Inhibitor - Is it worth paying more for Fernox F1 and Sentinal X100

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Budgieman, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. Budgieman

    Budgieman New Member

    I'm currently cleaning my fully pumped heating system as good practice. In preparation for flushing and adding inhibitor I note that Screwfix sell at least 3. The main two are Fernox F1 and Sentinal X100 but there is also Flomasta 0616 which is half the price of the other two. On a 12 rad system I can save £15 by using the Flomasta 0616.
    I'm more than happy to pay the extra £15 if I am getting something better but equally don't want to waste £15 for absolutely no benefit.
    Should I go for either of the main 2 or save my pennies?
  2. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    Good question and I, as a heating guy am not sure tbh.
    Firstly I would say the most important thing is the system is piped correctly and ideally a sealed system.
    Obviously cleaned and a mag filter fitted can help.
    If you intend to do any work in the near future, then a double dose of the cheaper inhibitors might be wiser.
    I know Fernox has a good reputation and I have used it most of my time.
    It is expensive though.
    Note that the Center Brand inhibitor from Plumb Center is actually made by Fernox I believe, but much cheaper.
    The Adey inhibitor is another to consider and at half the cost of the most expensive like Fernox.
    If you plan to top up the system periodically with inhibitor, then the savings will more.
    Budgieman and KIAB like this.
  3. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    As to magnetic filter, Magnaclean Pro 2, nothing better for collecting crud, pointless putting cleaner in a system if your just going to be recirculating & not collecting the crud that's been dislodged.
    Heat and Budgieman like this.
  4. The Teach

    The Teach Well-Known Member

    They all have to meet the relevant British standard or the same European standard. They all have to preform the same job.

    If a system has a named inhibitor already added its often advised to continue using that product,sometimes the advice is sales lead :p
    Heat and Budgieman like this.
  5. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    Adey's chemicals - as Heat points out - is much better priced than most, even Sentinel (some superb buys on t'Bay).

    I have used their system cleaners (MC3 and 5?) and could see instant results in the stuff collected by the Magnaclean I had connected. Based on that I went on to use their inhibitor and also their long-life cleaner.

    (Hang on - X900 is Sentinel... :oops: )
    Heat and Budgieman like this.
  6. Budgieman

    Budgieman New Member

    Thanks everyone the consensus seems to be they all do the same with minimal (if any) difference.
    I'm now interested in the magnetic filter as i don't have one. Reading up on them they seem a no brainer. I note what KIAB says about it being *pointless putting cleaner in a system if your just going to be recirculating & not collecting the crud that's been dislodged". I assumed that when I flush it out, probably 2 or 3 times that would get rid of the dislodged crud? or is it not as simple as that. However i do fully appreciate how the magnetic filter even in the cleaned system would collect the future crud in one easy to clean place.
    My boiler is in the garage and i could easily fit one on either the flow or return in the garage would that be okay? or would it be better in the airing cupboard near to the pump?
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  7. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
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  8. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    Budgie, do you have actual concerns about the amount of sludge in your system? Has there been any suggestion that there is a significant amount in there?

    Do you have a modern condensing boiler, especially a combi? (That combination makes a clean system really important as the very narrow waterways can clog quite easily, as I know to my cost.)

    Anyhoo, you'd be NUTS to not fit a magnetic filter on the return pipe to your boiler. As KIAB says, it'll keep on collecting the small bits of sludge as they get loosened over time.

    I had repeated problems due to sludge in my old rad system - my new condensing combi boiler would develop a block P2P exchanger every few years, and the diverter valve would also seize up now and then.

    I had to sort this - and adding cleaners for a few days followed by flushes just didn't cut it. Even a Magnacleanse filter - even tho' it would collect some crud - didn;t ultimately prevent an further P2P exchanger from getting blocked...

    So, I removed the filter and plumbed in a Magnaclean instead. That's the BIG baby, the one used by plumbers to 'flush' systems. I added a couple of doses of strong cleaner and set it going for a couple of weeks. It instantly caught a shed-load, and this fell away quickly over the next few days. Peasy.

    When I was confident that no more sludge was being collected, I removed the Magna and connected a couple of hoses to the connectors instead - the 'return' to the boiler was connected to a garden tap and the 'return' from the system to a drain hose (in to a bucket so's I could monitor it). I let it run for a good half-hour (no meter...)

