How to Protect Against or Prevent Bacterial Growth in Low Temperature Hydronic Systems

How to Protect Against / Prevent Bacterial Growth in Low Temperature Hydronic Systems

Why do I need to worry about bacteria in a low temperature hydronic system?
Bacteria multiplies rapidly between temperatures of 40F/4.5C and 140F/60C, making low temperature hydronic systems the perfect breeding ground for it.

As bacteria builds 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® has formulated a four simple-step process specifically for tackling bacteria growth in low temperature systems.

  1. Test the system for pH and corrosion using ADEY’s water test strips
    Testing is a vital first step in diagnosing the root cause of any system issue or preventing damage/failures from occurring in new systems. ADEY’s three different on-site water test strips – corrosion, pH and inhibitor, provide a simple way to diagnose those root causes.

    Bacteria grow in many extremes of pH, and changes in pH allow other bacterial types to thrive; these may be more causative in the development of problems within the system, such as corrosion. Other types of corrosion can occur from pH levels outside of 6.5 to 8.5, so this is why it’s vital to test for pH levels. It’s also impossible to see pH levels, so this is why it’s so important to test for it.

    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.

    All three tests will provide recommendations on how to restore/treat the system water. Find out more HERE.

    ADEY’s MagnaClean RapidTest™ is another unique tool that can be used specifically for testing magnetite a.k.a. black sludge levels. Find out more about that here.
  2. Clean the system with an acidic based cleaner like ADEY’s MC40+™, and a MagnaClean HP™; a dedicated magnetic and bacteria slime capture filter
    Cleaning with MC40+ will remove any flux left in a new system, or if it’s an existing system, 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. An acidic based cleaner like MC40+ is also the most effective type of cleaner to remove biofilms caused by bacteria growth.

    ADEY’s new MagnaClean HP™ is the industry’s first dedicated magnetic and non-magnetic filter. Containing a large neodymium magnet and a separate stainless-steel mesh gauze, the HP has been purposely designed to maximize magnetite and bacteria slime capture. Its patented ClycloFlow™ technology diverts water in a unique way to maximize this capture. To find out more about this new filter, visit ADEY’s website here – (add MagnaClean HP link).
  3. Dose the system with ADEY’s MC1+® inhibitor
    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.
  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 ADEY’s MC1+ inhibitor, pH and corrosion quick test strips, and if required, topped up with ADEY’s MC1+ protector. ADEY’s MagnaClean HP filter should be serviced after the system’s first pass (approx. 30 mins after installation) and on a regular basis thereafter to ensure on-going capture efficiency.

For more information on ADEY’s Best Practice products, please visit Home Page | ADEY