Dishing the dirt on dirt separators

Published:  07 March, 2016

The dirt separation market witnessed strong growth in 2015, and it looks set to continue its upward trajectory in 2016 too. With the market booming, Roger Williams offers advice on how to choose the right product for your customers.

It’s fair to say, dirt separation is now an integral part of any new domestic heating system. The affect that magnetite and non magnetic dirt can have on the boiler, its component parts, and on heat distribution around the home is now well known; so much so that many boiler manufacturers will insist that a dirt separator must be fitted in order to validate product warranties.

Over 1 million dirt separators were sold in the UK just last year, with new brands continuing to enter the market place, giving installers a greater breadth of choice.

While choice is great, it can make the purchasing decision tougher for installers. To simplify the decision making process, installers should ask themselves a few questions in relation to their product of choice: does it do the job properly? Is it built of a quality material? Does it come with a warranty you can trust and will it help boilers to achieve optimum efficiency?

1. Choose your material and warranty

Filters constructed of plastic and brass, both magnetic and non-magnetic, are available at different price points. It’s important to compare the warranty for each product, to ensure the longevity of protection and choose the product best suited to the application.

2. Choose simple installation and service

Speed of installation is key. Choosing a product that has universal installation in all directions (360°) is one way to help minimise installation time. Universal installation also means the product can be located to fit the required space without reducing its effectiveness or hindering its performance.

Service is another key factor, and one way to streamline the process is to choose a product that doesn’t require isolation to service. This makes dirt removal quick, mess free and, importantly, no internal cleaning is required as all magnetic dirt is pulled to the bottom of the housing so it can be easily removed from the unit upon removal of the external magnetic casing.

3. Choose easy dirt removal

Many products on the market collect the magnetite via an internally housed magnet, but this doesn’t allow for the removal of non-magnetic dirt.

For optimum dirt removal, both magnetic and non magnetic, products that work via an external magnet may be preferable; and this will also speed up the process for installers.

5. Choose energy savings and reliability

Modern boilers may be built to be highly energy efficient, but a downside is that they are much more susceptible to the effects of dirt build up. In order to reach energy efficiency targets, the inclusion of a dirt separator is a must.

By virtue of the removal of system dirt, many filters on the market will help improve boiler performance, but few have proven energy statistics to back up the claims.

Roger Williams is Spirotech UK commercial support manager

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