    Once done, the wee Magna was refitted along with a dose of inhibitor as well as a dose of X900 - long-term cleaner.

    So far so good.

    Yes, the Magnaclean will cost you around £250 2nd-hand on t'Bay, but you'll be able to sell it on for exactly the same amount afterwards.
    KIAB and Heat like this.
  9. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    I have noticed that on a system with magnetic filter installed that finally stops picking up any sludge, but if the system has any disturbance, like a drain down and refill, then the filter will immediately pick up significant dirt.
    Shows how important it is to have a mag filter on a gas boiler, particularily on a system that has any old pipes or rads.
    It is impossible to remove all the dirt that accumulates on the inside of pipes and rads in old systems no doubt, so it will need the mag filter to save the boiler and pump
    Allsorts likes this.
  10. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Magnacleanse is the BIG baby;).

    IT's MAGNACLEANSE!:rolleyes:

    I bought one cheap on Ebay, left it connected to system for a week to work it's magic, did quite a few other systems for peeps, then it went back on Ebay, made more than I paid for it.:)
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
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  11. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Funny you say that,had exactly the same happen here,filter had nothing, then I added Sentinel X900 Filter Aid, & I had about 7-10 days of activty, & filter emptying, now filter is just checked twice a year now.
  12. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    Yes, probably going to sound like I am contradicting my point praising the installation of a mag filter, but frankly they don't do much on a system that has the moving water clean.
    Except on some filthy systems, the dirt only goes into suspension if disturbed by work done, or flushing, or draining, or chemical cleaners.
    So filters can be a bit of a unused add on, once a system is clean or on a brand new sealed system.

    I noticed a system had a lot of black magnetite lying in bottom of radiators when I removed some for a customer for decorating.
    Later I drained the system to flush it and the customer commented the water was spotless. Once we removed rest of his radiators did he see they were all filthy.
  13. Budgieman

    Budgieman New Member

    Hi Allsorts,
    3 years ago i fitted one of those fancy/trendy(ish) stainless vertical designer rads. I recently noticed that a couple of the tubes took ages to get warm compared to others. I put in x400 cleaner a week ago in after a couple of days those tubes heated as quick as the others.
    I have a 20 year old fully pumped system with the 3 position valve in the airing cupboard. Other than the recent issue I've not had an issue with sludge on than the occasional small amounts i noticed when i take a rad off.
    My plan is to leave the X400 in for 2 weeks ( max period in instructions) to fully loosen everything up, flush the system well, fit a magnet and add inhibitor. How does that sound?
  14. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    The three F's.

    Fit filter first.:)

    Then add cleaner,pointless just adding cleaner & recirculating the crud around system.
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  15. Budgieman

    Budgieman New Member

    Even before i fully flush the cleaner out?o_O (cleaner already in i'm afraid which could be the 4th F)
  16. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    If you already added X400 to system,then you can only throughly flush system,then fit filter, it will collect any further crud, but I would always drain system,& fit a filter first,refill, before adding any cleaner, as I can't see the sense in recirculating the crud around a system.

    X400 can be safely left in system3-4 weeks.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2018
  17. Budgieman

    Budgieman New Member

    Cheers KIAB. A lesson learnt but everyday is a learning day. Appreciate your time and advice.
    KIAB likes this.
  18. Allsorts

    Allsorts Well-Known Member

    As KIAB says.

    Just think of that rad you freed up - where did that loosened sludge go to?! Almost certainly settling at the lowest point of the system where it'll solidify and compact again, quite possibly at the bottom of the main exchanger in the boiler.

    Get a filter and install it - priority. Everything else will be a bonus... :)
    KIAB likes this.
  19. Budgieman

    Budgieman New Member

    Hi KIAB,
    Can i trouble you again please?
    Have just fitted the Magna clean which was straightforward.
    However the boiler now does not fire up fully?
    The pilot light is on and i have re lit it a couple of times.
    But when i put the heating and/or hot water on the pump goes but the boiler never fires up. Its as if the request to supply full gas is not happening. I've had the cover off and the pilot is aimed niceley across the burners as far as i can see.
  20. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    Airlock in system, or you haven’t turned a valve back on, like on the filter

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