How to Protect Low-Temperature Heating Systems from Bacterial Growth

Bacteria multiply rapidly between temperatures of 4.5°C and 60°C, making low-temperature heating systems the perfect breeding ground for it. 

As bacteria build-up, biofilms attach to system surfaces. Biofilms look and feel like slime, and this layering on the system surfaces causes heat transfer issues and therefore, reduces efficiencies. According to ALVIM Clean Tech, a company that innovates high-tech solutions for biofilm monitoring, ‘less than 1mm of biofilm in a heat exchanger can result in up to a 30% loss in heat transfer’.

The Solution

ADEY®’s Best Practice is a simple four-step process specifically designed to keep all heating systems that contain water working for as long and as efficiently as possible. For low-temperature heating systems including those with Heat Pumps and Underfloor, we recommend doing the following: 

ADEY Best Practice
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1. TEST the system for pH and corrosion using ADEY ProCheck®

Testing is a vital first step in diagnosing the root cause of any system issue or preventing damage/failures from occurring in new systems. ProCheck® is the digital on-site water test that gives you instant, independently verified results for water cleanliness. ProCheck tests for turbidity, corrosion, pH and inhibitor levels, to give a quick and reliable view of the quality of the water in the heating system.

Bacteria grow in many extremes of pH, and changes in pH allow a wider range of bacterial types to thrive, which can lead to big problems, like rapid corrosion.

ADEY’s MC1+® inhibitor contains pH buffering agents to maintain a neutral pH range, so it’s recommended to test for this to ensure adequate levels are in the system.

Bacteria can lead to pitting corrosion; pinholes on metal surfaces which eventually leads to system leaks. This is why it’s so important to test for corrosion levels in system water.

Find out how ProCheck can help you quickly identify water quality issues by clicking the button below.

2. CLEAN the system with an effective cleaner like ADEY’s MC3+®, and a MagnaClean HP™; a dedicated magnetic and bacteria slime capture filter 

Cleaning with MC3+® Cleaner in conjunction with the MagnaCleanse® system flush will remove scale, debris, and magnetite from the system. Remember, some may have adhered to components over time and will continue to eat away at those components until they’re lifted with a cleaner. You can also get rid of biological growth using our MC10+® Biocide which tackles algae and biological contamination with ease.

MagnaClean HP - Protect heat pumps against biological growth
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3. PROTECT the system to keep it working efficiently for longer 

ADEY’s MC1+® inhibitor will provide a protective coating on all system components to prevent future scale, debris and bacteria build-up, while also buffering pH levels to stay within the 6.5 to 8.5 safe zone – this too prevents future system corrosion. 

ADEY’s new MagnaClean HP™ filter is designed specifically to provide effective protection for low-temperature heating systems. Containing a large neodymium magnet and a separate stainless-steel mesh gauze, the MagnaClean HP has been purposely designed to maximize magnetite and bacterial slime capture. Its patented ClycloFlow™ technology diverts water in a unique way to maximize this capture.

4. MAINTAIN the system by testing the water annually, servicing the MagnaClean HP, and topping up inhibitor levels if required 

Annual servicing and water testing promotes continual system protection and maintains efficiency.

Water quality levels should be tested annually with ProCheck and if required, topped up with MC1+® inhibitor. The MagnaClean HPfilter should be serviced after the system’s first pass (approx. 30 mins after installation) and on a regular basis thereafter to ensure ongoing capture efficiency.