Frequently Asked Questions
Is your water treatment used for disinfection?
No it is not used for disinfecting water. It is specifically certified in Ontario for use as a corrosion prevention chemical.
Does you water treatment change my water pipes in any way?
No. The water pipes are not changed from when we started our program. If the water treatment is stopped, pinhole leaks will re-occur in time.
Can you give me an example of a similar type of water treatment that I may be familiar with?
Water treatment using a Water Softener is similar. A water softener adds a certified chemical to the drinking water, while simultaneously removing other chemicals. Water softeners do not disinfect drinking water, they just add Sodium and remove Calcium & Magnesium from the Drinking water. The use of Water softeners does not permanently change the building water pipes, by design. They can usually be removed quite easily, without any effect on the original pipe system.
Is your water treatment program permanently installed?
No. It has non-permanent flexible pipe connections and our equipment can be removed easily. Once removed, there has been no material change made to the existing water pipe system in your building.
Why is LEaC Shield's system better than your competitors, for long term application?
Sodium Silicate will prevent your Drinking Water pipe pinhole leaks quickly. It is also the most economical and environmentally friendly solution. It is registered as a Health Canada "Approved Food Additive", and is used in Drinking Water Utilities across Ontario to purify raw water and to eliminate unwanted metals such as iron or lead. Our program will not cause damage to the environment, as some others can.
Can Flow Control or Water Balancing Valves be safely added into Domestic Hot Water circuits, long after construction of the building?
Yes they can. However, installing these valves will dramatically affect the volume of water flowing through the recirculation system. Good engineering practice and safe use of these valves is a must.
Only Licensed Plumbers and Certified Water Balancing Agents should be employed when installing these valves. Improper installation and balancing is quite common, with resulting low water flows causing many problems for occupants, including: 1. Very low water temperature problems (which can cause dangerous Legionella Bacteria growth in the hot water pipes), and 2. Stagnant water and sludge production; these are just a few of the problems associated with unqualified or uncertified balancing valve installations.
Installation and maintenance of these valves are directly governed by the Ontario Building Code (126.96.36.199 (2)), through references to specific ASHRAE & ASPE governing guidelines and OH&S regulations.
Qualified Ontario installers are certified by either the NEBB – National Environmental Balancing Bureau, or the AABC – Associated Air Balance Council, and they are always willing to produce their certification documentation for review by customers.
Qualified Balancing Agents shall always review design drawings for engineering guidance on location and equipment sizing. Qualified installers and balancing agents shall always provide a written report identifying the location, size, type, and actual measured flow, through each installed balancing valve, for future use in maintenance, annual cleaning, and periodic replacement of balancing equipment components - as needed according to manufacturer’s warranty documentation.
LEaC Shield recommendations for balancing valve applications in domestic hot water pipes:
- Untested balancing valves should not be used.
- Engineered flow rates through each new water balancing valve should be specified in writing.
- The actual water flow through each valve is measured, recorded, & certified as meeting the specified design, through on-site testing by a qualified agent.
- Qualified Agent is usually paid independently of the licensed plumbing installer.
Why is LEaC Shield's system better than your competitors, in the short term?
Our program is operating very quickly, often in one day. We will not interfere with the occupant's normal use of their premises. We will not damage walls nor ceilings during our installation. We often stop active leaks, in a very short time.
Is Health Canada familiar with your Sodium Silicate?
Is the sodium silicate you use approved by Health Canada?
Yes, and this approval is noted as an "Approved Food Additive", and it can be found listed as such, on the Canadian Government's HEALTH CANADA web site.
Is the Ontario Government aware of your Food Additive?
Which Ontario Government Agency is responsible for ensuring that Drinking Water is Safe? That chemicals used in Water Treatment are approved?
The Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Control.
Do Municipal Governments in Ontario use Sodium Silicate to purify raw water into Drinking Water?
Many do, yes. Sodium Silicate has been used for decades in water purification.
Are there important requirements that must be met, to operate your program in Ontario?
