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HPM November 2015

WWW.HPMMAG.COM Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com BOILERS:LIGHTCOMMERCIAL Dirt separators market strongest ever The maturing of the dirt filters market has prompted many installers to re-evaluate their product choices. Roger Williams, sales director for Spirotech UK, offers advice to installers on how to choose the right dirt separator... The acceptance of dirt separators in the market is the strongest it has ever been. For the first time, more than one million units have been sold in the UK in one year and the water treatment market as a whole has grown by 20% this year; a good indication that installers are now taking water quality very seriously. As awareness grows and installers become more knowledgeable about product quality and performance, the frequency and willingness of installers to switch products is becoming more prevalent, and rightly so. In part, this is a result of a maturing market whereby installers are now questioning their choices after working with certain products for a number of years. All boiler manufacturers also now recommend that a dirt separator must be fitted onto all new installations for homeowners to protect longer product warranties. As a consequence, installers are starting to be more selective about what they fit, with a growing number choosing products with longer warranties and those of the highest quality construction. Before switching, installers quite rightly need to be convinced of the benefits of a certain product before they invest the time into fitting, and becoming accustomed to, a new model. The longer-term advantages have to outweigh the hassle factor of switching and that means products must take less time to install, less time to service and have fewer problems post installation, factors that will ultimately have a bearing on a heating business and its profitability. Ease of installation and maintenance is essential for installers, but it is important to not let misconceptions about product functionality cloud the decision making process. The argument that ‘I like filters that I can take apart and clean’ may have held water at one time, but today that argument alone isn’t enough. The vast majority of filters on the market, with the exception of Spirotech’s all-brass SpiroTrap MB3, are made of plastic and are cleaned in a similar fashion: isolating the unit, unscrewing the top and washing the unit through with clean water. For dirt separators where the magnet is housed within the filter, this is the only method of cleaning and many installers have become accustomed to this service practice; something that in reality is quite time consuming and messy. To service Spirotech’s SpiroTrap MB3, the external magnetic casing simply needs to be pulled down and this action then drags all the magnetite to the bottom of the unit, where there is no magnetic field. The magnetic dirt can then be easily removed by releasing the valve at the bottom of the unit. The presence of the exterior magnetic casing means there is no need to install an isolation valve as part of the MB3 installation and, unlike other units, cleaning is quick, simple and mess free. For those dirt separators where the magnet is housed within the filter, dirt can only be effectively removed by internal cleaning. Some products may claim that cleaning can be undertaken by pulling the release valve as well as internal washing, but this is not the case. Unless the magnetic dirt can be dragged outside of the turbulent zone and into the no flow zone, then dirt cannot be fully removed and will be left within the unit, returning to the system. EVALUATING PRODUCT CHOICES This is just one example of the benefits installers are discovering when they re-evaluate their product choices, but the growing acceptance and relevance of dirt separators should prompt installers to take a closer look at their product preferences and the raft of factors that will influence their decision making process. It is essential to question whether a dirt separator is leak-free, has a long product warranty, is well built, easy to maintain and service and how effectively it removes dirt. By doing so, installers may be pleasantly surprised with the products that are now available and will benefit from not simply sticking with what’s familiar. Ultimately, the best way to find out whether a product is right for you and your customers is to test it out; only then will you know what works best and whether different functionality is actually more to your liking. 74 NOVEMBER 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY enquiry number 135 With the SpiroTrap MB3, there is no requirement for the unit to be isolated for the dirt to be removed, or for the unit to be cleaned internally The SpiroTrap MB3 filter is one of few on the market that is not made of plastic


HPM November 2015
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