We all know that the increase in the use of heating systems often leads to more breakdowns and less efficient heat output, sometimes requiring costly repairs or even full-scale replacements. With the right products and a few preventative measures in place however, these disruptions can be significantly reduced, ensuring that warmth remains a constant even in the coldest weather.

Since the update to Part L of the Building Regulations, all new gas boiler heating systems in the UK must be fitted with a magnetic filter. A scale reducer is recommended to be fitted to all systems, but any boiler with a scale rating of 200ppm or more must have a scale reducer. A flush should also be completed on all new systems and when repairing existing systems. This mandate underscores the importance of maintaining the efficiency and reliability of heating systems.

Magnetic filters are suitable for all sizes of domestic, commercial, and industrial applications. These filters operate on a simple yet highly effective principle: as water circulates through the heating system, the magnetic filter attracts and retains any ferrous metal debris, preventing it from depositing in radiators or boilers where it can cause damage. This not only prolongs the life of the heating system but also maintains its efficiency, reducing energy consumption and, by extension, heating costs.

In domestic settings, filters like the Trappex Centramag 2, for example, provide a robust line of defence against system degradation. It's designed to be easy to install and maintain, fitting into existing setups without any extensive modifications. Commercial and industrial filters on the other hand, offer scaled-up protection for larger systems, ensuring that even in the most demanding environments, heating systems can operate smoothly and reliably.

The installation of magnetic filters is straightforward, typically taking place near the boiler to maximise their effectiveness in capturing circulating debris. Maintenance, too, is designed to be as hassle-free as possible, with clear instructions for regular checks and cleaning to ensure the filter continues to operate at peak efficiency.

Preventative maintenance extends beyond just filtration. Troubleshooting potential issues before they escalate into full-blown problems is crucial. Test equipment is designed to help diagnose issues and keep you safe. Electrical test equipment can help ensure all components of the heating system are functioning correctly, while infrared thermometers that can detect unusual heat patterns indicative of underlying issues, are invaluable for pre-emptive diagnostics.

Some answers to heating issues can be even more simple: bleeding radiators is one. However, if you need to bleed radiators and the valve is broken this can be a real pain. Tools such as the Easibleed radiator draining valve kit will save you a lot of hassle as you will not need to drain off the system – and it takes about five seconds to install. It is essentially a self-drilling radiator air vent. Simply turn the valves off on the radiator with an adjustable spanner, find a suitable location for the Easibleed valve and use a drill with a 10mm socket head to attach the product, drilling it straight into the radiator. Don’t overtighten it and once it’s in you can just open the rad valves and bleed your radiator – it is so simple but saves time, money, and effort.

Making a repair

If you have to repair any pipe work, the time to drain down an entire system can be a real pain. Pipe Freeze kits are a great option for heating and plumbing engineers –they save vast amounts of time, there is hardly any clearing up to be done and there is no disruption to your customers’ home or workplace. The kits are simple to use and can freeze pipes in just a few simple steps. 

Just select the correct size insulated jacket and wrap it securely around the pipe that needs freezing, fasten the jacket using the zip ties provided in the kit to ensure a snug fit for optimal freezing and allow the refrigerant to flow into the jacket, freezing the pipe in just a matter of minutes. Once the pipe is frozen, turn off the refrigerant flow and proceed with repair or installation work without draining the system. The remarkable savings in both time and effort are why these kits have become so popular with the trade.