Heavy Duty Gas Bulk Hot Water Systems – the importance of routine servicing

Heavy duty gas bulk hot water systems are found predominantly in blocks of apartments and office buildings and are utilised as one centralised hot water unit, suppling all the hot water to the fixtures throughout the building. The plants commonly comprise of hot water storage tanks that are fed from heavy duty continuous flow hot water systems (also known as gas boosters) and then reticulated throughout the building on a ring main line. Alternatively the water can be pumped directly through the booster units and into the building. The system can comprise of a single or multiple boosters depending on the demand required.


These plants may also consist of an integrated solar hot water preheat system as an addition. This would assist in the heating of the water before coming into the system to maximise efficiency and operation.


In all cases there are numerous components making up the plant. These components do require servicing and maintenance in order to prolong the operation and overall performance of the plant. The daily demand and delivery of hot water is immense and therefore it needs to be noted that these plants work at a very high level of operation . These components include but are not limited to:


·        Tanks

·        Boosters

·        Pumps

·        Ring main Valves

·        Controllers

·        Sensor devices

·        Solar panels


Each of the components have parts:


·        Filters

·        Heat exchangers

·        Valves

·        Electronics

·        Flue dampers


Water sediment is found in both the incoming water into the building and water returning through the ring main. This is the primary cause of the water inlet filters to block up and restrict the incoming flow of water into the system. This can cause abnormal operation of the system i.e. run at a high temperature, become intermittent and even shut down at times.


When the boosters don’t run smoothly, which is largely contributed by issues like the flue blocking or insects on the burners,this may cause carbon build up through the flue outlets that will becoming a hazard. While this in turn creates functional issues with the system, the more alarming factor is that the heat exchanger begin to break down and deteriorate. As a result there will be a reduction in efficiency and water temperature into the building is compromised to a large degree.


These plants should be serviced regularly usually on a biannual basis. If the rate of filter blockage is faster due to poor water quality in the area this may require quarterly servicing or a pre filtration device can be installed prior to the plant.


Generally regular servicing extends the life and efficiency of these hot water plants, preventing the units from breaking down  and getting the most out of them.



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