaned regularly, the limescale can restrict the flow of water from shower heads.
The chalky blue or white deposits form a crust around the spout, its base and the tap body, as well as on the internal ceramic cartridge, which reduces its life. Hotels will use commercial cleaners to remove the stubborn build-up. Shower heads may need to be removed and soaked if the limescale has been allowed to collect for some time.
On shower screens, tiles and bath tubs, limescale leaves a white film. Removing the film takes additional time for the hotel’s cleaners and over the year can add significantly to the cost of cleaning.
Impact of Scale and Corrosion on Hotels
Acidic water causes copper from the inside of pipes to deposit blue-green stains (scale) on plumbing fittings and sinks. Rust-coloured marks are caused by iron in the water. The stains are time-consuming to remove and also affect the metal finishes which lead to tiny leaks in the plumbing.
When taps aren’t used daily, which is likely due to hotel rooms not being booked, the metals can come through in greater concentrations causing worse stains.
It’s not just hotel rooms that are impacted by poor water quality. Appliances in the laundry and kitchen are also affected. Steam convection ovens, glass washers and dishwashers can all be damaged by dissolved chalk, lime and other minerals.
Bedsheets and towels washed in hard water aren’t as soft, and often have a shorter life when washed regularly. More detergent is needed to combat the effects of the hard water which can also add up over the year.
Preventing Corrosion and Scale
With the potential cost of corrosion and the increased cleaning costs to remove limescale and stains, it’s understandable why hotels use anti-corrosion products.
Acquasolve, a dispersing agent, reduces corrosion and prevents scale build-up by forming a protective coating on surfaces. The corrosion inhibitor fortifies pure water by boosting the level of alkaline dissolved mineral salts, mimicking natural spring water where corrosiveness is reduced. It also coats the inside of pipes that have rust contamination. Acquasolve can fix all of these issues while ensuring the water is safe for drinking and showering.
Acquasolve isn’t just used in hotels. Other commercial buildings can suffer the same expensive problems as hotels and can benefit from adding Acquasolve to the building’s water supply. Some remote mine sites are also using Acquasolve to make water usable for downstream processes where dissolved salts are present in the water.
If you would like more information about how Acquasolve can prevent problems in your commercial building or site, call 1300 29 32 32 or contact us online.