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Are your pipes Polar Vortex protected?

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Freeze glycol protection in closed loop systemsAre you ready for possibly the worst winter in 200 years?

The news is that there is another big freeze due this winter. Some commentators are suggesting that the UK will be engulfed in a polar vortex which will mean temperatures of -10C and below producing weather similar to the Big freeze of 1963 when the sea off the coast of Kent froze and a car was driven across the deeply frozen River Thames.

Essentially the Polar vortex will develop from a combination of three weather factors – heavy Siberian snow falls; Arctic weather disrupting warm Atlantic currents; and Icelandic volcanic activity which has lowered sea temperatures. These can create a “polar vortex” which could effectively shut off the warm Gulf Stream over the UK and Ireland.

Our usually mild soggy winter could become possibly the worst winter in 200 years with 5 foot snowdrifts across the UK and freezing temperatures to -10C and below.

Now is the time to start protecting your water systems!

You may already have glycol (anti-freeze) added to your closed loop systems, however as many found to their peril in previous cold snaps, it is essential to check that the glycol levels are sufficient within the system to withstand the forecast temperature drops.

At HBE, we usually recommend that your system has a minimum of 10% glycol, which will protect you to a temperature of -5C, however with the extraordinary  freezing conditions forecast for the next few months, dependent upon your situation, we would suggest you consider protecting your system to -15C.

Here is a check list of what you need to consider this winter:

1) Have you checked the water chemistry and glycol levels in your water system in the last 2 months?

2) Is the anti-freeze chemical you have selected for your system appropriate for your industry? <Read more here

3) Will the levels of glycol in your system protect your closed loop system against the extreme temperatures forecast for this year?

Contact our consultants today to help you with:

  • Initial surveys of closed loop systems to determine the water chemistry and from that, decide on an appropriate plan of action.
  • Supply both propylene & monoethylene glycol.
  • Dose the chemical into the system.

If you require any further information or help, please contact your local HBE office or email

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