Yes, the sodium silicate we use must be produced and distributed according to NSF/ANSI Drinking Water Chemicals - Health Effect Standard 60 - 2016. The Sodium Silicate we use is fully compliant with this NSF/ANSI Standard 60.
Do Municipal Governments in Ontario use Sodium Silicate to purify drinking water prior to its actual delivery to customers?
Many do, yes. Sodium Silicate has been used for decades in drinking water plant distribution pipes.
Is The Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Control aware of the use of Sodium Silicate to prevent pinhole leaks in Drinking Water production and distribution piping?
Do Municipal Governments in Ontario use Sodium Silicate to prevent corrosion within their own Drinking Water distribution pipes, prior to delivery to their customers?
Yes. Sodium Silicate has been used for decades in Municipal Utility drinking water plant pipes.
Is The Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Control generally aware of your program to reduce LEAD contamination in Drinking Water?
Yes, and in certain regions in Ontario there has been extensive information sharing by LEaC Shield Ltd. staff.
What is the Sodium Silicate that LEaC Shield Ltd. uses?
'N' Sodium Silicate is a chemical, sometimes called water glass. Produced and distributed according to NSF/ANSI Standard 60 for Drinking Water Chemicals.
How does Sodium Silicate Prevent Pinhole leaks?
Sodium Silicate as an approved food additive, acting according to applicable NSF/ANSI certification, develops and then maintains a thin-film on the inside surface of the water pipe. The thin-film keeps the water within the pipe from touching the inner surface of the metal pipe. This prevents corrosion and subsequent pinholes from developing.
How does Sodium Silicate Eliminate Harmful Lead toxins from Drinking water?
Plumbing fixtures such as faucets and taps may contain lead. Copper pipe was connected together with a solder that contained lead, in the past. These two reasons are why there is lead in drinking water today. Drinking water can extract the lead out of the pipe joints or plumbing fixtures. Coating the interior of the pipe with Sodium Silicate film ensures the lead will be contained.
What can we expect the LEaC Shield installation process to be like?
The cold water supply to your building will be shut off for 6 hours. The hot water supply within your building will be shut off at the same time. All actual construction work will be completed in the water room. We will install our pumps, meters, pipe, injector, two secure housings, and a sodium silicate storage container in the water room.
What can we expect from the Certified LEaC Shield Service Technicians who maintain the system?
Our service technicians will visit each month to monitor the system, test the water quality. Provide a thorough written checklist for your review. After each monthly service visit, you will have the peace of mind that your water system is operating to the highest standard.
Does Sodium Silicate cause scaling or any other possible damages to our existing heating system/equipment?
No. Complying with Ontario Government Guidelines ensure that Sodium Silicate will not cause scaling. Nor will it damage equipment. Entire Municipalities follow the same guidelines to protect their own Drinking water equipment and water pipes; and have been doing this for more than fifty years. The Public and Private Municipal Water Utility Drinking Water supply to entire communities, containing sodium silicate, has not caused damage to their customers heating equipment to-date.
What is included in your lifetime limited warranty?
LEaC Shield guarantees in our warranty that if a pinhole leak is discovered any time after a the initial conditioning period is over (or reasonably determined to be operating as designed), we will work with you to complete a 3 step investigation to determine the cause of the leak. This investigation includes: (1) a site visit to review plumbing system operation, (2) taking samples of water for testing and pipe sample analysis, and (3) providing an incident report to you which outlines the specific pinhole leak cause and probable solution, whenever possible.
Does your system coat the entire building's water system, and for how long?
Yes, our system coats the entire water system in your building. As long as our sodium silicate is injected into your system, your pipes will be protected. Our warrantee applies for the total life of your building, and that's how long we intend to protect you from pinhole leaks.
My building is brand new, why should I install LEaC Shield's system?
LEaC Shield is a great idea for new buildings because your pipe is very expensive, and should be subject to preventative maintenance from the very beginning. The cost of maintaining your pipe is much less than the cost of replacing it. Leaks often start to occur in a few years and pipe restoration and repairs can cost thousands of dollars.
