Summer checks and tests maintain hydronic heating systems and your professional reputation

Summer is a time for fun, for rest and relaxation — for enjoying activities those of us in colder climates sorely missed all winter. But for professional heating contractors looking to build their businesses and their professional reputations, summer is also a time of great opportunity.

Or at least it should be...

A thriving business builds a strong following by consistently delivering quality — not just in product, but also in the services it provides. Market leaders look to separate themselves from the pack by offering progressively higher levels of customer satisfaction. That means not only solving customer problems as they arise but also helping home and building owners avoid those problems in the first place.

Which is why the end of the heating season and the onset of summer is an ideal time to schedule annual maintenance checks with your customers. You might also use this service to expand your client base: What better way to launch a new relationship than a thorough a warm-weather assessment of a hydronic heating system before the mercury begins to drop again?

Of course, most customers will want to take the summer off from their heating systems. But if your maintenance program brings something unique to the table — an innovation that will help the home or building owner avoid costly repairs in the not-too-distant future — you are more likely to encounter a receptive audience.

Why not focus your attention — and that of your customer — on the quality of the water circulating through the heating system? Poor water quality is a leading cause of system failure. The main culprit is magnetite, also known as black iron oxide sludge, which builds up as a consequence of untreated oxidation in the system. This sludge undercuts system performance and efficiency by fouling pumps, exhausting inhibitors used to protect metallic components, blocking heat exchangers and, if left untreated, eventually causing boiler breakdowns.

What home or building owner wouldn’t want to avoid these problems before they happen? But how can they know whether their heating systems are vulnerable to breakdowns caused by magnetite?

Simple. Their systems need to be tested. And this testing is the “something-special” you can bring to your yearly maintenance checks.

For example, ADEY offers the MagnaClean® RapidTest to determine iron oxide levels in the water circulating through a heating system. It consists of a magnetic stick small enough to fit onto a keychain, so you can easily carry it into every job site you visit. What’s more, you can share the test’s quick results with the homeowner on the spot. The test is conducted in three easy steps:

  1. Put a small sample of system water into a bucket.
  2. Dip and swirl the magnetic stick in the bucket water for 20 seconds.
  3. Remove the stick and check its color.
  4. Black or grey coloration indicates historical corrosion has built up in the system over time. Orange or brown means corrosion is actively present and a serious, growing problem.

rapidtest before and after.JPG

In either case, a MagnaClean magnetic dirt filter can help eliminate the problem. MagnaClean filters contain a neodymium magnet within a sleek, sheath design to maximize iron-oxide capture. Available in a range of sizes to fit an equally wide range of applications, ADEY MagnaClean filters have zero operating costs and no moving parts. A quick-release trigger and rapid-fit connectors enable a filter to be removed, cleaned and re-installed in just a few minutes.

The RapidTest, however, is not the only test that ADEY has to offer. In addition, ADEY offers the MC1+™ Quick Test. quick test strips 2.jpeg Containing two strips, the MC1+ Quick Test identifies whether adequate levels of inhibitor are present in a system. As with the RapidTest, just dip a test strip in a sample of system water for a few seconds and then wait for the color to emerge. Comparing this result with the accompanying color chart will indicate whether ADEY’s MC1+ protector needs to be added to protect the system.

Sign up for the ADEY “Budge That Sludge” newsletter to receive a FREE MagnaClean RapidTest and MC1+ Quick Test sachet. Just click here. Or, email us with your name and address at

Summer service checks that incorporate this type of water-quality testing can make a substantial difference in the performance and efficiency of a hydronic heating system, come winter. You look like a hero to your customer, while avoiding all those profit-draining, warranty/no-fee emergency service calls when a poorly maintained system inevitably breaks down.

That’s the kind of service excellence that will keep you coming back for annual maintenance checks summer after summer after summer. Maintaining your customers’ heating systems is a great way to maintain your business, its bottom line, and your professional reputation.

After all, “seeing is believing”.