John Lynch, Domestic Sales Director at Flamco, highlights the importance of cleaning, protecting and maintaining heating systems with effective water treatment solutions.
No professional individual involved directly or indirectly in the heating sector seriously doubts the importance of water treatment or the peace of mind it can add to any heating system installation. That includes everyone involved in the installation and maintenance of heating systems in social housing developments.
Boiler manufacturers recognise the importance of clean circulating water, especially in the current climate, with the much longer warranties being offered on boilers. Getting rid of any debris and preventing it from reoccurring — makes huge sense when offering seven years or longer in some cases, on boiler warranties. All the leading boiler and heating system component manufacturers acknowledge water treatment as vital. All of which now specify the requirement for quality water treatment in their installation instructions.
Most water treatment products come in a liquid form, however Flamco’s RedProtect, for example, offers a system that utilises tablets. This not only reduces the weight of the product but also the plastic packaging content by around 84%, when compared to a traditional one litre chemical jerry can. The small amount of plastic used in the product is 100% recyclable.
A clean heating system is by definition an efficient one and whether you’re fitting a new system or upgrading an existing one, making sure the circulating water is clean and debris free is key to getting the best performance. Water treatment will not in itself make a system more efficient, however the correct use of water treatment products will ensure the boiler and other components of the system will operate as efficiently as they can.
Not all chemical cleaners are the same. It’s important to choose the right one for the job, one that will achieve a robust clean and keep the system in that state. Where a new boiler is being fitted to an existing system, that system should be powerflushed to remove stubborn limescale and magnetite debris.
Many providers of social housing are aware of water treatment and the benefits associated with a clean system. Most manufacturers now recommend that a filter be attached to each heating system, to continue to clean the system on a daily basis as the circulating water hurtles around the system, with any debris — magnetic or non-magnetic — taken out of the system on every pass, until the system is back to the pristine state it should be. The new RedProtect system, for example, comes with a filter designed to carry the tablet form of water treatment products.
Having cleaned the heating system, so that it’s delivering maximum energy efficiency, it’s important to protect it and keep it clean. This is where a quality inhibitor chemical product comes in. Choose one that offers total protection against scale and corrosion in all types of indirect central heating systems, including those containing aluminium.
A quality inhibitor product will provide excellent protection, extending the life of the system, and ensuring maximum efficiency and minimum fuel usage. Once added, a quality inhibitor product never needs to be replaced unless the system is drained down or added to. It may need topping up after changing a heating system component or adding an additional radiator for example. In the case of the RedProtect system, in most situations, you only need to add a single tablet.
Having cleaned and protected a heating system, it’s essential to maintain its level of protection. The system should be tested every time it is serviced and if necessary the level of inhibitor should be topped up to maintain its protection level. Installing a filter that removes both magnetic and non-magnetic debris is strongly recommended. Simply fitting a magnetic device is arguably just doing half the job.
For local authorities and housing associations looking to boost the energy efficiency of the heating systems in their domestic stock, an effective water treatment system is an important component. Wider environmental factors concerning product packaging cannot be ignored, especially with regard to the mounting global furore surrounding plastic waste and more specifically, single use plastic. However, with an increasing availability of products packaged using recycled materials, there are greater opportunities for local authorities and housing associations to also strive to meet broader environmental KPIs on projects.