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#4086 Is Your Water Treatment Company Deceiving you?

Posted by dhourigan on 02 June 2013 - 04:42 PM in Test Kits and Testing Methods

Sometime in 2012 I was engaged in a conversation on a Professional Water Treatment Forum. The subject was about pre-passivated corrosion coupons. For those of you who are unaware, Corrosion Coupons are used by property owners and by water treaters to monitor the effectiveness of a water treatment program’s ability to prevent or control corrosion. Ideally, the coupons are matched to the metal type that the program is trying to protect. Ideally, the corrosion of the coupon should be at the same rate as the system metal to be able to monitor the actual corrosion taking place in the system. In many cases matching the corrosion rate in the system is not possible and the coupon will corrode more rapidly than the system metal. This is because the system has an established oxide coating that protects it while the coupon does not. But it is okay if the coupon corrodes faster, since the higher sensitivity to corrosion will allow you to monitor the effects of changes in the water treatment program more quickly and with greater accuracy. Minimizing the corrosion rate on the coupon will, of course, minimize the corrosion rate on the system provided that they are the same metal.

At this point someone asked where they could buy pre-passivated corrosion coupons. The alleged purpose of pre-passivating corrosion coupons is to more closely match the corrosion rate to that of the system metal. In effect this decreases the sensitivity of the corrosion coupon to actual corrosion. The problem is that there exists no standard for properly passivating a corrosion coupon to match the corrosion rate of the system metal.

Typically the pre-passivation has been done in the past to deceive the water treatment company’s customer into believing that the water treatment company is doing a better job than it is actually doing in the control of corrosion. This practice had been common place in the 1970s.

To my surprise a number of company representatives admitted to using the pre-passivated corrosion coupons, and even more expressed an interest in where they could buy them. I was shocked and disappointed that so many were cheating or wanted to cheat their customers.

I am not sure how wide spread this practice of deception is. Many simply remained silent on the subject. But this speaks volumes regarding the importance of using an independent laboratory to monitor corrosion results. It is unwise to allow your water treatment company to give themselves a grade where your equipment is concerned.

We can provide a full range of pre-weighed corrosion coupons along with an independent laboratory analysis and technical backup to monitor your program. Click here for our corrosion coupon options.

Click Here to view or download a PDF version of this post.

#3995 Here is a REALLY great sale....REALLY.

Posted by dhourigan on 10 May 2013 - 12:29 AM in Test Kits and Testing Methods

This is actually a "Dick Screwed Up" Sale.

Last year ASHRAE was moving swiftly along with their Standard 188P, Prevention of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems.

This was to receive Final Approval by September of 2012. Anticipating this, I stocked up on my inventory of Legionella Test Kits.

Well, Damned if they don't all have an expiration date of 7/2013, while ASHRAE sent their Standard out for a Third Public Comment on Jan 25, 2013.

So, it will cost me a bunch to rehab all of these kits with new test strips.

Here is the deal:
Kits with 5 Test Strips are $50 off and those with 10 are $100 off. That is in the drop down menu.
Next you get a 10% discount and free shipping at check out for the lower 48 states of the USA.
Everyone gets that offer on a daily basis.

For those in this Group or anyone you know, I am offering a better deal.

You get everything listed above PLUS, an additional 30% off, if you use coupon code: linked

You will never again get a price like this on these test kits, unless I screw up again.

This offer is good until Midnight July 30, 2013 or until my supply of expiring test strips is gone.

I have provided a link to our PDF Comparison Table, which is a good place to start. Each kit name is hyperlinked to the store page where you can purchase that kit.


Here is the link to our PDF Comparison Table:


#3939 Do You sell Pre-Passivated Corrosion Coupons?

Posted by dhourigan on 18 April 2013 - 12:52 PM in Test Kits and Testing Methods

What is the ASTM Method by which they passivate those coupons? What is the purpose in using them other that to try to make your corrosion rates look better than some one else's?


I just went to there site and could not find any such product. I did see that they sold test kits to test passivation which is interesting.


Can you provide a hyperlink to the passivated coupons?

