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    CHRISX Active Member

    Hello All,

    I would be interested to see Members opinions about a relatively new Heating system water additive.

    Today I saw this product described in an article from the Installer online magazine - previously `The Gas Installer` magazine which was published by CORGI.

    The product is called EndoTherm - here is a link to the online magazine article:

    Five reasons why installers should use energy-saving heating system additives - Installer Online

    The product manufacturer claims that it changes the properties of the Heating system water - making it more thermally efficient / chemically wetter - reducing the surface tension by more than 60% - regarding that the Radiators would heat up more evenly and quicker.

    They claim that the additive will save approximately 15% on the cost of the Gas required to heat a property - which as the product is stated to cost £36.00 [probably plus VAT ?] for a 500ml bottle - `enough for 12 Radiators` would very quickly repay the cost of the additive.

    IF that 15% saving could be readily achieved it would be a `must have additive` - especially as it is stated that it can be added to `dirty water` / existing system water.

    I have heard of this type of `water changing` additive before but I am sceptical about these claims about saving approx. 15% on gas / Fuel Bills.

    I had previously intended to try and find out more about the `Science` regarding `improving heat transfer from heated water via Radiators` AND whether it would be compatible with existing Corrosion Inhibitors - but personal circumstances at that time diverted my attention away and I then forgot about these additives / the claims until Today`s online magazine article.

    I might try to find out more information about this Heating system additive and IF I see plausible details supporting the claims I would think about trying it in my own Home`s heating system.

    However depending on how this Winter`s temperatures compare with last Winters it will probably be difficult to do a cost comparison.

    What do Members think of the Manufacturers `details` / claims ?

  2. ShaunCorbs

    ShaunCorbs S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    snake water (they used to use something like this for car radiators)
    • Like Like x 1

    CHRISX Active Member

    Hello Shaun,

    I am sure that You are correct.

    Having heard about similarly described Heating system additives a couple of years ago what surprises me is that the article / free publicity was selected for inclusion in what I know is a well regarded / relevant online Gas & Heating Industry magazine.

    Although most of the Editorial staff probably don`t have much Technical / Industry knowledge they obviously do have `Technical Advisors` who I would imagine peruse the articles that are selected for publication ?

    As I am sure You were - when CORGI operated the Gas Register I used to be subscribed to `The Gas Installer` magazine which is now `The Installer` online magazine where the article was published.

    I don`t recall reading about many products either in the actual Magazine or the online version where I thought `How could they have published an article about this product ?` - regarding the product details being obviously `dubious`.

    As You might agree - IF this additive was shown to work / saving 15% on Gas / Fuel Bills it would be a `must have` for almost every Heating system !

  4. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member

    As any real scientist will tell you, extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.

    Looking at the claims on the Endothem website:

    "Due to the surface tension of fluid and imperfections in materials inside heating systems optimal thermal contact is not made."

    Surface tension is irrelevant to the thermal contact between the water and the radiator. Even if it did make a difference the water-metal thermal boundary resistance is negligible when compared to the radiator-air heat transfer coefficient of resistance.

    "When dosed EndoTherm stably changes the surface tension of the fluid by over 60% whilst remaining non-corrosive."

    Probably true, but not relevant or remarkable. A drop of detergent will have the same effect.

    "This increases the thermal contact which improves heat transfer rate and efficiency."

    Doubtful. Any efficiency improvement would have to come from improving the condensing efficiency of the boiler as a result of a lower return temperature.

    "Resulting in rooms reaching determined temperature quicker and staying warmer for longer."

    The length of time a room stays warm for depends on the fabric and contents of the room and its losses to the exterior environment. If it's warmer for longer these losses will be increased. The thermal contact between the system water and radiator is still irrelevant.

    "Return water temperature is lower which allows boilers to condensate more efficiently and recover more latent heat."

    The video, which shows a the same radiator ending up two degrees hotter and hence other things being equal having a higher return temperature when the system has Endothern added contradicts this.

    "Less fuel is consumed to maintain thermostatically set temperature."

    This would depend on the boiler performance.

    It is very difficult to measure the in situ efficiency of heating systems correctly with any degree of precision. In my experience, for a domestic property you can easily get +/-30% variations between days with the same average temperature and that's with quite decent controls and a very consistent use by occupiers. So, all someone wanting to formulate such a potion needs to do is set up a reasonably large number of trials and then cherry pick the 50% of results that show an increase in efficiency and ignore the 50% of trials that show a reduction.

    As I would expect, the Energy Saving Trust 'Verification report' that is cited in support of the product claims relies on data supplied by Endotherm and has many caveats.

