central heating maintenance

What Is A MagnaClean And Should You Have One?

Jun-2020 / 5 min read

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Central heating maintenance does not start and stop with annual check-ups. There are a lot of things that can affect your setup. Think about it – the age of your home, location, water type, and habits all contribute to your central heating system’s wear and tear. Proper maintenance always includes a system that addresses those variables.

One of the few things that your boiler, radiator, and pipes have in common is the water. Hard water can create limescale/scale build-up and clog up your system, but another more tricky problem to deal with is the metallic sludge. The air that seeps into your system bit by bit mixes with the water and metal pipes. Next thing you know it, your radiator needs a power flush from all the rust. Adey’s MagnaClean is a system that addresses this. 

What Is It?

It is a filter by Adey whose creator is a former apprentice for British Gas. The MagnaClean filter is something he created for other installers. They place the filter in the pipes before the water enters the heating system with magnetic filtration. It is just like the old science school project with magnets and sand. It attracts the bits of metal and separates it from the rest. 

What Is The Product Range?

The Adey MagnaClean is not just one product. It is a whole range of products. At the moment they have the following filters: 

  1. MagnaClean Pro 3 Sense (22mm) at £148.36
  2. MagnaClean Pro 2 (28mm) at £232.85
  3. MagnaClean Atom at (22mm) £84.00*
  4. MagnaClean Micro2 at £136.66
  5. MagnaClean Professional 2XP (28mm) at £232.85
  6. MagnaClean TwinTech at £151.96
  7. MagnaCleanse at £564.60

Please note that all the prices above come from Wolseley’s website. It does not include VAT, and some of them have additional parts. To get an accurate price, don’t forget the 20% VAT. Promotions are available for most of these products. Keep an eye out for deals and bundles. These prices are subject to change, and it is best to ask about the price before purchasing. The prices here should give you an idea of the new front-runners of MagnaClean’s filters. 

Each product has its own specialisation, but the tech behind them is pretty similar. Among the 7 models, the UK’s favourite seems to be the MagnaClean Pro 2, a new revamp of the MagnaClean Pro 1. For this 5 stars product, statistics on their website shows that it saves 6% of the annual heating bills by keeping the system efficient. It can extend the lifespan of your central heating system while reducing carbon emissions. The product has a 10-year warranty available as well. 

You can find Adey products from the units to the solutions in stores like City Plumbing Supplies, Graham, Plumbing Trade Supplies (PTS), Plumbase, Travis Perkins, and Wolseley. These filters tend to be a little expensive. Do your research and make sure you are getting the real deal. 

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What Does A MagnaClean Filter Do?

The Adey MagnaClean Professional series does an all-around job. The top and bottom of the canisters take out non-magnetic debris like scale, a common problem in hard water areas. The middle section has magnetic rods that take out the magnetite. Once the magnetite attaches to the rod, it will not move until you clean out the filter. There are no moving parts for the filter. It is just the water going around the magnet. 

Is It Necessary?

Whether your home needs one or not is up to you. Other methods for filtering water before it enters the central heating system are not very efficient. Solutions like fine mesh strainers or cloth filters need frequent replacements. They do not get every kind of debris, and they can also clog up your system.

The filter, on the other hand, is pretty low-maintenance. It requires minimal cleaning and receives better results. There is no harm in getting one as a precautionary step.

Is It A Good Investment?

It depends. It is very understandable if you are hesitating. It is an expensive investment. If you are the type to only purchase if you need it, here are questions you can use to see if it will be a worthwhile investment for your home:

  1. How old is your house/building? Is it from the 1960s?
  2. Do you live in an area with hard water?
  3. Do you have to bleed your radiators often?
  4. Do your boiler and radiators have rusty valves?
  5. How often do you have to power flush your radiators?

If you answer “yes” or “very often” to these questions, then an Adey MagnaClean can be an excellent investment. Houses from the 1960s have untreated pipes that make it easy to rust. Radiators that do not heat evenly have too much sludge and debris inside, and they need a power flush from a professional plumber. The magnetic filter addresses all these problems with little to no effort. 

How Often Should I Clean It?

You should clean your filter once a year. The Adey recommends that you have it done along with other boiler service and radiator maintenance. There is no harm in making a day out of it. 

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How Do I Clean My MagnaClean?

You can opt to clean your filter yourself, but that comes with the risk of leaks. You can have your plumber do it when they visit during your boiler service. However, if you are a bit handy here are the instructions for cleaning the filter.

  1. Close the valves connecting to your magnetic filter
  2. Use a big spanner to ease the lid, then open it completely
  3. Lift the cap along with the plastic sheath and magnet, and transfer it to a container 
  4. Wash the individual parts (the plastic sheath, the magnet, the lid, the rubber seal, etc.) separately in the sink under running water
  5. Wipe it down and reassemble the filter and return it to the rest of the unit
  6. Seal properly and turn the valves on again
  7. Check for leaks

You can also add a bit of silicone lubricant with the rubber seal to make sure it stays tight. If the rubber is a bit stiff or hard, you may want to get another replacement. 

When Do You Replace Your Filter?

You do not ever need to replace the magnetic filter. The MagnaClean has no disposable parts. They should last as long as your boiler. All you have to do is clean it out once in a while for it to work efficiently. The only things that need replacement or top-ups are the scale reducers and other solutions if you use them. For these solutions, please use the recommended dosage. 

How Do You Remove MagnaClean?

If you are removing it to wash, follow the instructions above. Turn off the isolation valves and use the lid spanner that comes with the filter and unscrew the lid. They are notoriously hard to open when the cover is not clean. So make sure you do that step properly and add a bit of silicone grease/lubricant every time you open it. Also, avoid over-tightening it or else suffer at a later date.

However, if you are planning on removing the filter completely, you need to get a professional plumber. To install it, you have cut the pipe and redirect it to the unit. If you are planning on removing the unit, you need to connect those two pipes again. Do not attempt to do this on your own. Pipework should only be done by plumber or else face the consequences of a faulty central heating system. 

Heating systems are a temperamental bunch. However, when you have the system in place, it pretty much does its job without bothering you. Annual maintenance here and there can make a world of difference in your heating bills and carbon emissions. Is the MagnaClean something you need in your home? Plumbingforce can help you with the installation and removal process.

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