Germicidal lamps are used not only in households, but also in: summer houses, schools, kindergartens, hospitals, health resorts, hotels, restaurants, swimming pools and many industrial sectors.
These devices are appreciated by an increasing number of people due to their high efficiency. They have practically no influence on the organoleptic properties of the water. Thanks to their presence, you do not need to use chemicals that are not the healthiest for the human body.
Germicidal lamps remove Coli bacteria, Enterococci, Clostridium Perfringers from the water. In addition to dangerous bacteria, viruses, and even fungi and their spores are also killed.
Types of germicidal lamps
On the market, we can find lamps from different manufacturers that differ in terms of performance, components or appearance. However, we can distinguish between two types of radiators that are commonly used in germicidal lamps. The filament is the heart of every lamp. It is he who produces ultraviolet radiation.
The division of the filaments is due to the difference in vapor pressures inside them. Therefore, we distinguish between low-pressure (amalgam) and medium-pressure radiators. UV lamps with high pressure filaments are hardly used to disinfect water.
The differences are largely due to the nature and extent of the emission of the UV radiation produced. Low-pressure germicidal lamps generate radiation that is almost entirely emitted in the 254 nm band – the radiation that works best in terms of germicide. Lamps with medium pressure filaments emit radiation in the entire UV range, which is why they are considered less effective.
The radiators also differ in their heating temperature. The medium pressure filament needs to heat up to even 900 degrees Celsius in order to operate fully efficiently. This causes a very fast deposition of scale in the casing and significant performance drops. A low-pressure filament has a temperature of only 65 degrees to achieve maximum efficiency, thanks to which the scaling process is much slower.
In addition, there is also a difference in startup time. It takes about a quarter of an hour for a medium-pressure filament to warm up to the right temperature, in the case of low-pressure filaments it is only a few seconds.
How is a germicidal lamp constructed?
Germicidal lamps have a relatively similar structure. Each has a so-called the tube, which is usually made of stainless steel and forms the housing of the UV lamp. In addition, the operation requires a UV lamp and a power supply system for the device.
The tube is there to protect the radiator against mechanical damage, penetration of external contaminants such as dust, and to ensure convenient and quick replacement of the filament.
The germicidal lamp will only work when it is connected to the electricity, and the supplied voltage will be sufficient to activate the radiation.
Is UV radiation really effective?
Standard UV lamps work on the principle that water flows through them after being connected to the electricity and installation, which then goes to users’ taps. During consumption, it flows through the radiator, where it is irradiated with UV rays. In this way, bacteria are removed from it or their DNA is destroyed to such an extent that the microorganisms cannot reproduce.
Isn’t such UV radiation magic? Can this method of water disinfection actually work? We will try to answer these questions.
To artificially create ultraviolet rays, gas heaters made of quartz glass are used in the lamps. Inside there are mercury vapors that are activated by the power supply. In this way, radiation with a defined spectrum is generated.
Radiation that is shorter in length than visible light is called ultraviolet radiation. At the moment, we are most interested in UV-C radiation, which is in the range between 100 and 280 nm. The radiation in the range 240-280 nm is considered to be the most effective in terms of bactericide. It has been proven that the wavelength of 254 nm has the greatest disinfecting effect.
In order for the germicidal lamp to work effectively, an appropriate dose of UV radiation is needed. The resistance of microorganisms is also important.
UV-C radiation is part of solar radiation, but is absorbed by the atmosphere and living organisms are not immune to it. Therefore, they cannot defend themselves against it. This type of radiation destroys some of the DNA code of cells, losing the ability to divide and reproduce.
Thanks to this, UV-C radiation helps to get rid of even the most resistant to chemicals, such as: Cryptosporidium parvum or Giardia Lamblia from the water.
UV radiation does not only destroy bacteria, viruses and fungi. It also affects other substances, including: ozone, organic carbon, chlorine and chloramines.
Why is it worth having a germicidal lamp?
The germicidal lamp is a really effective protection against bacteria, viruses and fungi. Its main advantage is that UV radiation does not need any additional chemicals that can have a negative effect on health. The disinfection process is completely safe.
Another advantage is that UV lamps have practically no effect on the smell or taste of water – they do not deteriorate these parameters, and sometimes even on the contrary, they improve the taste thanks to the elimination of chloramines and organic carbon.
Germicidal lamps are an effective protection against dangerous legionella, in addition, they do not emit toxic gases, do not affect the conversion of nitrates into nitrites.
Compared to chemicals, ultraviolet radiation works much faster, and we don’t have to spend a lot of space to install a UV lamp. Moreover, these devices have no influence on the amount of minerals in the water, and the sterilization process itself does not harm the environment.