American Red Cross

Market: Commercial
Location: Richmond, VA


The Red Cross faced heating water flow issues with their closed hot water heating loop resulting in poor heat transfer and employee discomfort due to an inability to heat certain areas of the building.  This caused mounting electrical costs on a reduced operations budget.  Unfortunately, the building's only boiler could not be shutdown so the solution had to be accomplished with the system operating at all times.


The Red Cross turned to ColonialWebb, a partner they previously worked with for 10 years. With help from previous documentations and recommendations, as well as an up-to-date diagnostic on the situation, ColonialWebb was able to immediately work on a solution.  ColonialWebb identified the problem as extremely high levels of iron and copper within a severely corroded system. An HVAC team performed the majority of the needed upfront maintenance by repeatedly flushing, cleaning strainers, actuating valves, and replacing a heavily damaged section of piping. As part of ColonialWebb’s treatment, a volume test was also performed for accurate pricing of the project. Afterward, ColonialWebb’s Water Treatment Solutions team began cleaning. The team recommended a FerroKleen 401 iron corrosion cleaning of the hot loop. Over a two and a half month period, ColonialWebb utilized a multi-step approach, starting with several small doses of FK401 to break free bulk corrosion and flush it from the loop without plugging valves and reducing flow. Then they utilized a large cleaning dose of FK401 for removal of the iron deposits. This restored flow throughout the entire system and maximized heat transfer. Once completed, the system was treated with closed loop corrosion inhibitor to protect it from further corrosion problems. This is systematically checked and adjusted to maintain proper levels of protection.

A Closer Look

Since implementing ColonialWebb’s solution, the Red Cross has found their electrical cost has been reduced by $18,465 annually, a 430% return on investment. Employee satisfaction has risen due to increased heat flow efficiency. Furthermore, due to the team’s impressive performance, the Red Cross has chosen to reinstate ColonialWebb’s HVAC team as their sole service provider.