Returns can be seen within 12 months when water quality challenges are addressed effectively, says Bryan Barlow of Spirotech.
Water quality issues are ignored at both the specifier's and the installer's peril. Recent case study evidence from my own company has revealed that a degassing solution can reduce corrosion by 99 per cent. If no degassification action is taken, corrosion translates into a costly and time-consuming issue that can involve the need to replace radiators every three years.
We have also found that water quality products can reduce the electricity used in a system by 31 per cent, again thanks to degassification. With energy efficiency topping the cost and environmental agenda, this saving is not to be ignored.
However, it's not good enough to treat degassification, dirt separation and pressurisation in isolation; rather, water quality should be addressed holistically, since each aspect interrelates. This implies that it is best to have a single, knowledgeable and experienced point of contact for all. This not only reaps maximum benefits in terms of energy efficiency and system lifespan protection, but also translates into long-term cost savings.
Maintenance departments should not simply wait for systems to fail and then address the symptom; it's imperative that they examine the root cause of these issues in order to save money and time over the longer term and avoid the problem recurring.
The time to get it right is at the beginning of a project so I believe that pre-commissioning should be given to a commissioning engineer, with the same level of attention and commitment to the sustainability of the system.
There are plenty of talented commissioning specialists around who understand that the flushing and cleaning process is very high cost, but will require repeating if degassification, pressurisation and dirt separation solutions aren't set in place at the start.
The smart way to instigate this rise in standards is to call on a single highly specialised company that deals with water quality from design to completion and contains experts who understand that degassification needs to be dealt with first, as it is the fundamental building block upon which effective pressurisation can be built.