Hydraulic Separation 101: Separators vs. Closely-Spaced Tees

An HVAC SpecialistUsing hydraulic separators (de-coupler or low loss header) is fast becoming a key consideration for most enterprises that are looking to enhance the efficiency of their central heating systems. This device helps keep every hydraulic circuit independent from the other.

It also comes with various components that, together, affect the functionality of conventional air-conditioning units. Among these elements are a dirt remover, an automatic air vent and insulation.

The dust remover has a valved connection to separate the impurities in the hydraulic circuits, and a discharge piping to collect the separated contaminants.

The role of the air vent is channelling the air in the hydraulic circuit to their respective units, while that of the insulation is to insulate the whole heating or air-conditioning system from drastic thermal changes.

You may, however, argue that closely-spaced tees also play these roles, and are a cheap option for hydraulic separation. But, is that the case? The following will outline more about that.

Consider Your Objective

If hydraulic separation is your primary goal, you will find using closely-spaced tees to be cost-effective. But, these tees will prove insufficient if you are after high efficiency, especially in dirt and air separation besides hydraulic separation.

Also, considering the amount of labour, materials and space you will require for closely-spaced tees to deliver an equal degree in these three functions of separation, the installation costs are quite higher those for installing a low loss header.

Magnetic Separation

Modern de-couplers come with this fourth function. However, magnetic separation is more efficient for use in HVAC system retrofits whose air has magnetic particles. But, you still have to consider the size of your hydraulic system when finding a well-fitting low loss header.

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If your system has closely-spaced tees only, you will still need separate air, dirt and magnetic particles removal devices. That comes at an extra cost of purchasing these different components and installing them. Save yourself that unnecessary hustle by choosing a hydraulic separator over closely-spaced tees.