Protector F1 is the market leading inhibitor which prevents corrosion and limescale formation in central heating systems. This high performance product offers superior protection by uniquely combining three inhibitors of organic particles, which bind to the metal within the heating system to protect from debris alongside anodic inhibitors which react with the system’s metal surface to create a protective layer, and cathodic inhibitors that combine with hard water salts to form an insoluble layer. Fernox Protector F1 also includes enhanced a pH buffering to ensure the system water pH level does not drop below 6.5 or above 8.5 – the optimum pH range for preventing corrosion and limescale build-up. In line with local regulations and best practice, and for long-term protection of the system, concentration levels should be maintained and checked annually as part of the boiler or system service. Protector F1 is compatible with all other Fernox products and is suitable for use with all materials and metals used in central heating systems, including aluminium. The Fernox Express range uses Barrier Pressure Pack technology and compressed air propellent to expel the product so the entire range is non-flammable. The propellent (compressed air) is not mixed with the active product so there is no risk of air ingress into the system which could accelerate future risk of corrosion.
Minerals in chalk or limestone rock collect as water permeates through the ground and collects in aquifers. These minerals remain within the water and are carried into the domestic water supply.
What causes limescale deposition?
They inevitably reach central heating and water systems, where they build-up over time to cause blockages in pipework, efficiency losses and the premature failure of components. These problems can arise in both the primary water system (the central heating system) and secondary (household hot water) system.
The mineral deposits, collectively known as limescale, consist primarily of calcium and magnesium carbonates which are generally insoluble. Limescale occurs when these deposits are formed as a result of heating water that contains soluble bicarbonate salts (which are thermally unstable and break down to form carbonates).
There are several factors that contribute to the build-up of limescale, including:
What should be done?
Prevention is always better than cure. In central heating systems, the addition of any Fernox Protector F1 will prevent deposition of limescale.
For domestic hot water systems, Fernox offers a range of scale reducers designed to provide either whole house or single appliance protection.
For whole house protection, the Fernox Electrolytic Scale Reducer should be installed on to the mains water supply to the property. To protect single appliances such as the boiler, the Fernox Magnetic Scale Reducer is ideal.
If the central heating system is already contaminated with limescale it should be cleaned using an acid-based cleaner such as Fernox DS40 Descaler & Cleaner. However, descaling alone will not restore the central heating system to its original condition. After descaling it is imperative to protect the system against further scaling by adding any Fernox Protector F1 or if a system filter is fitted Fernox Protector + Filter Fluid
If limescale formation has occurred within the hot water system, individual appliances such as kettles, showerheads and heat exchangers can be descaled using Fernox DS-3 Limescale Remover. For open vented systems Fernox Superconcentrate Limescale Preventer is an ideal way to keep system water scale-free.
Systems should be cleaned when commissioning a new system or installing a new boiler within an existing system. The purpose of cleaning and flushing is to remove mineral oil, harmful flux residues and installation debris which can cause corrosion.
Cleaning existing systems removes magnetite (black iron oxide), haematite (red iron oxide) and limescale improving the circulation and reducing fuel wastage and boiler noise.
New systems domestic
Fernox Cleaner F3 or Fernox Powerflushing Cleaner F5 should be added before commissioning the system. Simply circulate Fernox Cleaner F3 or Fernox Powerflushing Cleaner F5 for at least one hour when the boiler is switched on, after which the system should be drained and thoroughly flushed until the water runs clear.
Existing systems domestic
Ideally the system should be powerflushed to remove any existing treatment, sludge and contaminant. Fernox Cleaner F3 or Cleaner F5 should be added to system water and circulated hot for at least one hour after which the system must be drained and flushed until the water runs clear. The cleaning time can be extended to up to one week for systems which suffer from hardened iron oxides and limescale.
For both new and existing systems, a Fernox TDS Meter should be used to ensure efficient flushing by comparing the readings of the system water and mains water. The system is thoroughly flushed if the readings are within 10% of each other. Alternatively, the Fernox Cleaner F3/F5 Test Kit can be used to determine the level of cleaner residues remaining in the system.
Protecting new and existing systems
In accordance with Part L of the Building Regulations, after cleaning with Fernox Cleaner F3 or Fernox Powerflushing Cleaner F5, add Fernox Protector F1 with the final fill water for long-term protection against corrosion and limescale.
All Fernox Protector/Inhibitor products are compatible with commonly used metals in central heating systems, including aluminium, and are suitable for use with plastic pipework. For continued protection, check Protector/Inhibitor levels annually using the Fernox Protector Test Kit or the Fernox System Health Check postal service and top up product level as required.
Follow these steps to successfully dose your central heating system.
Make sure the system is turned off and allow radiators to cool down (1). Select a radiator and shut both the wheel-head and lock shield valves (2). If a thermostatic radiator valve (TRV) is fitted, close it by turning it to the minimum setting.
Having removed the air vent pin using a cloth to absorb any escaping water (3). Screw the Fernox Express injection nozzle into the air vent (after cutting to the right diameter to fit tightly (4)). Fit the tube to the adapter and screw onto the canister. Attach the other end of the tube onto the nozzle in the radiator (5).
