Well maintained closed loop water systems deliver the most efficient, and therefore cost effective system that meets the demand of a changing environment.
Closed system water treatment helps prevent scale, corrosion, and bacteria build-up, which can cause reduced efficiency and blocked valves. We use a number of water treatment chemicals and equipment to treat potential problems and our experienced engineers allow us to manage the water chemistry effectively.
There are a number of things that can happen inside the system that can significantly affect its thermal performance, reduce efficiency and impact reliability and system longevity.
In this blog we identify the main problems that can cause closed water systems to perform poorly or even fail and what can be done to prevent it happening.
Bacteria in closed systems
Unfortunately, there are lots of waterborne bacteria that can set up home in closed recirculating water systems. When internal conditions are favourable, the system can give bacteria everything they need to grow and thrive, and this is when problems arise.
If you don’t take adequate steps to minimise the risks to your water systems, then you could soon be faced with the very real dangers from bacteria including legionella.
Legionella can cause serious illness, so it’s essential that you identify any risk areas quickly and know exactly what steps to take to control them.
What are the main problems in closed systems
There are three main problems that can affect closed systems and they are:
If left unchecked, any of these factors can cause havoc in a closed heating, chilled or cooling water system… but what exactly are they, what do they look like and what causes them?
Corrosion refers to the build-up of other types of by-products which are produced when metals start to corrode, decay and rot away.
It is the reduction of metal thickness leading which leads to the loss of mechanical strength and structural failure or breakdown. When the metal is lost in localised zones so as to give a cracklike structure, very considerable weakening may result from quite a small amount of metal loss.
Corrosion in your system also leads to the loss of time in availability of profile-making industrial equipment and reduced value of goods due to deterioration of appearance.
Once corrosion has a hold inside your water system, leaks will begin to appear in pipework, radiators, pumps and other components. Leaks and corrosion can quickly lead to a shorter lifespan for your pipes and other components in the system.
Corrosion by-products also create sludge, debris and suspended solids which can reduce water flow and clog important components such as pumps and heat exchangers leading to full or partial failure.
Biofouling describes the build-up of bacteria and slimes within a closed system. The bacterial slimes can start to coat the inside surfaces of pipes and other system components to cause a number of problems.
The growth of biofilms can restrict the internal flow of water, it can also coat heat transfer surfaces causing reduced thermal performance and lower energy efficiency.
It can cause serious health and safety issues as it promotes the growth of legionella, and other types of waterborne bacteria including pseudomonas.
Biofouling can also contribute to the amount of scale and corrosion inside the water system.
Legionella bacteria in turn feed off scale and corrosion by-products, so unless you identify the problems quickly, they may soon spiral out of control.
If scale begins to build-up in your closed water system it can quickly limit water flow, block pumps and other moving parts, and coat important internal surfaces such as heat exchangers.
Scale loves to form in warm areas, so heat exchangers are particularly affected and will not work efficiently when clogged up with scale.
You’ll spend much more on energy and in replacing components in your system if you allow surface scale to develop unchecked inside your closed system.