There are a few players in the market now for magnetic filters, and for my money there isn’t much between any of them, so I’m not especially loyal to any one brand. This is a good thing, to me it suggests that the manufacturers have got the design and quality values right, across the board.
So what are they?
Magnetic filters are canister shaped, about the size of two decent sized fists, one atop the other. The filter is fitted on the central heating return pipe close to the boiler, and as the central heating runs and the water in it circulates, heating your home, it passes through the canister on its way to be re-heated by the boiler. The magnet inside the canister attracts the muck in the water to it, preventing it from getting to the boiler thus keeping your central heater water cleaner for longer. This means that your boiler works more efficiently, the muck doesn’t clog up inside the boiler, meaning it is less likely to develop problems.
The muck is called magnetite and is, in essence, the insides of your radiators slowly rotting away. Radiators by and large are made of pressed steel, and will erode in time, but with with the combination of the magnetic filter, and regular dosing with inhibitor which contains protective chemicals which slow down the rate of erosion, means you will be in a position to get the most longevity out of your boiler, your radiators and your entire central heating system overall.
The other beauty of the magnetic filters is that they allow easy dosing of chemicals as and when occasion demands. I use the annual service as my opportunity to clean the filter of the magnetite build up over the previous 12 months, and to top the system up with inhibitor.
When I specify a new system, always included in the quote is the installation of a filter. I have come to view them as an essential component so I try not to give the customer a choice in the matter when it comes to having one.
They can usually be retro fitted without too much difficulty, and whether it is part of a new boiler installation or a retro fit, part of the service I offer is a courtesy visit about a month later to clean the filter and top up the chemicals. Thereafter, the filter can be checked at the annual service.
If I go to an installation that isn’t one of mine, I’m always reassured when I see a filter in place. It tells me that the installer has done a good job and cares about his work. Every home with a central heating system should have one!