The Press page on the 'Tadpole' site states that it was patented by the
inventor, Stan Whetsone of Barlby North Yorkshire. It seems unlikely that
a patent would be granted for what appears to be little more than a basic
air separator unless the makers of those already in use failed to patent
their idea. Genuine independent and controlled tests rather than anecdotal
'case studies' would be more convincing.
I said, "*Genuine**independent* and *controlled* tests.......". Given
those three provisos it should be possible to arrive at a genuine result
to establish the truth about the inventor's claims one way or another.
Yes I know, but it does depend on what's tested and under what
conditions. It would be pretty difficult to stage that
It rather reminds me of those in line magnetic devices that attract
sludge particles out of the water rather than their being deposited in
Mr Whetstone's invention undoubtedly works to remove air from CH water.
However, like the magnetic thing, it's addressing the issue in the
wrong way - i.e. fixing the symptom, not the cause. It's reasonable
to have an air separator during filling and for a few days afterwards
white the dissolved air is driven from the water. After that, it
shouldn't be needed. If air is still in the system, it has to be
entering somewhere, or it may be hydrogen.
The plumbing arrangement for this embryonic frog device is the same as
for a simple one like an Aerjec at a tenth the price. Fitting one
forces the plumbing to be corrected such that there is minimal pressure
difference between the vent pipe and the feed/expansion pipe. If
that is done, then the major reason for air entering is removed anyway.
I'm not defending or supporting the 'Tadpole' in any way, merely saying
that it should be tested properly. If it's found wanting then people
should be properly warned against wasting money, but if tests support the
claims made for it then it would be worth every penny of the cost.
Basically I'm sceptical as it appears to have nothing really new even if
the patent claim is true. One claim made for it is that it is 'small' but
compared with what exactly? A picture suggests that it is actually a large
drum-like item about the size of a small domestic bucket. In fact it
appears to be about 9" diameter and about the same in height. That would
give it a capacity of about 1.5 gallons (weighing about 15lbs / 7kg). I
certainly wouldn't like that kind of weight suspended in the pipework
adjacent to my CH boiler.
The claims made in respect of fuel savings will soon bring it to the
notice of Trading Standards, I'm sure. Similar miracle products for car
fuel savings soon come to a sticky end.
Picture here, hopefully:
Quite. It probably achieves a degree of effectiveness in terms of air
extraction by being able to move the water through relatively slowly
but swirling it. The pipe connections suggest that. It does look
like a small pressure vessel.
The only fuel saving mechanism I can think of is if the boiler is
cycling rapidly because of gross amounts of air in the system.
I notice that nobody has volunteered any personal experiences in response
to the OP's original request which seems to suggest that the 'Tadpole'
hasn't yet gained a major place in the market.
When I installed my first CH and learned that air had to be expelled from
the system the recommended method was to wire the pump as a separate item
and run it for a few hours, periodically bleeding air from individual
radiators. That method worked pretty well then at start-up and of course
the radiators can always be bled conventionally through the bleed valves
if needed. I think that I can manage with the present simple system for
some time to come but if any convincing test results prove the efficacy of
this gadget I'll be quick to join the queue. I don't think I'll be
contributing to the inventor's pension fund very soon!
Absolute snake oil. It is not small. it won't address the real causes of
any symptoms. Many of the symptoms it claims to reduce are unlikely to
be cured by this. In other cases it might mask the problems until a more
serious symptom emerges.
The device is ridiculously expensive for what it is, it preys on people
who are understandably reluctant to have their ailing heating system dealt
with by a competent profiessional albeit with a moderate amount of
For the same money you can employ a heating engineer to diagnose the real
problem and suggest a cure, possibly even actually cure the problems.
It might serve the same function as an Aerjec or similar in an open
heating system but at many times the cost and size.
It will, IMHO, serve no purpose in a sealed system. All that is
needed is to run the system for a while at full tilt. The do a final
bleed on the raidators and a final top up.
As my Tadpole has created a bit of a stir I thought I'd post a couple
of points of my own but I'll also be very happy to address any
specific questions personally if anyone wants to contact me direct via
Firstly, thanks for highlighting some errors on the website as I've
now been able to correct these - Tadpole improved J.P. Westall's oil
CH system and I appreciate the instructions about the filling loop
were misleading so I've also amended this too.
Over the next week, I'll address more of the questions raised in my
FAQ webpage but in the meantime I just wanted to say a few things. It
doesn't matter what fuel runs a CH system, whether oil, gas, electric
etc, Tadpole works on the same principle - reducing air in a primary
system down to 1 part in 2.5 million. Bleeding the radiators will not
achieve this as dissolved air is present in the water itself. There
are other systems on the market which work in a similar way but not
the same way as Tadpole and I can say that in over twenty years in
this field, I've never come across a system that's as effective as
Tadpole. I've spent over 5 years developing this robust system that I
know works and that I really believe in but, as with everything,
quality and durability does come at a price. Being a Yorkshireman,
with short arms and deep pockets, however, wasting money is as alien
to me as shell suits and special brew (!) but I'm very happy about
saving over =A3200 per year on my own heating bill - as was one of my
recent customers who has already been in touch to say he was also
saving around a third.
Thank you for your interest and feedback on Tadpole and I look forward
to having the opportunity to explain any specific points with any of
you direct - you know where I am.
So please explain what your device does that can't be achieved by a £15
air separator from Myson or by correcting the plumbing such that air
doesn't enter the system.
To this point, you have provided only anecdotes from people who you
claim to be customers and no information on exactly how and why the
alleged savings were achieved.
None of this is at all convincing.
Has there been any independent testing of Tadpole?
Has any testing been carried out in fully controlled laboratory
conditions so as to completely eliminate all environmental factors
such as seasonal variations form one year to another and the end-users
(or product developers) desire to see optimal results?
What is the physics behind why this device works? i.e. Why should
small reductions in air inside a central heating system result in
large changes in energy efficiency?
Can you make available test reports from an individual suitably
professional qualified (such as a physics phd) and employed by a
suitable independent institution (such as a university) to measure
On what principle does having minute amounts of dissolved air in a system
affect it's effciency? Note I am asking only about the princple not
details or any information about the Tadpole device.
Now a direct question. Will the installation of a Tadpole to a system that
does not require regular(*1) bleeding of the radiators(*2) or filling
produce any measurable, by the householder, energy savings?
(*1) "Regular" meaning once a year or more frequently.
(*2) Also to include the singular, as in many systems it is only one
radiator that needs "regular" bleeding.
"Tadpole works on the same principle - reducing air in a
primary system down to 1 part in 2.5 million. Bleeding the radiators will
not achieve this as dissolved air is present in the water itself."
That is an extremely precise measurement. Can you say how you achieved
such a precise measurement and can you say *why* bleeding the radiators
won't achieve this or even *why* it's necessary to achieve it?
You've chosen to speak in an open forum (uk.d-i-y) so why not answer the
queries here where people are strongly in favour of genuine energy
That's a pretty low level of dissolved air. Let's call it 1ppm of
oxygen - I don't care about the nitrogen. That little oxygen dissolved
in the water would certainly cut corrosion - but I'm unclear how it
works. I certainly can't see how it'd cut £200 of my annual heating
bill, wonderful as it might be for the lifetime of the parts.
From your web site:
"Well the tadpole is a patented design that creates a vortex. As the
water travels through the heating system it passes through the tadpole
and the vortex removes the dissolved air from the water"
I'd be interested to read the patents. Which numbers are they?