    In my opinion, one doesn't need to get much more technical than (a) "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is." and (b) "A fool and their money are soon parted."
    • Like Like x 1
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
  5. oz-plumber

    oz-plumber Plumber

    The said company must be able to substantiate their claims and have their evidence available to who ever wants to see it.

    I would love to see the scientific evidence if its available.
    And I would like to see the evidence on a 10 or 20 year old system.

    I bet the testing was was done under laboratory conditions.

    A claim of 'approximately 15% savings on gas bills' is a huge claim

    I would love to see the disclaimer
  6. townfanjon

    townfanjon Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Never in a million years does that work .
  7. oz-plumber

    oz-plumber Plumber

    Done a bit of research fellas.

    Here's what I found on thinning of water - by up to 60%

    Yes, the compound OH does actually exist. The problem is that an oxygen atom has two electrons in its outer orbitals which require partners to form (covalent) bonds, and live happily ever after. In water - H2O - this has happened, and each electron is matched up with one from a hydrogen atom, so water is good and stable. With OH only one hydrogen atom has come along and joined up with one of the electrons. The other electron is insanely jealous, and will do anything (and I mean anything!) to find a partner. As a result the OH combination doesn't last very long, and it all ends in tears (of water, obviously).

    Molecules with an unpaired electron are known as free radicals. They generally are found as intermediaries in gas phase reactions, with relatively short lifetimes. In chemical equations involving free radicals, the unpaired electron is usually indicated by placing a dot next to the molecular formula eg OH•.

    The hydroxyl ion OH‾ is formed when the second electron completely removes another electron from another atom or molecule, forming a negatively charged molecule or ion, and leaving a positive charge on the other atom. Because they are charged, they cannot exist on a macroscopic scale completely separated from their positively charged partners, called cations, but are stable long-term in solution or in crystalline form. So hydroxyl ions are not compounds, as they do not have independent existence, but they are common components in compounds in which the bonds are ionic.

    The company better not release too much of this product into the oceans or waterways, ships and boats will sink!
    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. SimonG

    SimonG Trusted Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Snake oil. Thermal transfer is thermal transfer.
  9. jtsplumbing

    jtsplumbing Plumber GSR

    Have a look at Fernox products they had one of these out a couple of years back and a lot cheaper than what your looking at
  10. snowhead

    snowhead Well-Known Member

    I bet they weren't making 15% claims.
  11. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member

    In their current catalogue there's Fernox F2:

    "Fernox Boiler Noise Silencer F2 can be used to reduce the size of steam and air bubbles which form on a heat exchanger. This is achieved by reducing the surface tension of the system water which means only small bubbles are able to form and therefore the associated noise is significantly lessened. However, this product will not solve the underlying causes and therefore a full system clean should be performed at the earliest opportunity."

    The point to note here is that Fermox doesn't claim any benefits due to modification of the heat transfer from radiators just that it mitigates kettling inside the boiler.

    There's also Fernox F6 'Energy Saver', which claims:

    "Energy Saver F6 can save up to 1.2% of energy consumption on a scaled boiler and 0.8% on an un-scaled boiler."

    and, they say improves performance by:

    ". . .laying down long chain molecules within the heating system. This has a dual effect of reducing the size of nucleated boiling bubbles that form on the heat exchanger (which add an additional insulation layer to the heat exchanger surface) and smoothing the internal flow surfaces of the heating system, thereby reducing drag."
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  12. CHRISX

    CHRISX Active Member

    Hello All,

    Thank You very much to the Members who replied to this thread.

    Thanks especially to Members who wrote / posted detailed `Scientific details` relevant to the Manufacturers claims for this product.

    I found all of the information posted by Members very interesting and I am in full agreement with comments made by Chuck and oz-plumber.

    I will not be rushing out to buy a bottle of EndoTherm for my Home`s Heating system.

    Thanks again to all who replied.

  13. GH77

    GH77 GSR Top Contributor!!

    Too many variables to do an accurate calculation, besides 46.3% of all statistics are made up on the spot :p
  14. zzzjim

    zzzjim Well-Known Member

    So long as it's not by a Pump maker , trying to wash the carbon out of their bearings faster !
    Now extra dirty systems .

    (If it did work the test would be , are my leaks faster like car antifreeze )
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  15. rpm

    rpm Trusted Plumber

    Carbon & Bearings ???
  16. zzzjim

    zzzjim Well-Known Member

    Freed up a pump once only to discover now had a washing up bowl full of Graphite
    (not sludge/ non magnetic) . dried out like carbon --and sloppy bearings
    (from when dry cells had carbon rods in them !)
  17. rpm

    rpm Trusted Plumber

    Ok, still not with you re from when dry cells had carbon rods.