#3713 Using RO Reject for Boiler Make Up

Posted by dhourigan on 12 December 2012 - 04:59 AM in Boiler Water Treatment

In general...no. The problem is in the details. What is the exact water analysis? And what is the pressure of the boiler?

#3702 Ashrae 188

Posted by dhourigan on 05 December 2012 - 06:51 PM in Legionella/Legionellosis

You know what happens, James. Legislators LOVE to Legislate. It most certainly WILL become law.

Before that it will be used in Law Suits and required by insurance companies to protect themselves from paying huge claims in wrongful death and injury cases.

#3698 Ice Rink Brine Treatment

Posted by dhourigan on 04 December 2012 - 10:08 PM in General Water Treatment


I was going to give someone else a chance to answer this since I was out all day. But I am back so I guess I will wade in. First, I have never treated one of these systems. I would assume that you would use soft water since that would be preferred in all closed loop systems. Most Phosphonates require a minimum of 30 ppm of Calcium as Calcium Carbonate in order to provide adequate corrosion protection. This is NOT consistent with the idea of using soft water.

However, there is one phosphonate that does not require the presence of Calcium. It is a fairly good cathodic inhibitor in its own right. This is Hydroxyphosphonic acid (HPA). I would recommend that you use that and maintain a 15 to 20 ppm residual. There will be some initial loss due to adsorption to metal surfaces.

You mention an azole....yes, of course.

Now to the polymer. What do you intend for it to do? There are different choices for Calcium Phosphate, Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Silica, etc. This is always a guess depending upon what you expect to precipitate. In some formulations you might have no polymer. But since I believe that you should have soft water here, controlling iron is a likely concern. A possible choice for a soft water program would be a terpolymer that would be good for iron sequestration. Possibilities are ACUMER™ 3100 from Dow or Carbosperse™ K-781, K-797, and K-798 Acrylate Terpolymers from Lubizol.

You did not mention buffering, but you may want to put in some borate and a little caustic to maintain the pH around 8.5.

Dick Hourigan

#3674 AWT SEED Program

Posted by dhourigan on 26 November 2012 - 07:43 PM in Training Opportunities


Doing an online series does sound interesting. I would have to start really basic, however. They need to be short in duration. I am thinking 10 to 15 minutes or perhaps up to a half hour in length. Many would lose patience sitting in front of a computer watching for a full hour. If I lose my audience then what is the point.

I imagine it would go like this:
  • About water, in general.

  • Chemical and physical properties of water

  • Basic Water Chemistry

  • Industrial uses of water for cooling

  • Industrial uses of water for heating

  • Chemical Treatment of cooling water for scale

  • Chemical Treatment of cooling water for corrosion

  • Chemical Treatment of cooling water for biological fouling

  • Chemical Treatment of closed loops (perhaps break this into subsections as well)

  • Chemical Treatment of steam boilers for scale

  • Chemical treatment of steam boilers for corrosion

  • Chemical treatment of condensate

  • Chemical pretreatment

  • Water conservation in cooling towers

  • Automated chemical feed and bleed of cooling towers

  • Water and energy conservation in boilers.

  • Automated chemical feed and bleed of steam boilers

  • Understanding applying scaling indicators in cooling systems

  • Understanding and running mass balances in cooling towers

  • Understanding cavitation
That is probably just the first 20. I bet I could get into 20 more....such as corrosion coupons, interpretation of lab analysis, non-chemical devices, etc.The reason to start at the very beginning is to know what you have already covered in an earlier video/presentation.

#3668 AWT SEED Program

Posted by dhourigan on 25 November 2012 - 11:05 PM in Training Opportunities

If it bothers you, Patrick, I can go back and delete or edit one of those posts...unlike the AWT ListServ where nothing can be edited or removed.

I could probably come up with a syllabus for your review and then design some training around that. It still might take some time for me to develop that.

The CWT is a worthy goal....as a FIRST STEP, but I have to say that I am really not impressed with it. It is a marketing ploy designed to generate cash flow for AWT. There are some very sharp water treaters who got their CWT, hoping it would improve their credibility in the market place, no doubt.

Then there are a whole bunch of barely competent water treaters who somehow managed to know enough facts to pass the CWT test, but they really do not understand water treatment. These people are dangerous.

