Corrosion is a big problem in wet central heating systems. The water within the heating system is the cheapest yet regarded as the most important component. Unfortunately, it’s perhaps the least understood and often neglected.

Many boiler breakdowns are caused by corrosion and in a transition to heat pumps we will need to be careful about water quality.

Nathan chats to his good friend Ricky from Thoroughflush and Simon from elexion about VDI2035.

VDI2035 is a German standard for water quality and unlike the BS7593 (2019) it understands the importance of system design.

Simon explains how in the commercial sector, where heating equipment is very expensive, it is vital to have a good water quality regime. elexion is known for understanding how to condition water using a non chemical method and they were recently involved with the new update to BG50 (BSRIA) which is the bible of water quality used in the industry.

The methods Simon and Ricky uses to test and condition water are now being used in the domestic sector and many of the engineers Nathan has on his show now use this chemical free method to protect heating systems from corrosion.

The method relies on removing the salts and minerals from the fill water which reduces the conductivity of the water and helps slow down the process of corrosion, especially if too much oxygen is getting into the system. This demineralisation process uses ionic exchange. The good news is, if your water tests for low conductivity, good system design (such as the use of a deaeration device) can be all you need

If you are a housing association, university or a Local Authority and you are interested in learning more about water quality contact BetaTeach at as Simon and Nathan are able to offer some training around this area.

Some nice science in this episode such as cations and anions, the positive and negative ions found in our tap water such as calcium carbonate.  Like measuring heat loss is so important when working out the design of a heating system, measuring the conductivity and pH of the fill water is also extremely beneficial and can lead to the correct strategy for water quality control. Enjoy the episode.

Episode 16 – “The Most Important Component in a Heating System”