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Why magnets aren't helpful in fouled commercial HVAC systems

When it comes to equipment, powerful magnetic devices have become popular as a means of removing ferromagnetic material from system water, something they do very well, no doubt. Contention arises in the fact that much of what comprises suspended solid material in commercial heating systems is not magnetic. Even most types of corrosion products (typically found in heating systems) are not magnetic, such as iron hematite (red iron oxide), copper oxides, and aluminium oxides. The only species of corrosion product (found in heating systems) that is ferromagnetic is iron magnetite (black iron oxide). Furthermore, other types of suspended solids, such as scale, silts, organic materials, microbiological debris and biofilm particles, are not attracted to magnets. In other words, for all non-magnetic suspended solids, powerful magnetic devices are completely redundant.

Consequently, powerful magnetic devices are sometimes paired with a physical filter. This combination of equipment will remove all types of suspended solids, provided the micron size of the filter is appropriate for the system foulants.

What will also remove all types of suspended solids is a physical filter on its own (again, provided the micron size of the filter is appropriate for the system foulants). Put another way, a physical filter will remove iron hematite, iron magnetite, copper oxides, aluminium oxides, scale, silts, organic materials, microbiological debris, and biofilm particles – everything. So why use a product which can only remove one type of suspended solid (a magnetic device), when another product can be used that will remove all suspended solids? It simply doesn’t make sense.

In the presence of a suitable physical filter, magnetic devices are unnecessary. BSRIA guidance agrees: “(magnetic filters) are widely fitted when replacing boilers in domestic heating systems, mainly to protect the new boiler heat exchanger and pump seals from magnetite that has been previously formed in the old boiler and radiators. In principle, magnetic filtration should not be advantageous on a properly maintained system with low suspended solids”[1].

DosaFil conditioning devices do not feature expensive and unnecessary magnets, and are industry-proven to effectively remove all types of foulants from system water. They are easy to use, maintain and install, and are extremely cost effective.

To see how DosaFil could solve your commercial system conditioning issues, please contact us.

[1] BSRIA BG50.2013 page 51.


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