66 HPM 1213

HPM December 2013

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com BOILERS,SERVICING&PARTS Sludge: customers should be worried Steve McAllorum, of Eclipse Magnetics, looks at how high performance magnetic filters can be an easy fit option to help maintain energy efficiency and extend boiler life of modern central heating systems... With ever rising utility bills, property owners are becoming more receptive to the idea of any technology that can improve the performance of their central heating system. Magnetic filters are one of the most cost effective and easy-to-fit ways of doing this because, by removing iron oxide or magnetite (sludge) from the system, they can significantly improve energy efficiency and extend boiler life. All wet central heating systems produce black iron oxide or magnetite. This is an issue for high efficiency condensing boilers that incorporate stainless steel spiral tube heat exchangers because of the narrow waterways and the fact that they rely on a relatively contamination-free system to perform at optimum level. The potential question, of course, faced by installers from their customer - both in the domestic and commercial sector - is why they should be worried about sludge. The simple fact is that it can reduce boiler efficiency, thereby increasing carbon emissions and making the system more expensive to run. PREMATURE BOILER FAILURE In can also cause blocked pipes, poor circulation radiator cold spots and corrosion. This causes unnecessary call-backs, break downs and can affect boiler warranty. All of this means that your customer could be facing frequent maintenance call outs and premature boiler failure, none of which reflects particularly well on the person who installed the system. A critical element of an effective filter is design of the magnetic core, and here it is important that the water in the system flows around the core in such a way that the magnet is able to collect the maximum amount of black iron oxide. As water circulates through the magnetic filter, black iron oxide contamination is attracted to the magnetic rod and is removed. The design of the magnetic core and high performance magnet is, therefore, important because it is more effective at removing even the smallest particles. To be even more effective the filter should incorporate a high intensity magnetic that is capable of removing more of the iron oxide. However, as not all contaminants are ferrous, it is important that when choosing a magnetic filter to check that it has a non-block mesh barrier to ensure that non-magnetic debris such as scale is also captured, in addition to the iron oxide. The dual flow core that we developed ensures that the contaminated water is exposed to the WWW.HPMMAG.COM Removing iron oxide or magnetite (sludge) from the system with a magnetic filter can significantly improve energy efficiency and extend boiler life magnet for an enhanced period. As water circulates through the unit, black iron oxide contamination is attracted to the magnetic rod and is removed. Compared to the cost of a central heating system, magnetic filters are relatively inexpensive for installers, yet have a high perceived value with the end customer. Hardly surprising when you consider the benefits to them - no reduction in boiler efficiency and significant improvements in boiler life, not to mention avoiding unnecessary call outs. Feedback from installers is that ease and speed of installation is a major factor when they are choosing a magnetic filter. With the wide range of central heating systems it is, therefore, important to choose a range that has sufficient options to fit all standard pipe sizes. There are solutions available to fit domestic, commercial and industrial systems. Adjustment of the magnetic filter when fitting is important too, and being able to rotate the unit through 360º makes fitting easier while being able to fit the unit in-line avoids having to alter the pipework. Cleaning magnetic filter systems is usually very easy and simply involves removing the contaminated cartridge from the bowl. The attracted contamination can then be quickly and easily removed, usually with a special tool that is supplied. This cleaning operation takes only a few minutes and can be done during the planned boiler service. Many installers like the fact that magnetic filters are a very visual product in that they can show the black sludge in the core to their customers before cleaning it and replacing the unit. While filters are now commonplace in domestic installations there is also an increasing number of clients in larger commercial and industrial properties waking up to the cost and efficiency benefits of magnetic filters. Interest in the product is helped because once installed it is low maintenance with no electrical or mechanical moving parts. ANNUAL BOILER SERVICE Once installed, magnetic filters are low maintenance - all that is needed is the simple cleaning operation when you carry out the annual boiler service for your customers. In that sense, magnetic filters offer installers a great value added sale and one that will grow in popularity as utility bills rise and building owners and managers have to implement ever more stringent energy efficient improvements. The majority of sludge in a central heating system is ferrous in nature and, therefore, magnetic filtration is the most effective way of removing it. Left unchecked, it can result in underperformance of the system and even blockages. That is why it is important to choose a range that is designed to meet the needs of both you and your customer. With significant benefits in terms of energy efficiency, being easy to fit and cost effective, high performance magnetic filters make a great value added sale on both existing and new central heating systems. enquiry number 168 66 DECEMBER 2013 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY


HPM December 2013
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