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How can I Prevent Scale and Corrosion in a Marine Sprinkler System?

(-----) 2007

I have a customer that is a global shipping company. They have approached my company to see if we can solve a problem for them, which is thus:

On their vessels they are required to have drencher/sprinkler systems. These are made from mild steel and fed by sea water. The problem they are experiencing is that scale and flakes caused by corrosion are blocking the sprinkler heads. There are 500 heads on each system on each boat, and about 3,000meters of pipe, ranging from 5" - 1". I have been told that replacement of the system is not an option! Maintenance is carried out monthly, but is very time-consuming and limited to inspection/cleaning of around 50 heads each time due to the fast turn-around of the ships.

I am trying to find out if there is such thing as an additive (or additives) that can be added to the sprinkler system to dissolve the scale and to prevent/reduce further occurrences.

I would be delighted to hear from you if you can help.

Ben Fredriksen
Pipe Fabricating Company - Dorchester, Dorset, United Kingdom


I would go another route, Y filter traps, probably stainless steel screen. I would install a minimum of one, but three in series would be great, with each one getting a finer screen. These can be cleaned in a couple minutes each. Why three? Because each one will take out a finer trash, so they will not clog anywhere near as fast as one would and it allows you to go to a finer final screen. Not expensive for what they do and they are not difficult to install. I would install them as close as possible to the end of the main manifold before any side nanifolds come off.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

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