A Guide to BS 7953:2019, What Is It And How To Comply?

BS 7953:2019 is the British Standard code of practice for preparation, commissioning and maintenance of domestic central heating and water cooling systems. Individual domestic premises will need to apply this when commissioning a system for the first time or re-commissioning following the installation of a new boiler, or any other remedial work. The guidance includes individual heating circuits within a  block of flats, heat interface units and wet cooling systems too.

When does it come into force?

The new code of practice came into compliance on the 31st of May 2019. This new set of regulations replaced the ones published in 2006 and is a regulatory requirement within building regulations.

Why the change?

After collecting and analysing evidence, The British Standards Institute has decided to make amendments to ensure its guidance is still fit for purpose. They now have a better understanding about the effective water treatment for today’s appliances and steps that can be taken to reduce the negative impacts of corrosion. Chemical water treatment is no longer the fit and forget solution and magnetic filters should be a standard. Most boilers that fail within the first year of installment do so because of poor water quality. By adding re-dosing, regular testing, the mandatory installment of an in-line filter and proper system cleaning, the efficiency and life expectancy of each household system can be improved.

Summary of revised standards

  • For the first time, the fitting of a permanent in-line filter is required in addition to a chemical clean and fresh water flush before inhibitor is added • An in-line filter should be fitted to ALL systems
  • All recommended cleaning methodologies can be improved with external magnetite capture equipment and mechanical vibration of radiators • An on-site water test is required to test the level of inhibitor and cleanliness of the system every year
  • Inhibitor should be re-dosed every five-years or a full system water test undertaken
  • BS 7593:2019 is now applicable to both closed loop heating and cooling circuits
  • Biocide is required in cooling and low temperature heating systems, and should be considered for higher temperature systems for added protection during downtime

How to comply

Following these 6 steps of the Best Practice Approach will ensure that the boiler installation meets the new British standards.

  1. Clean

Use cleaning chemicals to remove and resolve any sludge that has built up in the pipes radiator or boiler. 

Using a specially formulated chemical product (specifically for a heating/cooling system) all systems should be cleaned. This helps to remove installation debris, grease and solder. Even new systems can be subject to these types of blockages. Thorough cleaning will help to prevent this.

  1. Magnacleanse

Flush the entire system so water is completely free from sludge. 

Before commissioning a new system it should be flushed. The speed and effectiveness of cleaning can be improved by magnetite capture and the mechanical vibration of radiators. Cleansing the system will ensure efficiency. Flushing should also be completed during a repair of an existing system.

  1. Magnaclean

Fit a filter to keep freshly cleaned water clear. This will catch any sludge and prevent corrosion. 

Once the clean has been completed, an in-line filter should be fitted immediately. This is compliant for all systems. If a filter is already installed, this would need to be serviced as part of the commissioning process.

  1. Protect

Does the system with protective chemicals to slow corrosion. Preventing wear and tear will reduce sludge. 
During the final fill with fresh water, chemical inhibitors should be added. Systems that run slower during the winter months must be protected from freezing. For systems that run at temperatures below 60°C (underfloor heating and cooling systems) biocides are particularly important.

  1. Test

Check the systems water regularly with testing kits. This will ensure you’re always one step ahead of any problems. 

After commissioning the level of inhibition and cleanliness of the system will need to be tested. To do this you’ll need to carry out a water test. This should also be completed annually throughout the systems lifespan.

  1. Maintain

Provide maximum protection for your systems by keeping up with regular maintenance. This could include cleaning/changing the filter or re-dosing with chemicals. 

You’ll need to re-dose the chemical inhibitors every 5 years. External laboratory tests should also be carried out to ensure chemicals have not degraded over time. If work on the system has caused the protection to be significantly diluted, the inhibitor protection should be checked to ensure it still meets the recommended concentration. 
Following all these steps will ensure that you’re complying with the BS 7953:2019 code of practice. Not only is this a legal requirement, but it will infuse benefits such as ensuring the performance quality of your installations. Contact us to answer any further questions you may have or advice on your system.

A Guide to BS 7953:2019, What Is It And How To Comply

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