All Aspects of “Cathodic Protection System” Components and Their Maintenance

In this article, you will learn about the different cathodic protection system components and their maintenance. These components include anode electrodes, anode transformer-rectifier units, and sacrificial anodes. These elements will help you ensure your cathodic protection system remains effective and reliable.
Anode electrodes

Electrodes are used to monitor the current passing through a cathodic protection system. The electrodes are located on the surface of a steel plate. These systems must meet the requirements of DIN50918. They may be ground contact electrodes or roving electrodes.

Anode electrodes

That are made from metal that corrodes at an accelerated rate, which is necessary to protect the steel of pipelines. Typically, anodes are supplied with a length of lead wire ranging from three to five meters (10 to 15 feet). In most environments, remote earth placement is sufficient. However, newer pipeline coatings may eliminate the need for remote earth placement.
Anode transformer-rectifier units

Cathodic protection (CP) systems are a great way to minimize corrosion on metal structures. Some systems include sacrificial anodes while others use a power source to drive the protective current. The most common power source is a rectifier. These units are susceptible to breakdown, so they must be properly maintained. Regular maintenance will minimize repair and labor costs.

Cathodic protection system electrochemical

It is an electrochemical method for protecting long-distance underground pipelines. It works by applying a direct current of sufficient magnitude to polarize the anodic area of the pipeline. The cathodic protection transformer-rectifier unit provides this power and supplies the anode with the cathodic protection current. Because the current degrades after a certain distance, both ends of the pipeline must be supplied with current to ensure complete protection.
Sacrificial anodes

A sacrificial anode is a piece of metal with an extremely high electrochemical potential that is used to protect a less active material, such as steel metal cleaner, from corrosion. The sacrificial anode acts as a barrier between the corrosion-prone steel and the environment. This protective barrier is made up of a jacketed anode assembly. The outer jacket contains expanded metal sheets lined with a metal that has a higher galvanic series than steel. These anodes are used in conjunction with steel reinforcement to prevent corrosion.

A sacrificial anode may be constructed of a variety of materials. For example, a jacketed anode assembly may use a filling material that serves as an electrolyte between the steel reinforcement and metal sheet. This method is useful in preventing corrosion of pilings, as the filling material is introduced between the steel reinforcement and the metal sheet.

Cathodic Protection System Installation Considerations

A cathodic protection system installation should follow certain standards and performance criteria. These standards include Anode selection and Test station requirements. These are essential considerations for proper cathodic protection system installation. Ensure that the cathodic protection system meets all of these requirements to protect your facility.
Performance criteria for cathodic protection system installation

Choosing right cathodic protection system

When choosing the right cathodic protection system for a structure, there are several performance criteria to consider. For example, the temperature of the reference electrode will have an impact on the voltages observed during cathodic protection testing. In extreme cases, temperature corrections may be necessary to the observed potential. The “standard” temperature for cathodic protection is 77o F, but corrections can also be made for lower and higher temperatures.

Other performance criteria include continuity measurements, evaluation of rectifier operation, and distribution of current among impressed current anode ground beds. The cathodic protection system installation should be monitored to ensure it meets these standards. The performance criteria should be incorporated into the design, fabrication, and construction phases of the project. They should also take into account the operation and maintenance of the structure.

Above performance criteria

In addition to the above-mentioned performance criteria, cathodic protection systems also require periodic calibration and testing. The more frequent these tests are performed, the better the protection the system provides. If maintenance is not performed regularly, the system may not protect the structure adequately, which may result in false corrosion protection. Routine maintenance may include checking for drifts in permanently installed reference electrodes, checking for damage to the system’s components, and running additional depolarization tests to ensure proper performance.
Anode selection

In choosing the right anode for your installation, you need to consider several factors, including design life, cost, and anode quantity. You should also consider the resistance of the ground bed header cable. A leaked anode can result in a catastrophic accident or a huge financial loss. Furthermore, corrosion increases maintenance costs.


A properly designed CP system can increase the life of a structure indefinitely. Though the initial costs may seem steep, they will be far less than the cost of major repairs to a structure. Additionally, a properly installed CP system can reduce the risk of liability. In addition to fines and environmental clean-up, premature failure of utility systems can result in contaminated soil. Choosing an effective CP solution is all about avoiding costly liabilities and protecting your assets.

In this case, the anode’s surface potential, or potential versus current, was higher than the minimum level. This was considered an overprotection condition. Consequently, the anodes consumed too much current.

Test station requirements

When installing a cathodic protection system, it is important to select the appropriate test station. The test station provides an electrical access point for termination of the cables as well as the ability to measure the electrical potential of a buried pipeline. It is also necessary to check the integrity of the anode and the native structure-to-soil potential.


The test station must have a high-resistance voltmeter to measure the structure-to-soil potential. This instrument must be calibrated annually to ensure accurate measurements. The voltmeter must also have a high degree of sensitivity. It should be set to the lowest scale (e.g., 2 volt DC) and be read in millivolts (mV).

The test station must have a current source that is capable of generating sufficient current to protect the UST. A test station should be located in the most remote part of the system. If the cathodic protection current cannot reach far enough away from the anodes, there is a chance that the system will fail.

Benefits of Cathodic Protection System Maintenance

Whether you’re looking to improve the longevity of your existing assets, extend their lifespan, or protect assets in new geologically challenging regions, cathodic protection can help. There are several different types of cathodic protection systems available, including Hybrid switch-mode, Impressed current, and Sacrificial protection.

Hybrid cathodic protection systems

Hybrid cathodic protection systems offer a variety of advantages over traditional cathodic protection systems. These systems can protect multiple assets, reduce initial capital expenditure, and allow for parallel operation. Another advantage of hybrid cathodic protection systems is that they can be designed to meet BS EN ISO 12696:2016 standard requirements. Hybrid systems can also eliminate the need for a permanent power supply.

Cathodic protection is a technique that prevents corrosion on active metal surfaces. The most common examples of this technique include steel storage tanks, water pipelines, offshore oil platforms, and ship hulls. It also protects structures by preventing stress corrosion cracking.

Hybrid cathodic protection systems provide an initial charge to arrest corrosion and maintain passivity. They combine the power of traditional electrochemical systems with the simplicity of galvanic technologies to reduce the cost and installation requirements. APA Concrete Repairs Ltd. have extensive experience in the supply and installation of hybrid cathodic protection systems.

Sacrificial cathodic protection

Sacrificial anodes are used to extend the life of critical parts of heat exchangers. These anodes are typically installed in the exchanger channels and protect the ends of the tubes. They are also effective at protecting channel sections. Depending on the details of the structure, these anodes can increase the life of one or two tube diameters.

The process of cathodic protection uses electrons to travel through a metal anode. Water particles then absorb the electrons. Once the anode loses a large percentage of electrons, it must be replaced. The anode is a key component of the protection system, and the purity of the metal is important. If the metal is contaminated, it can interfere with the oxidation process, affecting the vessel’s performance. Impurities can also result in unstable anodes, reducing the life of the cathodic protection system.

Sacrificial anodes can be made of zinc or aluminium. These metals are a great choice for corrosion protection. These anodes provide long-term protection to steel structures. Another advantage of jacketed anode systems is that the electrodes are placed inside the protected element, which allows for improved monitoring of the entire cathodic protection system.

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