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Aquatherm Ends Corrosion Nightmares at Tennessee Middle School

Middle School, Tennessee
Products Used
Blue Pipe®
Green Pipe®
Location / Date
Fall 2014

Aquatherm Advantages

  • Aquatherm’s light weight allowed workers to carry and lift 45-ft sections of pipe without rigging equipment
  • Aquatherm is made of chemically stable, non-corroding polypropylene-random, which does not react with water or most dissolved chemicals
  • Aquatherm’s quick heat-fusion welding process helped the mechanical contractor install the piping system in one week
Middle School web 1

The Challenge

Acid was eating a Tennessee middle school’s HVAC piping system from the inside out, so a chemically stable piping solution was needed to replace the disintegrating steel within a very short timeframe

The Solution

Chemically inert Aquatherm’s light weight helped the project contractor install the PP-R piping system within a week

Middle School web 2It was never determined exactly how acid got into the HVAC piping at a Tennessee middle school, but the school had been battling the corrosive effects almost since it opened in the early 2000s.

The problems were severe. Steel pipes literally were disintegrating from the inside out, and the decomposed pipe matter was clogging up pump strainers, heat exchangers, and even the condensers inside the water-source heat pumps (WSHPs) that heated and cooled the school. The school tried everything to remedy the problem, including adding additional strainers and draining and refilling the system several times. But the debris kept accumulating to the point that the strainers had to be serviced almost daily.

That’s what happens when acid is introduced into a steel piping system. The acid attacks the pipes and continues to do so regardless of how many times it’s flushed. It’s possible to slow the corrosion, but you can never completely stop it.

In 2014, after enduring several years of relentless maintenance, the school finally had all of the steel HVAC piping replaced with Aquatherm Blue Pipe® polypropylene-random (PP-R) piping. A uniquely stable material, PP-R pipe does not contain harmful chemicals or react with its surroundings.