Is power flushing a good idea
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- Power Flushing, Radiators, Radiator Cleaning
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Power flushing is the process that uses high flow rates to move any blockages in the pipes so it can be filtered out and properly cleaned. When replacing parts within the system, it is recommended to power flush the pipes so that blockages are removed and prolong the life of the new parts.
Power flushing removes a large percentage of sludge/rust, but not all of it, unfortunately, it is not possible to remove all the sludge from older systems. Power flushing has limits, and on really badly sludged systems it does not work.
Power flushing is not the same as connecting a hosepipe to your drain-off point and letting the water run until it is clean. This method only cleans one path through the system and not the whole system - at best, this is only 20% effective compared to the new power flush machines, chemicals and magnets.
DIY Power Flushing
DIY power flushing is not easy. If you are a plumber and understand how the system and boiler functions, it would be an easy procedure to learn.
Without the proper knowledge, there is always going to be a significant risk of damage. The single biggest problem with DIY power flushing your system; is that you don’t have a “proof of power flush certificate”. All our members will issue you with a proof of power flush certificate on completion of a power flush.
Procedure for sealed system and Procedure for open vented systems. If you are unsure as to which method you have; open vented systems have a water tank in the loft, while sealed systems have a pressure gauge on the boiler.
Do I need a Gas Safe Registered engineer?
A gas engineer does not necessarily know anything about power flushing; they specialise in gas work, the power flushing process has nothing to do with gas.
How does power flushing work?
It’s essential to keep your radiators working correctly, so they can keep you warm through the winter. If you’re having problems with your heating, your radiators might need a power flush.
Several symptoms show you might need a power flush. If your radiators are cold at the bottom and hot at the top, you could have sludge blocking your radiators or pipes. Sludge might also be to blame if some radiators aren’t warming up while others work correctly.
Why is there sludge in the radiator?
The older your central heating system is, the more likely it is you have sludge in your radiators. Blocked radiators make your bills higher, as your heating has to work harder to warm your home. Sludge can also damage your boiler, heat pump and valves.
Radiator sludge is a mix of dirt and rust, which builds up over time and gathers at the bottom of your radiators. Sludge stops hot water flowing through your system creating cold areas on your radiator, areas unaffected by the sludge and warm up as normal, causing patchy heating.
How does power flushing work?
Cleaning a central heating system is integral to its health, and power flushing is a popular cleaning method due to the rapid but comprehensive clean it delivers.
The benefits of a clean heating system are;
- More even heat distribution throughout the property
- Improve overall energy savings
- Lower household bills
- Increased system reliability
- Extended system life
So how do you know if a system needs a power flush?
- Are individual rooms much colder than others?
- Does it take a long time for the system to warm up?
- Are one or more radiators cold at the bottom?
- Do radiators need frequent bleeding?
- Is the boiler noisy?
If you think you have sludge blocking your radiators, get an engineer to have a look.
If you need a power flush, the engineer will connect a machine to your system pushing a powerful, low-pressure flow of liquid through your system. The flow of liquid dislodges sludge and rust pushing it out and removing it from the radiators and boiler. It can take several hours to flush out your radiator system. It can take even longer if you have a more extensive system or there’s a build up of sludge.
Your central heating system will contain fresh, clean water after the power flush. The engineer will probably add an inhibitor solution. This liquid chemical will stop sludge from building up again.
UK Building Regulations
The Compliance Guide to Part L of the UK Building Regulations for England and Wales, requires a central heating system to be cleaned and flushed out before a corrosion and scale inhibitor chemical is added.
It’s also prudent to do this when a new boiler is replacing an old central heating boiler. Many boiler manufacturers now make the warranty dependent on flushing and cleaning under BS7593 and Part L.
When you experience problems with your central heating, it may be an indication that you need a power flushing. Contact our heating specialist today.