Feel the Force of System Cleansing
27th July 2017
As part two of our three part Blog with ADEY Professional Heating Solutions we are looking at system cleansing and power-flushing. Our first blog article provided a product spotlight on ADEY’s MagnaCleanse® technology which is now being applied to system cleaning throughout the UK and Europe with phenomenal success.
Power-flushing has been a staple of the HVAC industry for many years, used by installers to clean heavily sludged systems. As technology and practices have developed, so has the process and one of the biggest changes has been the introduction of magnetic filtration which has made it more efficient and effective.
Plumbmaster have teamed up with Dr Neil Watson, Global Technical Director at ADEY Professional Heating Solutions to look at how system cleaning has evolved and why installers should consider it a key part of a best practice approach to central heating system maintenance.
Moving with the times
Traditional power-flushing has a pump at its heart and is carried out under low pressure, using the velocity of water to flush away deposits in the central heating system. Once any sludge has been loosened, clean water is forced through the system, pushing out the contaminated water through a dump valve. As most installers know well, this can be an incredibly time-consuming process and can take between four and six hours and possibly longer for heavily sludged systems while also using high volume of water.
The introduction of magnetic filtration by ADEY more than ten years ago revolutionised central heating system maintenance and the technology is now being applied to system cleaning with phenomenal success throughout the UK and Europe. Nearly 18,000 of ADEY’s MagnaCleanse™ system flushing units have been sold to date.
Carrying out a magnetic filtration system cleanse not only saves the installer time (carrying out ADEY’s MagnaCleanse process could be achieved in as little as two hours and removes virtually 100% of the suspended debris), but also uses up to 90% less water.
Powerful magnets capture the magnetite which is then easily disposed of using a bucket. The process also provides an ideal opportunity for installers to show their customers what’s been clogging up their system.
Typically, a system clean using magnetic filtration will remove up to 3kg of dirt, but this could be as much as 7kg in extreme cases. If deposits are simply flushed away as with a traditional power-flush, it’s harder for an installer to demonstrate how effective the process can be.
There are a number of other steps that make this increasingly popular flushing process even more effective and it’s this attention to detail that helps installers get the most from the process. The introduction of a premium chemical cleaner before the clean is carried out will help break down any deposits, making them easier to remove.
An agitation tool should be used on each radiator to further dislodge any debris. This is done with the radiators half-filled which helps to concentrate the chemical cleaner into any cold spots, ensuring the process is as effective as possible. The radiators should be agitated one at a time while all the others on the system are closed-off.
Advances in the development of chemical formulations are also adding value to system cleaning, offering installers greater flexibility and providing them with the best tools to do the job. Chemical cleaner can either be dosed into the filter and circulated during the clean or alternatively, dosed up to a month in advance. This reduces the time an installer spends on site and is only possible as a result of the development of specific chemical formulations which protect vulnerable metals, such as aluminium, in the heating system.
As an additional benefit, using an aerosol chemical which can be dosed straight into a radiator in as little as 20 seconds, means the system doesn’t have to be drained down or the pressure reduced. The cleaning process will be started immediately rather than having to circulate the cleaner for an hour or so with the heating on when the installer comes back to flush. The time-saving benefit of being able to leave a chemical cleaner in a system is important offering the installer far greater flexibility.
Once all radiators have been treated and any magnetite collected by the filter magnets is removed, a drain hose is attached to the drain valve and with only the furthest radiator from the boiler left open, cold water is flushed through the system until it runs clear. As with the agitation tool, this is done one radiator at a time before re-filling and venting, allowing the water to circulate for 30 seconds.
Six steps to efficiency
The adoption of ADEY’s Best Practice™ approach to heating system maintenance has been instrumental in bringing system cleaning to the fore. For the most effective central heating system maintenance protection and to maintain the boiler and pipework, a six-step approach of Clean, MagnaCleanse, MagnaClean, Protect, Test and Maintain is recommended.
Without removing the sludge that causes the heating system to function less efficiently, the following steps will be considerably less effective. It’s also an important consideration in ensuring boiler warranties remain intact. Many manufacturers have increased the length of their warranties, which is undoubtedly a positive for homeowners, however, this warranty will not be honoured if the installer has fitted the boiler to a dirty system. Carrying out a total system cleanse is the most effective way to do this, giving not only the installer, but the homeowner peace of mind.
System cleaning isn’t something that should be viewed in isolation. Installers doing this risk only doing half the job with potentially damaging results. When used in partnership with premium quality chemicals and truly effective filters as outlined in the process above, it provides the complete water treatment solution.
For more information on how ADEY’s MagnaCleanse® technology can be applied to assist your system cleaning, please do not hesitate to contact your local Plumbmaster branch.
Don’t forget to check out out first blog for a chance to WIN a MagnaCleanse® Advanced Central Heating Flushing Technology Kit. Keep a look out for our final blog in this series which will be posted on the 2nd week of August.
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