Welch Engineering, LLC has been designing and testing cathodic protection systems since the early 1980s when Glenn was the Company Corrosion Engineer for Atlanta Gas Light Company. This included cathodic protection of underground metallic pipelines, propane tanks and liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanks.
Cathodic Protection is the electrical engineering process of controlling and measuring the direct voltage current flow through an electrolyte on to a metallic object causing it to become the cathode. This can be done using a sacrificial anode made of a metal less noble from the Electromotive Series or the direct voltage current flow can be controlled with a rectifier.
Many homeowners have underground metallic fuel lines carrying natural gas or propane which are not cathodically protected and can develop underground corrosion leaks. When the pipe starts leaking the gas can enter the home/building and cause an explosion resulting in injury or death. Welch Engineering is one of the few real estate inspection companies that have the ability/test equipment to test underground fuel lines for cathodic protection using a copper/copper sulfate electrode.
Home owners are usually unaware that the home has a metallic underground fuel line (swimming pool heater, grill, gas light, carriage house, shop, underground propane tank/fuel line or remote natural gas meter) and the danger that is present from a leaking pipe. If an underground metallic fuel line is found during a real estate inspection, a voltage reading is taken and recorded in the inspection report as a defective item and a recommendation is made to have the underground line cathodically protected by a qualified corrosion engineering company.