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Building Products October 2017

NEW-BUILD AND SOCIAL HOUSING TREATING TREATMENT WITH RESPECT Housing associations specify water treatment because it is the only way to prevent boilers and system components corroding. Despite this, research reveals that 87% of heating systems are found to be without correct water treatment. So, what is going wrong? Daniel Cheung explains why maintenance of water treatment is key to permanent boiler protection, and how housing associations can implement a best practice programme that includes it. What is the most critical factor in the OCTOBER 2017 | BUILDING PRODUCTS 17 long-term performance, efficiency and reliability of a boiler? Is it the price? The manufacturer? The materials from which it is made? While any of these factors may influence boiler selection, none are actually key to performance. Instead, specifiers should look to water treatment as the secret to ongoing boiler optimisation. Water treatment prevents corrosion and limescale (the latter in areas served by hard water) in heating systems, and removes harmful substances from circulating water. Without it, heating systems will suffer; in fact, poor water treatment is the number one cause of boiler breakdowns and is present in 99.5% of systems that experience failure of heat exchanger and pump components during the boiler warranty poor water treatment-related premature repairs or period. Poor water treatment is also responsible component replacements (on those same systems), for reducing system longevity, causing premature which places a heavy financial and administrative repairs and parts replacements, increasing heating burden on housing associations. bills, and making homes colder. Today, water treatment is capable of delivering In light of the devastating effects of corrosion lifetime protection from corrosion and limescale and limescale on heating systems, water treatment related issues in heating systems; a fact which has is a requirement of the UK Building Services helped some housing associations to reduce their Compliance Guide to Part L and of most boiler heating system maintenance costs to practically manufacturer warranty terms and conditions. nothing and gain extended warranties from boiler These requirements often form the basis of and component manufacturers. water treatment specification for housing So, what are these housing associations doing associations. Despite this effort, research by two that others are not? The answer is the specification major boiler manufacturers found that 87% of of best practice water treatment – which involves heating systems are without correct water the implementation of a simple three-step system treatment. The result? A vicious cycle of system treatment (usually via contractors) followed by Continued on page 18 >>>


Building Products October 2017
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