    Could it be a packed gland pump ?
  18. doitmyself

    doitmyself Well-Known Member

    How would the cynics explain the savings found in the Case studies?

    You have to "Read More" to see the details of each study.
  19. Stigster

    Stigster Plumber

    Does EndoTherm include an energy balancing bracelet and an anti-radiation crystal with every order?

    I've got some oil a snake sold to me out of the back of a van. It can do everything EndoTherm can and also makes nice fried eggs. He tried to sell me a cheap expensive mattress at the same time so I bought ten.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member

    Serious case studies need to avoid a lot of methodological problems. For example:

    A. 'confirmation bias'. E.g. someone who has bought a product has a vested interest in not looking like a fool. See for example:

    Confirmation bias - Wikipedia

    B. Sample selection effects. Q. Who is most likely to try such a product? A. Owners of older plant that is inefficient and poorly controlled.

    C. Publication bias. Only positive results are published, negative ones get quietly forgotten.

    D. Flawed intercomparison methodology based on the on degree-day ratios. See for example:

    Degree Days - Handle with Care!

    E. Changes in occupant behaviour. The fact that a trial is underway raises energy conservation as an issue within the building and people make an effort to be more economical.

    F. Transient effects. Are the savings sustained year on year?

    In my opinion, the case studies that have been made available don't allow one to rule out any of the above issues let alone all of them.

    Anyway, the burden of proof in such matters lies with the company making the claim.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  21. GH77

    GH77 GSR Top Contributor!!

    The cynicism is based on real world experience rather than lab based results
  22. doitmyself

    doitmyself Well-Known Member

    So you have real world experience of the product being discussed?

    If so, what were your findings?
  23. GH77

    GH77 GSR Top Contributor!!

    As jtsplumbing says fernox and others have made similar products and i know of no-one in the trade who rates these products, you only have to look at the numerous references of "snake oil" to see the general consensus of opinion, but hey if you think it's going to save you some money then fill your boots
  24. doitmyself

    doitmyself Well-Known Member

    I'll take that as meaning you have NO real world experience of the product.

    According to the patent application, the product is derived from coconuts. Make of that what you like!
  25. GH77

    GH77 GSR Top Contributor!!

    Take it that the original question in the post was
    "I would be interested to see Members opinions about a relatively new Heating system water additive"

    The operative word being OPINION... ( yes i can write in capitals too )

    • Like Like x 1
  26. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Dry (battery) electric cells. E.g. the Every Ready Silver Seal are zinc-carbon batteries and if you break them open, there's a load of carbon falls out. Think they still make them under another name. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who's taken one apart lol.
    • Like Like x 1
  27. doitmyself

    doitmyself Well-Known Member

    Opinion: A view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. (OED or, if you prefer, oed)
    You are entitled to your opinion; I prefer to deal in facts and knowledge. It can wait until a decision is made as to whether the "invention" is granted a patent.
  28. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member

    Here's a fact: An invention doesn't have to work to be granted a patent. Here are the criteria

    Patenting your invention: What you can patent - GOV.UK
    • Like Like x 1
  29. GH77

    GH77 GSR Top Contributor!!

    I prefer to answer the original question in the manner that it was asked rather than trying to look clever with dictionary definitions . how about we agree to disagree and keep things light and friendly in the spirit I believe this forum is meant to be ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  30. zzzjim

    zzzjim Well-Known Member

    Some products mimic our common sense ,its similar to a pre existing product ,that spent plenty advertising (Brain-washed).
    Its not slick 50 , waters purpose is to carry heat .
    (Any side trial can be influenced by statistical differences
    in systems )
    If someone is paying you to test a product , you are biased to make it succeed .
    (Your employer may )- be less enthralled Risk-vs-Gain

    Case studies..(Blind scientific ?)
    (Did their systems only need a 36 pound investment ?)
    . What heat loss catagory are some of these buildings ?
    (they look impressive -but also despirate to impress )
    ( I will be re-reading "Matterial" -Link was miss behaving, sussed now)
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  31. Ric2013

    Ric2013 Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Starting with the article in the magazine, I would comment that it refers to the advantages of using system additives generally, not advantages of the specific product. Only then does it start to talk about endotherm, but what is the control? Pure tap water, or other leading brand?

    1. Without seeing the scientific methodology and full results, it is hard to comment on the video of the radiator warm up sequence in detail, but it would be interesting to know how the several variables were kept as standard as possible. I would comment that we never see the temperature in the radiators stablise or peak: both radiators still seem to be warming further at the end of the video.