I simply declined to take the test, I am just not one who likes to play the game. I would rather pursue the knowledge than the "Certification". Getting a CWT obligates you to spend more money with AWT to maintain your "Certification".

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotations:

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
---Albert Einstein

If all you know are a bunch of loose facts, but lack understanding of the subject matter, then it is hard to put those facts (mere snap shots, in my opinion), into context.

#3663 AWT SEED Program

Posted by dhourigan on 25 November 2012 - 05:52 PM in Training Opportunities

Patrick, I have not done any formal training in a very long time (other than for customers). It is a whole other order of magnitude to train water treaters since they need to know so much more than the customer. I last did this when I was a sales manager and when I was a Technical Director. It takes considerable effort to develop training materials from scratch. I'll give it some thought.

Did you have some specific topics you were interested in?


#3659 Hot Loop

Posted by dhourigan on 24 November 2012 - 04:13 PM in General Water Treatment

Tim Keister is the owner of Pro Chem Tech. Here is a hyper link to his company's website: http://www.prochemtech.com.

Tim, unlike the Association of Water Technologies (AWT) ListServ, we allow shameless self promotion here. LOL.

BTW: We are also not afraid to host postings from Nalco and GE Water Personnel...unlike the Association that calls itself the "Voice of the Water Treatment Industry".........unless you have over 30 million in sales.

#3415 AWT SEED Program

Posted by dhourigan on 08 November 2012 - 12:26 PM in Training Opportunities

We decided to keep this up, not withstanding the recent actions of the ListServTaskForce@awt.org. We still think this is a good program.

#3315 Field Glycol test

Posted by dhourigan on 30 October 2012 - 02:59 PM in Cooling Water Treatment

Additionally, it occurs to me that one Gas Chromatograph would be sufficient to tell the difference (less the Mass Spectroscopy). All you would have to do is spike the sample with either EG or PG. You would expect to see an air peak followed by a water peak followed by either one or two glycol peaks depending upon which glycol you used to spike the sample. If you used two samples and spiked one with EG and the other with PG, the outcome would really be obvious.

#3302 Field Glycol test

Posted by dhourigan on 27 October 2012 - 12:11 PM in Cooling Water Treatment

Leslie, I am not aware of a field test. I believe the easiest way to determine this would be by using GC-Mass Spectroscopy. This would be a little expensive. You could in the field determine some physical properties. Let us take a 40% solution of EG and compare it to a 40% solution of PG.

A 40% solution of EG has a refractive index of 1.3728 while a 40% solution of PG has a refractive index of 1.3780. Those numbers are very close together and it would be hard to differentiate them.

A 40% solution of EG has specific gravity of 1.0532 at 200C (compared to water at 200C) while a 40% solution of PG has specific gravity of 1.0326 at 200C (compared to water at 200C). This you should be able to use to differentiate them when compared to the refractive indices which are essentially identical within your likely measurement error.

The above data are from my CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.

I have a number of refractometers here in stock since I sell them. Doing a little interpolation, I see that a 40% solution of EG will freeze at -120F while a 40% solution of PG (using interpolation) will freeze at -40F. That you may be able to use for differentiation between the two.

I expect that I should be able to find Industrial Tables for EG and PG that would give Boiling Point Data.

If you have a specific refractive index you would like me to cross reference some data on, let me know. Or if you need a refractometer, I can give you a good price. LOL.

#3249 What Steam Line Treatment can I use in an Organic Food Plant?

Posted by dhourigan on 12 October 2012 - 10:08 AM in Boiler Water Treatment

Frank, There were two duplicate replies from you. I deleted one of them. You wrote this as a Guest on the Public Forum, and I had to approve your post, as I have to do on all Public Forums. If you log in (you can save your log in information in your browser to make that easier), you will be able to see the Private Forums where you can post things instantly WITHOUT waiting for my approval.

I will at some point delete both my post and yours from this forum since they are off topic, but I wanted to make sure that you saw my response.

