Magnabooster - Do we need this device?

11 Jul 2014
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United Kingdom
Today, just 5 days after we had our boiler serviced by British Gas, we received a quote for the installation of a Magnabooster into our water system. I do remember the engineer mentioning a device for collecting sludge, but I certainly didn't respond or ask for a quote.
Our heating system (everything) was replaced in March 2012 by a local Gas Safe guy & he said that should give us years without trouble. Last year, we paid British Gas to move the boiler from the attic to the bedroom airing cupboard & again, no mention was made of needing any further devices. Now, British Gas are wanting £269 for this Magnabooster.
Can anyone advise whether this device is necessary or value for money? I've read tales of British Gas blaming customers who haven't installed their Magnaboosters or Powerflush devices for boiler breakdowns.
Our boiler is a Vaillant ecoTEC Pro28.
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BG are a law unto themselves
All systems have some amount of sludge, especially if they've been converted from an old boiler/system. Whether it's significant in your case - no way to tell without investigation. There might be practically nothing.
Sludge will quite reasonably be a reason not to pay out for SOME boiler breakdown claims, but we've all seen the lack of such a device as they insist on, used as excuse for not paying out when a fan fails.
A quick google finds them for £76, so the price looks "generous".
If I didn't have one, and if I didn't have breakdown insurance, I wouldn't fit one.
Opinions will vary in the light of individuals' experiences.
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Thanks for the replies folks, I need to research and think about this some more. When the new boiler was installed 3 years ago, all the pipework and radiators were replaced too. There was very little in the way of sludge, mostly just a bit black water & that was from a system installed over 40 years ago.
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Bearing in mind, these filters are not aimed at badly dirty systems, they are a "Preventitive" Measure, a lot of installers are using these as an alternative to correct flushing of a system, but they are there to compliment proper flushing by reducing the build up of sludge in a system over time.

"Sludge" by the way, is usually Iron (magnatite) particles that are created in the radiators over time and gather to form black water then eventually thick or hardened sludge.

If Im fitting a boiler for a friend or family I simply do not give them the option, they get the filter or get someone else to fit boiler.

THe only question in my mind is whether you pay BG the best part of £200 for about 30 minutes work
Along with powerflushing these are one of BG`s biggest cash generators. Ask yourself why would a properly installed and inhibited system require one of these ? and if you have a pressurised system (combi) there is even less need of one
You may or may not need one.
No one here can say without taking a water sample.
If your system is dirty Bg can refuse to repair/replace water carrying parts if a filter is not fitted.
It is recommended by BG and most independents that a filter is fitted to protect these parts for dirt in the system.
It is BGs policy to quote for these items as it gives proof that you have been advised of it.
Should your system break as a result of dirt, they can prove you have been advised to have a filter and can refuse the repair. It would depend on the engineer and what the actual fault was. Most engineers would do the repair and advise you have have been informed of the filter in the past, and that future repairs would be rejected.
So if its that important why didnt they fit when they moved his boiler also when they done this it should have been flushed and inhibited are you saying they done that sub standard job it would need a filter 1 year later ?
As well as ripping you off over the cost of installing one the Spirotech isn't very good. Fit a decent filter like an Adey.
We had our boiler serviced by BG back in February; first time its been done since we moved into this house in July last year. There is a Magnaclean on the system which was installed by BG for the previous occupiers, but the engineer told me that BG no longer clean them during the annual service because the seals have a tendency to leak once disturbed.
He suggested an alternative installation, the name of which escapes me, but it may have been the Magnabooster. I declined to have this fitted, having decided the extra cost was too much and that I might have a go at cleaning the Magnaclean myself. Common sense got the better of my ambition and I've left the thing alone, and having given up my BG contract due to the annual cost will ask a local RGI to clean it out for me when I have it serviced again next year.
You can get service kits for the Magnaclean for not very much. I have a dozen with me at all times as we have fitted hundred's over the years and the early ones are in need of new canister o-rings.
Thanks, Dan. This one is about 3 years old, and there is a set of spare O rings in the packaging. Having weighed up my options, I think I'll leave it to a professional.
The main oring that needs changing is the big one under the lid of the cannister. I didn't think they were included - just the little ones that go in the service valves.
The early iso valves are prone to leaking as well, and replacements are reasonably expensive
As well as ripping you off over the cost of installing one the Spirotech isn't very good. Fit a decent filter like an Adey.

The magnaclean is awful, the original leaked like a sieve. Would never fit another. Although it did do a good job of catching the dirt.
Spirotech are a far more reliable filter
The point of a filter is not to clean a system, just maintain and catch the small amounts of dirt left, to stop it building up

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