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Dirt Separator?

SV9_9
SV9_9 Member Posts: 37
Hello folks. Is a Spirotherm dirt separator effective for removing iron particulate from a closed hot water heating system? I am planning to instal an ECM zone circulator. Is a mag separator essential with an ECM?

Thanks, J

Comments

  • newagedawn
    newagedawn Member Posts: 586
    not sure about the spirotherm, but if you have bad iron content in your water you can add an inhibitor to neutralize the iron content from destroying your system
    "The bitter taste of a poor install lasts far longer than the JOY of the lowest price"
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,768
    If you are going to the trouble of installing a dirt separator I would go all out and do the magnetic version. I have used the caleffi 5461 and had good results. That does air and dirt w/ a magnet all in one.
    Is it needed?...time will tell.
    It really depends on your system and your make up water quality...
    How old is the system?
    What is the system make up like? Lots of steel piping or Copper? What is the radiation like... Cast iron rads or fin tube baseboard?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,835
    Start with top quality fill water. many of the problems with boilers, pumps, valves, and components starts from bad water.

    Treating the water will handle the problems like iron, hardness, and scaling minerals in your water.

    Magnetic separators will handle and metal particles that can develop after the system is running for a period of time.

    Most common is magnetite, a very small particle almost impossible to filter out, but it does sticks well to a magnet.

    Either catch it or the ECM pump will, and not have a happy life doing it :)

    Magnetite forms from oxygen getting into the system. O2 ingress is near impossible eliminate in hydronic systems, so a good micro bubble air removal along with a mag separator should be standard equipment on all jobs. But especially so with ECM circulators.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    HVACNUT
  • SV9_9
    SV9_9 Member Posts: 37
    Thank you all for your response. I will get a mag separator.
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    FWIW- I have a Caleffi 5461 on my mod-con system with an ECM pump. It's been running a full year now.

    I flushed it out over the weekend- I did get some (what looks like) magnetite particles out of it once I removed the magnetic band during the flush out procedure.
    It works... really glad I have it!
  • Dave H_2
    Dave H_2 Member Posts: 451
    @SV9_9 It will depend upon the ECM circ being used. Some have BIO barriers (Black-Iron Oxide) built in so a mag sep is not required if you want to use an ECM circulator. The ones that do have BIO barriers, remember that it is not a filter so therefore not a service item that needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. BIO barriers prevent the magnetite from entering the cartridge on first fill. Cartridges take in the initial fill of boiler water and stay there, it is not continuously flowing through the cartridge.

    Treating boiler water and filtering is never a bad idea, just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.

    Dave H.
    Dave H
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,835
    Confirming and assuring that your system fluid remains in spec is critical for all the components in the system. Non warranty boiler failures, often the most expensive component, are most often related to water or fluid quality issues.
    The boiler manufacturers have been upping the ante on fluid quality spec. It is unusual to find tap or well water that meets all these specs.

    Magnetic separation is just another good option that has proven to be of value with any system that has a wet, permanent magnet type circulator, Mag separation is inexpensive insurance.

    Magnetite removal devices are intended to catch the particles before they can cause harm, and it is an ongoing, easily serviced device. Observing the separated particles, when you blow them down gives you an indication of the health of your system as the years go by. Put a magnet next to the drained out particles.

    Non barrier tubing systems would be well advised to frequently monitor magnetite formation.

    If you are not considering protection for all the components, make sure you are not doing it for the wrong reasons.

    I see all the pump manufacturers trying to address potential magnetite issues, be it a "barrier" or a "magnetite resistance" feature, a good step to protect the circulator and lessen warranty claims.

    To me it looks like a wad of cotton in the shaft is one component and method being implemented, that may help but possibly not provide 100% protection.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,768
    this is a unit I installed and was running for just 2 week on a 4 zone baseboard system... boiler had just been replaced.

  • mcgee45
    mcgee45 Member Posts: 7
    NY_Rob said:

    FWIW- I have a Caleffi 5461 on my mod-con system with an ECM pump. It's been running a full year now.

    I flushed it out over the weekend- I did get some (what looks like) magnetite particles out of it once I removed the magnetic band during the flush out procedure.
    It works... really glad I have it!

    Good to hear another good comment about Caleffi 5461.
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,796
    Caleffi, makes some great products...I still get e mails from them, inviting me to the online seminars...
  • SV9_9
    SV9_9 Member Posts: 37
    Thanks to everyone for their input. This site is a great resource, and I appreciate your shared insight very much.