    2. 'Hard science' is used to mean the opposite of science. The scientific method is actually to have a hypothesis and then test this hypothesis to see if there appears to be a set of results supporting that original hypothesis. This is covered at pre-GCSE level, but most of us forget. 'Hard science' does not mean you don't bother to check the outcome because the theory says something must work. The theory about surface tension makes sense to me, but I'd be more interested in seeing the results and what the actual experiment was. After all, running a heating system on urine (its great on the garden too!) might work better than water, until everything starts to go rusty so a one-off test is of limited value. Again, I'd like to see the methodology.

    3. Cynically, I would suggest that the limitation of applicability of an inhibitor might be more down to what boiler manufacturers require (i.e. who they have been sponsored to recommend) than the inhibitor's unique properties. But Endotherm is not claimed to replace inhibitor. So you still need X brand inhibitor to satisfy manufacturer's instructions, presumably. Also, this isn't a reason why installers should use energy-saving heating additives, thus failing to justify the title of the article.

    4. This makes me more likely to want to look into this in greater depth and not write-off the product as snake-oil too soon. Interesting to note the caveat that it has only been tested with condensing boilers and that the result was specific to the cases studied and that '[p]otential performance improvements depend on the current performance, condition and settings of the heating system'. So I need to read the full report to have any idea of the likelyhood of whatever system I wish to dose behaving in the same way, don't I?

    5. 'A quick win'. This puts me off. I fit and install products I believe the customer needs, not products I tell the customer s/he needs because I want to make money selling them. If I put 2 litres of inhibitor in a system (as I did last week) it will be because I believe 1 is insufficient, not just so I can make a mark-up on two bottles. If £36 really does make a 10% saving, I would be using this stuff at home. I suspect most plumbers are the same as me in this respect: while we work to make a living, we aren't in it solely for the money, or for 'a quick win'.

    In conclusion, I am slightly interested, but probably not enough to read the full reports. However, if you can get hold of Enertek test report E3363 and the other reports referred to on the EST webpage relating to EndoTherm, I would be interested. It is very much against this product that much is made of Enertek's scientific testing, but there is not a very obvious web-link to the report, or even an explanation of how the product was tested. I would have put this in place of honour on my website were it my product (but then I don't think like most people, admittedly).

    Sadly the case studies reported on the Endotherm website do not make it clear that there were no other variables. E.g. Skipton High School: the school pupils were involved in the project and were therefore presumably aware that the school was trying to reduce energy use. Could it possibly be that some level of behavioural change was achieved? Reductio ad absurdem, my ratty heating system and draughty house only cost me £300 a year to heat, compared with the previous occupants who spent more. Is it my behaviour or the fact that I installed a Magnaclean? Similarly, how do we know that nothing changed except the heating fluid additive being added? Even degree days aren't a fair test when a building is intermittently occupied and so, presumably, intermittently heated.

    I do think parts of the Endotherm website are beautifully written. For example, a distracted reader of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards - Central Heating Additive - Energy Saving might be forgiven for taking the idea that Endotherm will improve the EER of a property even though the final sentence would seem to confirm my view that Endotherm will not affect the EER in any way whatsoever, EERs being the blunt instrument that they are.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
  32. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member

    Most of the reports are not available in a complete form, just summaries and cherry-picked results. There is this one, however:

    This may look plausible to the general public but as a piece of technical evidence it doesn't make the cut. I won't waste time pointing out all its technical flaws but here are a couple:

    There were four tests each taking ca an hour and a half performed in one day. That doesn't leave much time for the system and room to re-equilibriate between tests so each could be performed with the same set of initial conditions.

    Whoever wrote the report didn't seem to know the difference between kW, which is a unit of power and kW hr, which is a unit of energy, which doesn't inspire confidence. Professional scientists care about such details.

    The thermometry is not properly described and is critical for this type of experiment. SInce the measurements are not being made at equilibrium the heat transfer to the block will depend on air temperature (i.e. white bulb temperatures), air-flow velocity fields, humidity, and also the gains and losses due to radiation (i.e. black bulb temperatures).

    A typical piece of wood contains a significant proportion of water. When you heat a piece of wood to 50°C some of that water evaporates. Water has, relative to dry wood, a huge heat capacity. So, each time the wood is heated its heat capacity can change. The time for the centre of a block to reach a given temperature is a complicated function of the blocks heat capacity and thermal conductivity. To keep track of what's going on one also needs to monitor and account for evaporation of water from the wood, e.g. by monitoring its weight, and the humidity of the air in the room.

    The only conclusion I draw from this report is that better-controlled tests are needed.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
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