Water treatment company Sentinel Commercial is calling for higher standards to be applied in the commercial market due to the considerable number of boiler breakdowns caused by poor water treatment chemicals and practices. Highlighting the issue is the example of a brand new commercial boiler system (part of a £250,000 facilities and building upgrade project) installed in a secondary school in the North West, which experienced a failed heat exchanger just a few months after commissioning, resulting in downtime and thousands of pounds of additional costs in part replacement, labour and corrective measures.
Following the school’s boiler breakdown, Sentinel Commercial was approached to help diagnose and remedy the issue. Sentinel’s water sample analyses revealed that the new heating system had not been pre-cleaned before the addition of an inhibitor, resulting in a suspension of debris in the system water. Additionally, the chemical inhibitor used was of a poor quality, and unable to protect many of the metals in the system, especially aluminium, leading to significant corrosion of components.
Ian Barnes, head of Sentinel Commercial, explains: “Modern condensing boilers utilise metals of high thermal efficiency, such as aluminium, to minimise energy usage, lower bills and reduce carbon emissions. To maintain the integrity and efficiency of boilers and heating components, systems must be treated with high-quality, boiler manufacturer-approved chemicals that offer exceptional protection for all heating system metals. Additionally, a best practice process of cleaning a system, adding the correct inhibitor and maintaining a system through regular water quality checks must be followed.”
Sentinel Commercial’s remedial recommendations included the replacement of the heat exchanger, flushing of the system, the addition of Sentinel X100 liquid inhibitor, and ongoing protection monitoring using the SystemCheck online water sample analysis service.