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HVAC IS EVERYTHING ALRIGH


Steven Booth, MD of Guardian Water Treatment, highlights the common problems FM and suggests that data driven monitoring, no


When you take on responsibility for a new part of a building you want to be sure that the system you’re inheriting is working as it should, with no potential glitches that could cause problems further down the line.


However, when it comes to closed-circuit heating systems in particular the industry methods of sampling make it difficult to have confidence in the true picture. Unknown elements at this stage may adversely affect on-going maintenance programmes, as well as leaving FMs accountable for problems that were there before they even got involved.


“Correct installation and a well- thought out pipe system that avoids


dead legs (where water can stagnate) will ensure a HVAC scheme starts life in the best possible shape.”


How can you be sure that potential challenges are flagged-up before handover? The traditional method of sampling has a number of inherent issues – it only provides a snap shot in time, the results can take days if not weeks to return and this process doesn’t effectively detect one of the major causes of corrosion – oxygen ingress. A ‘good’ sample, used as proof of a clean bill of health, therefore, can be misleading.


The methods of testing condition have to improve and also FMs need an input from an earlier stage, so they understand the processes that have gone before and their potential impact.


Pre-commissioning cleaning Pre-commissioning cleaning happens before handover and is a crucial stage in a closed circuit water systems future health. What’s important to understand is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to this process – it must be tailored to the individual system and its usage.


The basic premise is that a system is flushed out and cleaned with chemicals where necessary. Common problems include over flushing and a heavy handed approach to dosing, which can weaken pipework leading to shortened usable life and an increased risk of degradation. There are new flushing technologies which reduce water volume without compromising effectiveness. If you can, find out what methods the water treatment engineers are using, this will have an impact on the future health of the system you are set to inherit.


28 | TOMORROW’S FM twitter.com/TomorrowsFM


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