While factors such as efficiency, performance, and cost-savings are carefully scrutinized in the process of purchasing and installing water heating systems, the issue of local water quality seems largely overlooked by comparison despite its significance. The degree of attention that is given to water quality characteristics could be the difference between performance issues and premature failure or increased longevity and reduced operating costs. Below are two things worth taking into consideration:
All water, regardless of where you are, contains dissolved minerals such as calcium-carbonate, magnesium, silica, iron, phosphates and so on. The challenge, however, is when you’re in an area with higher concentrations of these substances. When water is heated, these dissolved minerals will precipitate out as solids. The minerals (specifically calcium and magnesium), form lime-scale which is a poor conductor of heat. This means that less heat is transferred into the water and more money is wasted out the exhaust. An increased build-up of scale over time will inhibit product performance and compromise the efficiency of your unit. Enough build-up over time, left untreated, can cause your unit to fail altogether.
Heightened Chloride Levels
Although chloride is a common substance that is typically harmless in low quantities, its impact on plumbing and water heaters, at heightened levels, is detrimental to the performance of the system. If left unchecked and untreated, the high corrosivity of chloride will corrode and eat away at the unit. Although some manufacturers include guidelines on Chloride levels in product manuals, another valuable resource is the EPA’s “National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations” (NSDWRs). By adhering to the manufacturing standards and treating water as needed, your water heating system will operate at peak efficiency while avoiding the woes of having to replace a unit prematurely. A closer look at the water quality near you could make all the difference for both you and your customers.
Jaime Jimenez is the marketing coordinator for ACV Triangle Tube. Headquartered in Blackwood, New Jersey, ACV Triangle Tube engineers and manufactures a wide range of space heating, water heating, and other HVAC related products for residential, commercial and industrial markets. Visit www.triangletube.com.