Seeing clearly: revealing the truths of water testing

With Mo Jassal, Head of Chemistry at ADEY

While progress is being made to ensure there is a greater understanding about the importance of heating system water quality and best practice across the industry, including inclusion of water testing in BS 7593 and the new Benchmark app, there are still some misconceptions connected to water testing and treatment issues and practices that continue to circulate.

As trusted professionals, installers can help to dispel myths and misunderstandings and ensure that good water testing and treatment procedures are even more widely understood and adopted. This not only helps to raise standards across the industry and ensure homeowners benefit from a high-quality solution for their heating systems, but it can also unlock business building opportunities through adding additional and robust revenue streams.

Here are some of the common myths:

Water dip tests are less expensive and can do the job.

While water dip tests can be useful in providing a quick verification of inhibitor levels, the visual colour results they provide are open to interpretation by the installer and only provide limited results. For example, many just show inhibitor levels so they can miss some of the other causes of poor water quality, such as pH levels or corrosion.

Lab testing is the only way to test for more than inhibitor.

Though laboratory testing of water system samples has long been used and is the best way to get full visibility of water quality in the system, it is not the only method to test for more than inhibitor. Sometimes a speedier option than waiting for a lab result to come back would be preferable so any remedial actions can be taken while on the job, rather than having to go away, wait for the results and then book in to return to the customer.

Lab results can take over 24 hours to be returned, leaving both the installer and customer waiting to find out if there is enough inhibitor or high levels of corrosion in the system.

Lab tests also cost between £35 to £40 per test which needs to be factored in to quotes. The wait for results can now be removed if water testing kit, ADEY ProCheck® is used. It provides quick onsite scientific results for key heating system health factors including inhibitor, pH level and corrosion, so any remedial actions can be agreed and carried out there and then.

The system water looks fine, so testing is not necessary.

Excessive acidic or alkaline levels in the water, a lack of protective inhibitor or the presence of corrosion can be invisible to the eye. But they all have one thing in common – they will compromise the efficiency and effectiveness of the system, leading to break downs and requiring (costly) attention or even replacement.

Early detection of potential problems and remedial action can mean the expense and inconvenience of boiler issues can be avoided.

Ultimately, it will only be through undertaking effective water testing regimes and scheduling in ongoing preventative measures that better system outcomes can be achieved.

For installers looking to address some of these myths, and seeking a way to access quick, verifiable, and accurate water system information whilst on the job to have easier and more informed conversations with homeowners and implement remedial actions then and there, ADEY’s industry-leading ADEY ProCheck water testing kit can provide the help needed.

It is a unique solution that offers a simple and all-inclusive onsite analysis of system water and provides instant – and independent – validation of a boiler’s water system health via an app on the installer’s phone.

Dispelling some of the myths associated with water testing means installers can use it to open up conversations with homeowners, deliver better quality solutions and drive efficiencies through their work by freeing them from having to leave a job and return to implement the work needed following test results.