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The facts about water treatment

HVRd recently caught up with Richard Crisp, head of chemistry at Fernox, to ask him some of the common questions installers have about domestic water treatment

As head of chemistry at Fernox, Richard’s primary responsibilities include driving forward new product development and overseeing the ongoing testing of existing products to ensure they can deliver the best results. 

What guidance documents do installers need to familiarise themselves with? 

For guidance on the installation, commissioning and maintenance of domestic central heating and cooling water systems, document BS 7593:2019 details the British Standard requirements that installers should follow and explains how to keep central heating systems working at optimum efficiency. The document outlines the need to clean, guard, protect, maintain and test the system as best practice in order to achieve the goal of less fuel wastage but also enable greater longevity of the heating system. 

In addition, the Benchmark Commissioning Checklist acts as documented evidence of correct boiler installation and servicing according to the appropriate Building Regulations and should be completed to demonstrate compliance with BS 7593:2019. Together, the two will ensure customers are given quality service and prolonged system health and efficiency. 

What’s more, completion of the Benchmark Commissioning Checklist acts as evidence of good system maintenance and is required to meet manufacturers’ boiler warranty requirements.

What products available on the market can make system testing easier?

BS 7593:2019 recommends either re-dosing with inhibitor or conducting a laboratory analysis of the system water every five years. Solutions such as the Fernox Water Quality Test kit are suitable for this, as installers can take a sample of the system water and send it off to the laboratory for testing free of charge. Once received, technicians will conduct a detailed analysis of key system water parameters and, once the test is complete, provide installers with a diagnostic report outlining any issues and suggestions for how to fix them.

Recognising that it can be tricky for installers to keep track of multiple system samples across numerous jobs, Fernox developed the Water Test App that allows installers to scan the QR barcode on the sample bottle provided, before sending it off to the laboratory. Test result updates and a pass or fail status will be available via the app within 24 hours after receipt of the sample. A full diagnostic report is also sent via email and is accessible via the web portal. 

In addition, BS 7593:2019 recommends installers should check inhibitor levels annually and top up with inhibitor if necessary. Inhibitor levels can be easily and quickly checked on site using handy kits like our Express Inhibitor Test that instantly indicates if enough inhibitor is present. Simply dip the test strip into the water and compare it to the colour chart provided for instant confirmation that the system is protected. It is also easy to log these results and generate pass certificates via the Fernox Water Test App to act as evidence that the system has been tested and received a pass result.

What are the benefits of a sealed filter?

BS7593:2019 recommends an in-line filter should be permanently installed in order to keep system water free from debris and thereby help prolong the operating health of the boiler and system components. 

Due to their design, sealed filters provide a cleaner, easier and quicker debris removal process. After switching the system off, simply open the drain valve and remove the magnet, letting the water and dirt drain into a container placed under the filter. Once the water runs clear the magnet can be replaced and the valve closed. As there is no removable lid, the filter remains watertight even after the cleaning process – so the chance of leaks is reduced. There is also no ‘O’ ring to replace after each service so ongoing time and maintenance costs for the customer are eliminated. 

Sealed filters can also be positioned at up to a 45° angle on both horizontal and vertical pipework, making installation much easier as the filter can be installed even when space around the boiler is limited.

We also recommend opting for filters that utilise Hydronic Particle Separation (HPS) technology and a powerful neodymium magnet as this will ensure that all types of debris are captured effectively. 

28 July 2021

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