Welcome to our 5-minute guide that covers:
If you don’t know already, central heating inhibitor is one of the crucial products that protects your heating system.
And if you don’t believe us, dig out your boiler warranty…
Most boiler manufacturers insist that heating systems are dosed with inhibitor.
If they’re not? Your boiler warranty could be void!
Over time, this breaks off and either liquifies into heating sludge, or gets stuck in important components throughout your heating system.
It can lead to annoying and costly problems such as:
Central heating inhibitor is a powerful liquid that helps break down rust and minerals quickly.
But, it’s only the first piece of the puzzle.
Adding heating and radiator inhibitor is pointless, if you don’t have a method of extracting this sludge from your system.
And that leads us to this. To fully protect your boiler and heating system, you’ll need three things:
These three items combined will:
We’ll quickly explain how each piece of the puzzle works…
As we’ve mentioned, your heating & radiator inhibitor will break down any rust and minerals, so it’s easily extracted from your heating system.
Now the junk in your heating system has been broken down, it needs to be removed from the system.
This is where the magnetic boiler filter comes in. This will catch most heating sludge.
These units will fill up with gunk over time. And when they do, they’ll no longer have the capacity to remove heating sludge.
For that reason, they must be cleaned out (once per annum with your annual boiler service, will be fine).
Scale reducers are usually recommended in hard water areas. However, for their price and the damage they prevent, we’d recommend having one fitted anyway.
Scale reducers help to remove limescale (which comes from the minerals in water). Magnetic boiler filters won’t be able to catch this scale.
Essentially, it’s a small price to pay, for something that’s going to increase efficiency, reduce boiler problems and save you money on repairs.
First up, which heating inhibitor should you buy?
There’s no “best” product so to speak. But, you’ll want to stick with reputable brands.
And, it’s important you choose the right protector. Each brand has a range of heating liquids designed for different things.
We’d consider the following three to be the best central heating inhibitors on the market. You won’t go far wrong with any of them:
We have no qualms using any of the above inhibitors.
Next, you’re going to need a magnetic boiler filter to catch sludge.
We’ve created a larger guide dedicated to magnetic boiler filters here.
Here’s that in summary…
When buying a boiler filter, make sure you know what inlet pipe size you have to your boiler.
It will be 22mm or 28mm. And, boiler filters are sized to suit. Hopefully, it’s 22mm, as these filters are much cheaper than 28mm.
Boiler filters aren’t a one-size fits all, and prices vary a great deal.
Most brands produce a normal sized filer (for instance, the MagnaClean Pro 2), and a compact filter (such as the MagnaClean Micro).
These compact filters have a smaller housing, and that means they’ll be able to collect less sludge.
For small properties with only a few radiators, a compact filter will be fine if cleaned out regularly.
But personally, we’d always opt for a full-size filter.
#1 – MagnaClean
#2 – BoilerMag
#3 – Fernox
#5 – Worcester Bosch
#6 – Sentinel
If budget allows, we’d be heading for the Fernox TF1.
However, the cheap option that we’d recommend comes from Altecnic. Essentially, they’re up there with the leading brands, but they don’t brand themselves as well. They make a tonne of quality plumbing and heating parts.
What does that mean? The Altecnic boiler filter offers similar performance as the likes of the TF1, for a fraction of the price.
Now we’re onto catching limescale.
I worked at a plumbing merchant for a couple of years, and know that the ScaleMaster brand is the top selling scale reducer we stocked.
In fact, they produce scale reducers for lots of the brands mentioned above (who then, brand them as their own).
So, if you’re looking for the best scale reducer, I’d be heading for ScaleMaster, with my second choice being MagnaClean.
Now you’ve got your central heating inhibitor, boiler filter and scale reducer; here’s a quick warning.
One of the most common problems we come across, is boilers losing pressure.
Pressure loss comes from leaks.
This could be something simple, such as a pin-hole in a radiator. However, it could be something more serious, like a leaking boiler, which could damage internal electronics.
Either way, we find most people simply keep topping up their boiler pressure. As water escapes and you add more, you’ll be diluting your central heating inhibitor.
Every time you top up, you’ll have lost some inhibitor. Eventually, your boiler and radiators won’t be protected.
Thanks for reading our 5-minute guide to central heating inhibitor, and the best ways to protect your heating system.
Still got questions? Drop a comment below and we’ll reply as soon as possible.