#3248 Test note

Posted by dhourigan on 11 October 2012 - 08:54 PM in Boiler Water Treatment

Frank, I am not sure that I understand the question, but with no DA, the lowest temperature you could ever see is just above freezing (thermal stress would be an issue, I am sure), but at that temperature Dissolved Oxygen could be as high as 10 ppm.

Since two moles of Sodium Sulfite react with one Mole of Oxygen, we get 2 x 126 (gram-molecular weight of Na2SO3) reacting with 32 (gram-molecular weight of Oxygen). 252/32= 7.88...call it 80 ppm then to react with 10 ppm of oxygen not taking into account the purity factor. So, why ever feed more that 100 ppm of Sodium Sulfite.

Now your question was Sulfate, so lets convert Sodium Sulfite to Sulfite (80/126=.6349) (.6349 x 100 ppm = 63.5 ppm as Sulfite). Now convert Sulfite to Sulfate (96/80=1.2)(1.2 x 63.5 ppm = 76.2 ppm as Sulfate).

Why you need that, I don't know. I have no idea how high you can go or why you would want to find that out.

BTW: The coldest feedwater I have ever seen was between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

#3240 Do You sell Pre-Passivated Corrosion Coupons?

Posted by dhourigan on 04 October 2012 - 11:32 AM in Test Kits and Testing Methods

Someone actually asked me that question this week.

No we don't.

I am sorry, but that is just nuts.

Early in my career there were rumors that one of our largest competitors was soaking all of their corrosion coupons in a sodium dichromate solution so they could achieve better corrosion rates on their water treatment programs than we could. First, that is just plain cheating. But secondarily, what good does it do you to be able to point to a pristine corrosion coupon when the cooling tower has been destroyed by corrosion?

I realize that it would be nice to have a corrosion coupon of the exact same alloy, with the exact same age, the exact same stress, and the exact same passivisation layer. But that is impossible.

I would offer that the second best thing is to have a non passivated corrosion coupon of the same alloy as the metal you are trying to protect. Here is why:

When you place a corrosion coupon into a system the greatest corrosion always occurs in the first few days. With time the coupon approaches the same passivisation as the rest of the system. Corrosion rates get better the longer the coupon is in the system. Generally accepted within our industry is a 90 day test period.

If you place a passivated corrosion coupon in the cooling tower, you would expect the lowest corrosion rates initially and for corrosion to get worse the longer the coupon were left in the system. Perhaps if both coupons were left in the system together for a long enough period of time, they would both come to rest at the same corrosion rate.

But ask yourself: What am I trying to achieve? Am I trying to study corrosion coupons or am I trying to determine the best water treatment program to apply to my system which will give me the lowest possible corrosion?

If you are trying to achieve the second objective, wouldn't it be smarter to use a corrosion coupon of the same material that is even more sensitive than the system metal itself? Wouldn't this give you an early warning of trouble? It is like the canary in the coal mine that gives an early warning of methane. If you know something early, you have time to react and correct the problem.

A corrosion coupon should always be a leading indicator of corrosion not a lagging indicator.

One last note. We recommend three station racks with one coupon coming out in 30 days, one coming out in 60 days, and one coming out in 90 days. The first two are early warnings of something going badly wrong before the 90 day period is over. This allows you to make mid course corrections.

#3239 Tolyltriazole Testing

Posted by dhourigan on 04 October 2012 - 03:12 AM in Test Kits and Testing Methods

Some one asked me tonight if I can explain:

"Why the test procedures for TT states that testing should be done immediately after taking a sample?

When taking a sample and holding it for 24 hours, (a completely filled sample bottle, well-sealed) will result in a tested value reduction of anywhere from 10 to 40%.

Resampling and retesting the subject closed loop 24 hours later shows little or no result reduction.

One of AWT’s raw material suppliers prepared 10 ppm samples in distilled water, both glass and plastic containers, last year at the convention, both well sealed and not well sealed, and observed no test value reduction at 24 and 48 hours."

My thought is:

Tolyltriazole is also sold as a Ultraviolet Absorber which no doubt breaks the Nitrogen - Nitrogen bond.

Thus the test result over time would degrade, but not in the closed loop.

#3237 What Steam Line Treatment can I use in an Organic Food Plant?

