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Question for Hot Rod

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bob eck
bob eck Member Posts: 930
I know with the high efficiency condensing boilers and combi boilers and with the newer ECM circulator pumps on most systems there should be a dirt separator with a good magnet installed.
What is the difference between the Caleffi Dirtmag ® dirt separator with magnet, NA5453 series vs the Fernox TF1.
Is one of these products better than the other removing the dirt from a hydronic boiler system? Our Fernox rep was telling me their magnet is way stronger and better than the magnet used on the Caleffi Dirtmag. What is your opinion?
Contractors what brand are you using the Caleffi or Fernox or are you using another brand? Are these units pulling the dirt and iron out of the systems?

Comments

  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,438
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    The one real difference is where the magnet is. The TF1 is inside and it is larger. The Caleffi is around the outside.
    The Tf1 only does dirt separation.
    Caleffi does a bunch of things. In a number of ways.
    I have used both.
    If the system is particularly nasty (Polybutylene and panel rads) I have done a Caleffi air separator on the supply and a TF1 on the return w/ inhibitor...
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    edited July 2017
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    Bob...
    Last month, after being in service for a full year with my HTP mod-con with Grundfos Alpha ECM pump- I drained my Caleffi 5461 DIRTMAG Dirt Separator with Magnet.

    I first removed the magnetic ring, then drained out about 1.5 quarts to be sure it was completely flushed out. At the bottom of the collection pan there sat a quarter size collection of fine grained ferrous metal particles.
    I feel it was doing it's job....
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,246
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    All of the Caleffi magnetic options are both dirt separators and magnetic separators. The same media or mesh technology used for micro bubble air is used in the dirtmag separators.

    The media will pull down to a 5 micron size, about the thickness of a human hair. The magnet grabs the smallest magnetite particles which can be a .05 micron.

    Magnetite often looks like inky colored water, you may not realize you have those small particles in the fluid.

    No need to open up the DirtMags to flush or clean them, just blow down via the ball valve.

    The DiscalDirtMag does 3 functions, the Sep 4 does 4 functions dirt, air, magnetic and hydraulic separation.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Mark Eatherton
  • Steve Thompson (Taco)
    Steve Thompson (Taco) Member Posts: 204
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    Hot Rod, what's your opinion of the magnet location and the overall effects of the "efficiency" of how much iron oxide is captured? Is the magnet internal type better than the external type or does it even matter?

    And, do you recommend an inline filter that see 100% of the flow or a side stream that only sees partial flow?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,246
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    Hot Rod, what's your opinion of the magnet location and the overall effects of the "efficiency" of how much iron oxide is captured? Is the magnet internal type better than the external type or does it even matter?

    And, do you recommend an inline filter that see 100% of the flow or a side stream that only sees partial flow?


    Good questions.
    I like the ability of being able to clean and flush without disassembling the device.
    The design inside is critical, the brands that use a media or mesh inside are doing dual function. Particles, even metal particles are being separated by the action of the fluid through the media as well as the magnet. The media inside have a center no, or low velocity zone to allow particles to fall, and the media causes turbulent flow to separate also around the outside.

    With a mag only type of device you really do not catch teflon tape shards, copper or pex reamings, PP shavings from cutting, etc. All the stuff that the installer leaves behind that is not attracted to a magnet must be removed.

    Remember also we really would prefer not to have magnetite in or being developed in the first place! Treat the causes not the symptom. If every year you flush large amounts of magnetite, better to address the cause. You need at least 5 fps flow velocity to adequately purge solid debris from a piping system. It usually takes a flush pump to provide that on piping over 3/4"

    We like the pictures and videos sent to us showing the particles being removed over a period of time from retro systems, either new boilers or ECM pump upgrades, and proper water quality and or treatment to prevent reoccurrence.

    Most of those mag sep You Tubes online are from the UK. The large, ongoing amounts of magnetite are on open systems with steel panel rads. Not a typical US system.

    If the device is designed and engineered to work for all the typical particles commonly found in a system and does not present flow restriction as it works, like Y strainers do, then 100% flow all the time is my preference.

    It's not just the circulators that mag separation protects, the boiler manufacturers are seeing warranty issues caused by crude in their heat exchangers, as are components like zone valves, balance valves, manifold actuators, etc. Some of that is magnetite or hematite, magnets are a nice addition to a dirt separator for that tiny particle size.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Harvey Ramerbob eckkcopp
  • bob eck
    bob eck Member Posts: 930
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    Thanks Hot Rod for this info.

    Take care.
  • bob eck
    bob eck Member Posts: 930
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    Oh by the way F W Webb sells the Caleffi Dirtmag and other Caleffi products. Just give us a call.