Portugal Drain Doctor advice on keeping Legionella at bay


Since April 2010 it has been compulsory in Portugal to install thermal panels to produce hot water.

Businesses in the Algarve region need to ensure their solar heating systems are carefully maintained. Regular inspection is essential to avoid the build up of the deadly Legionella bacteria, the cause of Legionnaire’s Disease.

Since April 2010 it has been compulsory in Portugal to install thermal panels to produce hot water. This has led to the potential for an increase in Legionella bacteria in the solar water collection tanks and pipes in heating systems. In hotels and resorts it is mandatory to ensure that water in these reservoirs is heated to 70 degrees Celsius in order to prevent this potential build up.

To ensure that solar heating systems operate at their optimum level they must be regularly serviced on an annual basis. To guarantee the quality of the thermal solar collection systems professional installers and maintenance providers must be certified by the Direcção Geral de Geologia e Energia (DGGE). Installers must have the Certificate of Professional Aptitude (CAP) Technician Installer Solar Thermal Systems.

It is important to have these checks carried out by a properly qualified technician. Drain Doctor is a certificated provider of maintenance services for solar heating systems. Our maintenance technician holds the appropriate CAP certificate.

To ensure the systems are functioning to their best and to help avoid the build up of Legionella annual maintenance of the solar system should include the following: 

  • Cleaning of solar collectors.
  • Checking of the pump.
  • Adjusting the flow and pressure of the solar circuit.
  • Checking the expansion vessel.
  • Setting the preload (if necessary)
  • Verifiying of the concentration of antifreeze fluid.
  • Checking the PH of the antifreeze fluid.
  • Inspecting the structure.
  • Verifying of the security features on the collectors and circulation group.
  • Checking the temperature probes and the installation of the solar collector.
  • Visually verifying stored water.
  • Verifying of deposit magnesium anode (hot water).
  • Verifying the safety valve (hot water).
  • Checking and adjustment of the thermostatic mixing valve (hot water).
  • Renewing, if necessary, the liquid in the solar circuit or replacement of pressure in the loop.
  • Purging the solar collectors and circulation group.
  • Checking the proper functioning of clocks, thermostats and programmers. 

Drain Doctor in the Algarve region covers Loulé, Faro, Silves, Vilamoura, Portimão and Lagos. It is demonstrating the concept of Drain Doctor’s guaranteed 24 hours per day 365 days per year service with a fixed price ‘menu’ and no call-out or out-of-hours charges.

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