Posted by dhourigan on 02 October 2012 - 08:10 PM in Boiler Water Treatment

Thanks, Vern.

At one time you had an account here, but I messed up and deleted all of the accounts, even the Administrator (Me). You would not believe what a mess that created, since I could not log in to fix things. A Learning experience. LOL.

#3235 I am looking for solenoid valves for Cooling Tower Bleed Lines

Posted by dhourigan on 02 October 2012 - 01:43 AM in Cooling Water Treatment

A friend of mine asked me this question today.

I am looking for solenoid valves for Cooling Tower Bleed Lines. What kind do you recommend.

I have not used solenoids for cooling tower bleed lines in many years. They are always failing, even when you put "Y" strainers in front of the solenoids.

What I currently use are Belimo Valves. These valves are motorized open with a spring return. The results have been great. Though more expensive than solenoids, they are still a lot cheaper than motorized valve.

I know that you were not asking about steam boiler blow down solenoids, but let me point out that earlier in my career, I saw many boiler blow down valves fail. Fully motorized valves are the way to go here. That means motorized open followed by motorized close/

#3234 Do u sell an instrument that will convert millivolts to ppm?

Posted by dhourigan on 30 September 2012 - 12:15 AM in Test Kits and Testing Methods

A friend of mine asked me that question yesterday. I assumed he meant conductivity in microsiemens (μS). Here is what I told him:


It doesn't exist.
Each ion has a specific conductance. If you use a salt like Sodium Carbonate, you get one correlation between microsiemens (μS) and ppm, If you use Sodium Sulfate you get another, Likewise with Potassium Carbonate, Potassium Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, you also get a different correlation.
I know Myron L sells a meter that expresses microsiemens (μS) as ppm. I believe that those are their DS Models. But that is not what it is really reading. They are reading conductivity and expressing it has a mathematical equivalent to a known salt or combination of salts that may or may not match your water. Here is what they say about their standard solutions:

Your DS Meter has been factory calibrated with the appropriate NIST traceable Standard Solution. All Myron L conductivity Standard Solution bottle labels show three values: ppm 442™, ppm sodium chloride, and conductivity in micromhos (metric equivalent is microsiemens).

442: Unless otherwise specified, the calibration used for all DS Meters is the “442” standard. The 442 Standard Solutions™ consist of the following salt ratios: 40% sodium sulfate, 40% sodium bicarbonate, and 20% sodium chloride. This salt ratio has conductivity characteristics closely matching natural waters and was developed by the Myron L Company over three decades ago.

Sodium Chloride: For every ppm 442 Standard Solution, there is a ppm sodium chloride (NaCl) solution which will have the same conductivity. The parts per million of the equivalent NaCl solution is on each Standard Solution label. Instruments calibrated to NaCl standards are set using equivalent NaCl values.

Conductivity: All Myron L Company Standard Solutions are traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology and are within 1.00% of Potassium Chloride reference solutions. The concentrations of the reference solutions are calculated from data in the International Critical Tables, Vol. 6.
If you really want ppm, you have to do it gravimentrically, ie. weigh the sample, evaporate to dryness, reweigh the residue, and calculate the ppm.

#3233 What Steam Line Treatment can I use in an Organic Food Plant?

Posted by dhourigan on 29 September 2012 - 01:46 PM in Boiler Water Treatment

I received this question today from a friend of mine.



My first suggestion is to see if your customer will allow you to use Ammonia to neutralize Carbonic Acid in the Condensate Lines as is done in Dairies. If so, I would recommend maintaining a pH between 7.0 and 8.0 in the condensate receivers. Ammonia may need to be injected into supplemental feed points in the steam line to achieve this pH level in all or most of the condensate receivers.


Be sure to monitor your condensate for copper and iron and try to move to the pH that minimizes both concentrations in the condensate. You can expect that iron will rise as the pH drops and that copper will rise as the pH rises.



