System Cleaners: Which One is Right for You?
Ideally you never need to clean your heat transfer system but should that time come it’s good to know you have options. Which one you go with will depend mostly on how badly fouled your system is.
Clean while running production
Down time is always at a premium and if the system isn’t too badly fouled there are cleaners that will clean without stopping production. DuraClean can be used for preventative maintenance on the fly to clean while you run production (up to 550°F) and it can be left in the system for a complete oil cycle if needed.
Simply drain your current fluid, fill with DuraClean, and run production for a typical oil cycle. If the system is heavily fouled, it should be used with caution as it could knock deposits loose, causing blockages and disrupting production in systems with smaller lines and orifices. There’s even a food-grade version, DuraClean FG, and a version called U-Clean that was developed specifically for PAG (polyalkylene glycol) fluids like Duratherm G and UCON 500.
DuraClean LSC can also be used while running production but it’s an additive-style cleaner meant for larger systems where filling the entire system with cleaner is simply too costly. DuraClean LSC can be added to existing fluids at up to 10% concentration to clean while still running production. It’s designed to clean slowly and should be cycled for 3-4 weeks to ensure a thorough cleaning but can be left in the system indefinitely.
What if things are really bad?
For severely fouled systems or ones that need to be cleaned quickly, a solvent-like cleaner such as DuraClean Ultra is your best bet. It’s fast-acting and aggressive but you can’t run production while you clean. Fortunately, it usually takes only a few hours to clean. DuraClean Ultra requires that you drain all the heat transfer fluid, refill with DuraClean Ultra and circulate for 4-6 hours (or longer if possible). Afterwards the system can just be thoroughly drained (or flushed if needed) and refilled.
But how did this happen in the first place?
There are a number of reasons you might be in need of a cleaner. Usually it means you’ve left the fluid in use for too long, your expansion tank was running hot, air entered your system or there’s been a sudden stop in flow due to a power outage or emergency stop. Understanding fluid degradation will help extend the service life of your thermal fluid and minimize the need for cleaning.
This should give you a good overview of cleaning your thermal fluid. If you need help choosing the cleaner that’s best for your application, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Michael Bates, Technical Director
1-800-446-4910 ext. 111