It's Hot in the Y.M.C.A
The Montclair Y.M.C.A in New Jersey, America has two swimming pools and shower facilities that require constant hot water - presenting a big challenge to the management and maintenance teams. With such a demand on the heat exchangers, limescale build-up has been a perennial problem, not only does it increase fuel usage, but if left unchecked could result in equipment failure. The centre therefore had to regularly take them off-line to descale the heat exchangers. However, the problem has now largely been removed due to the installation of Hydropath’s ‘Hydroflow’ water treatment system. Due to the large diameter pipes, a Hydroflow C unit was required, the unit is designed to prevent limescale build up in large diameter pipes in commercial installations. Because it affects the property of the water flowing through the system, it can also help remove existing deposits.
'Heating the water caused a scale build up in the heat exchanger tubes, and there was a big loss of heat transfer due to this build up', says Sal Maffettone the Vice President of Metric Plumbing & Heating, who has been responsible for all the centre’s major plumbing and maintenance for the past five years.
The site has previously attempted to increase the life of their appliances, and improve the efficiency of the heat exchangers and boilers using alternative methods. They were only of marginal benefit and still required a large amount of maintenance – not to mention chemical treatments. Management then decided to trial Hydropath’s patented water treatment technology, 'We installed the Hydroflow C60 three months ago. Before the installation, we opened the heat exchanger and saw that the tubes were scaled. We opened the heat exchanger after three months and we could not believe how clean it was inside'.
The technology works by randomly inducing varying electric fields into the water, which propagate through the entire plumbing system. The result is the production of nuclei everywhere in the water system. When the water is heated, the hard water salts, which usually deposit as encrusting limescale on the surfaces, grow in suspension and are washed away in the flow. The electric field treats the water both up and down stream and is transmitted into the central heating system to treat the primary water. The treated water is normally able to dissolve existing scale in just a few weeks.
The management now bypass the water softener and have stopped using chemical additives to let the Hydroflow unit take care of the heat exchanger. They intend to use Hydropath technology for all the boilers and heat exchangers on this site and in other locations undertaking maintenance.
Hydroflow is a very compact unit designed for “maintenance free” operation, it is non-intrusive and works on all types of pipes. The range of products covers all pipes for residential purposes and five commercial ‘C range’ models designed for much larger systems such as hotels, nursing homes, office blocks, health clubs, factories etc. The commercial products cover pipes sizes from 2” – 8” with larger sizes to special order.