Another suggestion is to install a dealkalizer after the water softener on the boiler make up line. This will remove bicarbonate ions from the make up water. It is the carbonate and bicarbonate ions in the boiler which generate carbon dioxide gas in the boiler when they are heated. This carbon dioxide escapes into the steam and forms carbonic acid in the condensate. If you can remove all or most of this in the make up you will have little or no carbonic acid generated in the condensate,


The dealkalizer that I am most familiar with has an cationic resin and is used to exchange bicarbonate anions with chloride and hydroxide anions. The ratio is usually 9 parts sodium chloride to 1 part sodium hydroxide as 100% active (dosages are typically 5.4 pounds/ft3 of NaCl to 0.6 pounds/ft3 of NaOH. This is a good starting point. I suggest adjusting the dosage to try to maintain an M alkalinity at 40 ppm coming out of the Dealkalizer, and a situation where P=M=OH Alkalinity. Go higher on caustic if necessary until P, M and OH alkalinity are all the same.


I ran a pharmaceutical plant water treatment program for a company that made an injectable blood product. I was able to keep Condensate pH between 6.5 and 6.8 for years with no Amines and only VERY WELL RUN dealkalization. This results in very good steam purity as well, if that happens to be one of your goals. High steam purity for blood products was very important.



My last suggestion is to replace all of the condensate piping with 316 Stainless Steel. This is very expensive and almost no one does this. But once again, I had customers in the pharmaceutical industry who actually did this and had very good results with their boiler operation.

#3230 PH-1 Meter for iPhone, iPad, and iPOD

Posted by dhourigan on 14 September 2012 - 12:15 AM in Innovative Water Treatment Technologies

Now you can take pH, ORP, and temperature readings that are time logged and GPS logged. This instrument is ideal for use in Commercial Applications and Environmental Applications for outdoor, on site surface water s

You can purchase this item on line from www.TheWaterTreatmentStore.com. Here is the link:
http://www.richardho...-ipod-1061.html — at Sensorex Corporate Headquarters.

This product is ideal for environmental studies of streams, lakes, lagoons, and soil.

The GPS feature allows the storage of precise locations for each measurement conducted. A pH profile of an entire area can be mapped as quickly as you can navigate it.

This has Environmental Science Project Applications limited only by your imagination.

Imagine being able to track seasonal pH variations in a watershed, or to be able to monitor and compare run off pollution from roads, parking lots, or farms after a rainfall versus the same locations prior to the rainfall.

#3229 APP for LSI, RSI, and PSI

Posted by dhourigan on 14 September 2012 - 12:07 AM in New APPs for Water Treatment

Len Freedman of LXF, Inc., a Process Manangement Software has published a new water treatment APP which will perform Langelier Saturation Indices (LSI), Ryznar Stability Indices (RSI), and Puckorius Scaling Indices (PSI).

This is far handier than the Excel versions that I wrote and was using on my Droid Smart Phone and my Palm Smart phone before that.

It is available for download to your Apple iPhone from the following link:


Or for download to your Google Droid from the following link:


We are not sure if Len has developed an HTML5 version for use with Blackberry Smart Phones.

#3216 NCD Discussions

Posted by dhourigan on 07 September 2012 - 03:12 PM in Non-Chemical Devices

By allowing companies to join the organization whose technologies are dubious at best, they put the reputation of the Association of Water Technologies (AWT) at risk.

I wonder who was in charge of the Membership Committee when it recommended them for membership in our organization. I think I know who it was. Still, the Board had to vote to approve it. Clearly, it was a mistake. Even they must realize that by now.

Tim, I think the leadership has forgotten what trade group it represents.

PS: I Built It, Tim.

#3206 NCD Discussions

Posted by dhourigan on 06 September 2012 - 06:03 PM in Non-Chemical Devices

There was an NCD discussion on the Association of Water Technologies (AWT) ListServ over the last couple of days. Predictably, AWT shut it down.

Apparently there are now two new rules:
  • Comments cannot be one line and
  • They cannot be funny.
I can see where discussion of this nature can be awkward for them since they have now allowed a number of NCD makers to join the Association. Discussion regarding the "dubious value" of their technology can now be regarded as a direct attack on another member. Certainly, that cannot be tolerated. We understand that.

However, we, at MissedPerceptions.com are not compromised. We would be glad to host the discussion or debate if and NCD makers would like to present their anecdotal evidence.