The importance of water management is often overlooked, but this can be at a great cost. Water is a vital element of many heating systems and, just like a boiler, it needs to be properly serviced. Ignoring this need can lead to expensive damage from debris and scale that build up within a system. Not to mention, employers and building owners also have legal obligations to make sure potable water is free of bacteria.
Effective water treatment for a heating system begins at the installation phase, when the system must be cleaned and flushed before it is put to use. This is important not only because it helps ensure more efficient performance, but also because the potential damage poor quality water can cause means it can invalidate a boiler manufacturer’s warranty.
The water in a commercial heating system needs to be analysed for factors such as oxygen content, pH levels, hardness and chlorides. Different metals and materials are typically present within the system, so any treatment products must be carefully chosen and suitable for interaction with those materials.
Keeping drinking water safe is an important responsibility and it begins with a thorough risk assessment. The Health and Safety Executive recommends considering the following risk factors:
Is the water temperature in all or some parts of the system between 20 and 45 degrees C?
Is water stored or re-circulated as part of the system?
Are there potential sources of nutrients, such as rust and sludge?
Is it possible for water droplets to be produced and, if so, can they be dispersed over a wide area, e.g. showers and aerosols from cooling towers?
Is it likely that any of your employees, residents, visitors, etc. are more susceptible to infection due to age, illness or a weakened immune system? Could they be exposed to contaminated water droplets?
That risk assessment should lead to a management programme that is specific to your system, and 361 Servicing’s work typically includes:
Removing dead legs
Redundant outlets and lengths of pipe pose problems because water is not regularly flowing through them, so we check the system and remove or adapt pipework where necessary.
Replacing failing pipework
Damaged or broken sections of pipework can increase running costs, while rust is a serious health risk.
Disinfecting and descaling
Minerals can cause a build-up of scale in the water, which has an insulating effect. This prevents effective heat transfer, which makes your system less efficient. Descaling helps counter this, while disinfecting avoids health risks.
Learn more about Water Management
Many employers and facilities managers are unaware of the need for effective water management, so it’s rarely seen as a high priority. But the reality is you cannot afford to ignore it. Minerals in the water can build up in pipes and prevent effective heat transfer, which increases running costs.
Using the wrong type or proportion of chemicals can do more harm than good to the heating or potable water system, to the environment, and most importantly, to the people who occupy your building. Our certified engineers are trained to treat your water safely and effectively. We assess and adapt pipework to replace failing and hazardous sections, and we disinfect and descale your system.
Whether you’re setting up a new commercial water management regime or want to bring it under a wider maintenance contract, 361 Servicing can advise you on a programme specific to your needs and the risks you identify. We’ll make sure you achieve the right conditions and chemical balance, so your heating system and potable water are always safe and fit for purpose.