Re-open the wheel-head valve (6) (or TRV) and inject all the content of the Fernox Express by squeezing the trigger for 30 seconds (7). After the product has been dispensed close the wheel-head valve (8) (or TRV), remove the injector nozzle and tighten the air vent pin (9). Open both radiator valves, turn on the central heating system (10) and let it run for 15 minutes to allow the Express to disperse around the system.
Fernox Express can also be for dosed via the system filling loop using the appropriate special adapter supplied with the Express product as well as via the bleed valve on a fitted Fernox TF1 Filter. The whole process takes less than two minutes.
Soft and hard limescale on radiator walls can drastically reduce their ability to heat rooms efficiently. The problem often revolves around the boiler heat exchanger where the temperature is hottest, but deposits in radiators and pipework also lessen the effectiveness of the whole system.
It is therefore important to consider the whole central heating system when checking and establishing why its efficiency has dropped.
What causes fuel wastage?
There are two main forms of deposits found in heating systems:
Part L of the Building Regulations for England and Wales 2006 states that new all wet central heating systems should be pre-commission cleaned and treated with a central heating inhibitor. The correct method for inhibiting a central heating system is explained in a British Standard Code of Practice BS 7593:2006. If the cleanliness of a central heating system is maintained from the start, its life span can be extended as well as design efficiency optimised. However, if the efficiency of an existing system has been reduced due to a lack of cleaning or insufficient inhibition protection, remedial action should be taken. Fernox Cleaner F3 and Fernox Powerflushing Cleaner F5 are both designed to recondition systems and are particularly effective if the system is contaminated with black iron oxide sludge. Fernox DS40 System Cleaner should be used if limescale deposition is evident. However, it is important to note that cleaning or descaling will never fully restore the heating system to its original condition. After cleaning, the system should be protected against further corrosion or scaling by using Fernox Protector F1 or Fernox Protector MB-1, or in systems where a system filter has been installed, Fernox Protector + Filter Fluid can be used.
As well as wasting fuel, these deposits cause other problems such as boiler noise and component failure, notably relating to circulator pumps and boiler heat exchangers.
Part L of the Building Regulations for England and Wales 2006 states that new all wet central heating systems should be pre-commission cleaned and treated with a central heating inhibitor. The correct method for inhibiting a central heating system is explained in a British Standard Code of Practice BS 7593:2006.
If the cleanliness of a central heating system is maintained from the start, its life span can be extended as well as design efficiency optimised. However, if the efficiency of an existing system has been reduced due to a lack of cleaning or insufficient inhibition protection, remedial action should be taken.
Fernox Cleaner F3 and Fernox Powerflushing Cleaner F5 are both designed to recondition systems and are particularly effective if the system is contaminated with black iron oxide sludge. Fernox DS40 System Cleaner should be used if limescale deposition is evident. However, it is important to note that cleaning or descaling will never fully restore the heating system to its original condition. After cleaning, the system should be protected against further corrosion or scaling by using Fernox Protector F1 or Fernox Protector MB-1, or in systems where a system filter has been installed, Fernox Filter Fluid+ Protector can be used.
Boiler noise results from localised boiling of the water. This happens when the inside surface of the boiler becomes too hot due to scale or baked- on sludge deposits.
All systems over five years can suffer noise and new boilers in old systems are especially vulnerable. Add Fernox Boiler Noise Silencer F2 and / or de-scale the boiler with Fernox DS40 System Cleaner and protect with Fernox Protector F1 or Protector + Filter Fluid.
One bottle of Fernox Protector F1 or Protector + Filter Fluid will treat a typical system of ten single panel radiators – double panel radiators, count as two radiators.
If the calculated dose rate is in between pack sizes, dose to the higher figure.
No, overdosing is not detrimental to the system. It is important to ensure that sufficient Protector is present in the system.
There is a test kit and a postal testing service to check the Protector concentration. Refer to Protector Test Kit product data sheet for further guidance.
Normally a treatment will last the life of the system but an annual check to determine whether further dosing is necessary is recommended.
If the system is drained, it will need to be re-treated with a further full dose of Protector. You can check if the system is properly dosed using a Fernox Protector Test Kit.
Fernox Cleaner F3 should ideally circulate around the system for at least one hour, or up to a week, after which it should be drained out and the system flushed/ cleaned before adding Fernox Protector F1 or Protector + Filter Fluid together with a Fernox TF1 Filter to protect the system from further corrosion and scale formation.
Fernox Protectors are suitable for use on systems of all ages. However, it would be advantageous to clean and flush the system with Fernox Cleaner F3 to remove sludge before adding the Protector F1.
Alternatively, the universal Fernox Filter Fluid+ Protector can deliver sludge and debris to an existing in-line filter or a newly installed TF1 Filter, whilst protecting the system against further corrosion formation.
Yes, Fernox Boiler Noise Silencer F2 is designed for use with any Fernox Protector.
It should be left permanently in the system with Protector F1 or Protector + Filter Fluid and replaced or topped up at the same time.