It’s not every day that heating and plumbing engineers are encouraged to ‘think dirty’ on the job, but that’s exactly what Sentinel is doing with the launch of one of its biggest campaigns yet.

Supported by boiler manufacturers, merchants and industry bodies, Sentinel’s tongue-in-cheek ‘Think Dirty’ campaign aims to raise awareness around the issue of dirty circulating water, and help installers to deliver best practice cleaning as quickly and easily as possible through the selection of suitable cleaning chemicals.

Poor water quality is a common problem; research conducted by Sentinel and two leading boiler manufacturers in over 50,000 UK homes found that 35% of heating systems under five years old and more than 50% of systems over five years old suffer from dirty circulating water, while 87% of systems tested have insufficient inhibitor protection.

Moreover, the consequences of dirty water are often dire, and can include pin-hole corrosion and component failure (which can occur within months of commissioning), radiator cold spots, excessive energy consumption, low heat output and loss of boiler warranty – all of which can result in call-backs, complaints and loss of business for installers.

Sentinel’s solution? Achieve an effective, best practice clean by thinking dirty; consider the age of the heating system, the type of dirt in it, and the extent of fouling, and then use the appropriate cleaning chemical for that system.

Martyn Bridges, Director of Marketing and Technical Support at Worcester, Bosch Group, said: "Correct cleaning, flushing and on-going inhibitor protection is becoming increasingly important for the lifetime protection of heating systems, and that's why Worcester Bosch, Group runs dedicated water treatment courses. Sentinel's 'Think Dirty' campaign is a fun way to continue the conversation on the importance of best practice water treatment, so like the campaign suggests, think about the type of dirt in the system, choose an appropriate cleaner for the job, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for a best practice clean."

For example, systems less than six months old should be cleaned with Sentinel X300 for New Systems. X300 is specifically designed to remove harmful installation debris and contaminants such as metal swarf, copper dust, grits and sands, excessive flux, greases and oils.

Then Sentinel X800 Fast Acting Cleaner (for systems older than six months) is the best choice for a quick clean, as it can remove adhering and settled corrosion deposits and scale in as little as one hour. It’s also suitable for powerflushing operations, or for use on distressed systems where no heat is available.

Sentinel X400 High Performance Cleaner is perfect for systems older than six months old that suffer from significant corrosion buildup and problems such as radiator cold spots, partial blocking due to magnetite sludge buildup, and circulation issues. It has a minimum cleaning time of two hours making it ideal for pre-dosing.

Sentinel’s Think Dirty campaign will run throughout the heating season, giving installers plenty of opportunity to get dirty minded and put best practice cleaning into practice.