Why do pipes develop pinhole leaks in the first place?
Corrosion causes pipes to develop pinhole leaks, over time the interior surface of the pipe is worn down. Corrosion can be caused by a number of things, including water velocity, pressure, turbulence and chemistry. Unbalanced water systems can cause pinhole leaks as well.
We already have Epoxy lining in our building, will your system still operate properly?
Yes, our program does not interfere with the Epoxy coating program, and in fact can be enhanced by our silicate thin-film.
Where does LEaC Shield operate?
The majority of our clients are located in the Greater Toronto Area, Golden Horseshoe, London, Sarnia, Chatham and Windsor.
Why does LEaC Shield use Sodium Silicate instead of Phosphate?
Phosphates can have a powerful, negative effect on the environment.
Why? Phosphates in freshwater, and also in wastewater, can lead to an alarming overgrowth of algae and weeds, severely depleting available oxygen in ponds, reservoirs, streams, rivers, and lakes. This leads to significant loss of marine life; reducing fish stocks and degrading the quality of the Great Lakes. While the City of Toronto does use phosphate to produce a thin-film in their drinking water distribution pipe, they specifically remove it from all wastewater prior to treatment.
In comparison, Sodium Silicate does not harm the natural environment in any way!
Phosphate may also promote excess Biofilm growth within building drinking water pipe. Dependable monitoring to carefully control the residual phosphate dose is beneficial as Biofilm can harbor pathogens. See (ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0001031 and Permalink.
What cities in my area are using a corrosion inhibitor?
Both Sodium Silicate and Phosphate are Ontario Government approved Drinking Water Treatment Chemicals, approved as corrosion inhibitors in compliance with NSF/ANSI Std. 60. Toronto, Ottawa, Vaughan, York Region, Barrie, Guelph, Peterborough, Sault Ste. Marie, Wasaga Beach, Stratford, Sturgeon Falls, Holland Landing, Brantford, Montreal, Gatineau, and many more are currently using a corrosion inhibitor. More discussion on Sodium Silicate vs. Phosphate is available upon request.
Does your system require a backflow preventer?
No, our system does not require the use of a backflow preventer. However, according to the Ontario Safe Drinking Water Act and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), all Industrial, Commercial, Institutional (ICI) and Multi-residential Properties (five or more units) that have the potential to contaminate the drinking water supply system must install a backflow prevention devices. We do recommend it.
Will LEaC Shield clog a Reverse Osmosis (RO) purification system filter?
No, Sodium Silicate will not prevent a Reverse Osmosis system from functioning properly, nor will it clog the film membrane in the system.
Is your Sodium Silicate supplier NSF/ANSI Certified?
Yes, our supplier is "National Silicates", (through its local distributer, Univar). National Silicates is a subsidiary of PQ Corporation. PQ Corp is the world's largest producer of Drinking Water certified Sodium Silicate. 'N' Sodium Silicate is produced according to NSF/ANSI Standard 60 and is listed on the web based publication tool here. Look to the bottom of this web page to find the section on Sodium Silicates, to find “Sodium Silicate N Solution”. Chemicals listed under this NSF web-site is the means that the Ontario government uses to approve Drinking Water treatment chemicals. It is kept current and accurate to the date on the electronic form.
Can Sodium Silicate be used in my Building, when Phosphates are used by the local Water Utility to protect their Drinking Water pipes?
Yes. This is a daily occurrence in many cities, including the GTA, Sarnia, and Hamilton.
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About LEaC Shield Ltd.
Founded in 1992, LEaC Shield is a family-owned engineering consultancy that provides water system consulting, engineering and master plumbing services throughout Southwestern Ontario, Canada.
We pride ourselves on our use of Canadian-made products, and we're excited to offer superior-quality water monitoring and control equipment through our sister company Water Shield.
LEaC Shield Ltd.
123 Consortium Court