Magnetite is a black, magnetic mineral that can be found in central heating systems.
It is formed when the water in the system reacts with the metal pipes and components, causing corrosion. The magnetite can then build up in the system, reducing the flow of water and causing other problems.
There are a number of things that can contribute to the formation of magnetite in a central heating system.
- Hard water: Hard water contains minerals that can react with the metal in the system, causing corrosion.
- Low pH: A low pH level in the water can also contribute to corrosion.
- Poor circulation: Poor circulation in the system can allow the magnetite to build up.
- Insufficient inhibitor: An inhibitor is a chemical that can help to prevent corrosion and magnetite build-up. If the inhibitor level is too low, magnetite can form.
Magnetite can cause a number of problems in a central heating system.
- Reduced heat output: The magnetite can block the flow of water, reducing the amount of heat that is transferred to the radiators.
- Increased energy bills: The reduced heat output can lead to higher energy bills.
- Boiler damage: The magnetite can damage the boiler, causing it to fail prematurely.
- System leaks: The magnetite can build up and cause leaks in the pipes and radiators.
If you suspect that there is magnetite in your central heating system, you should have it flushed by a qualified heating engineer. This will remove the magnetite and restore the system to its proper working order.
Preventing magnetite build-up in your central heating system:
- Use soft water: If you have hard water, you can use a water softener to remove the minerals that can cause corrosion.
- Maintain a neutral pH: The pH level of the water in your system should be kept between 7.0 and 8.5.
- Ensure proper circulation: The water in your system should circulate properly to prevent magnetite from building up.
- Use an inhibitor: An inhibitor is a chemical that can help to prevent corrosion and magnetite build-up.
- Have your system flushed regularly: A qualified heating engineer should flush your system at least once a year to remove any magnetite that has built up.
By following these tips, you can help to prevent magnetite build-up in your central heating system and keep it running efficiently for years to come.
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