• Nicholas Hall

Don't forget to powerFlush!

Updated: Jul 11, 2018

Over time, like many things, your heating system can get clogged up. Rust and debris is carried around the system until it forms a substance that is most commonly referred to as sludge, a rather oozy looking liquid that can cause quite a few issues if not removed in a timely and appropriate manner. Sludge, in a worse case scenario can lead to the breakdown of the system, so completely that a new boiler is required.

So how do you know when a power flush is required?

There are a few early warning signs that could indicate you need a power flush on your heating system

-If your radiators do not heat up completely, or are cold at the bottom.

-Excessive noise from the boiler or heating pump.

-The system is taking longer than usual to heat up.

-The boiler needs to be restarted regularly due to overheating.

-When you bleed the radiators the water is discoloured.

If you notice one or more of these symptoms and you are noticing them more frequently, then its likely time to be considering a power flush.

How does a Power flush work?

Like the name suggests, it involves flushing the system using a pump and chemicals to remove the sludge. The engineer will connect a pump to the system, either at the pump head on a on a combination boiler or at the circulation pump on a heat only boiler. The chemical that the pump flushes through system works by removing the sludge and rust. It also contains a descaling agent which will help remove any limescale, and when complete a corrosion inhibitor is used to stop the build up from occurring again. In cases where the system is too clogged up to be treated with chemicals alone, an engineer may use a specialised tool to 'hammer' the outside of the radiators to loosen the build up so it can be carried away and collected by a magnetic filter connected after the pump to stop it re entering the system.

Radiator valve full of rust
Radiator valve full of rust

How long does it take?

The average household system takes about a day (6-10 hours) to complete a flush, depending on how bad the system is. The time a flush takes, also depends on the number of radiators there are and the size of the system.

What are the benefits of a Power flush?

Once a powerflush has been completed you can expect to reap the benefits pretty quickly, some of these include:

-Radiators heating up quicker, not only will they heat up faster but they will reach a higher temperature.

-The system will be quieter

-The system will be more efficient, because it doesn't have to work as hard, this also means reduced costs.

-Longer lifespan, it also means that whilst your system will last longer than if you hadn't had it flushed, it will also be more reliable and less likely to break down. This is particularly important when new boiler installs are being done, as any debris in the system could damage the new boiler and void the warranty/guarantee.

How much does it cost?

Costs vary depending on the size of system and how many times chemicals will need to be flushed through the system, but any engineer would be able to quote on a case by case basis. But the benefits normally mean you can recoup some of the costs.

Is it worth it?

In short, depending on the severity of the system, yes. A powerflush could increase the lifespan of the system enough that you have time to consider getting a new boiler before that becomes your only option. It also means that you are less likely to be caught in the dead of winter with an inefficient heating system.

If this is something you might be interested in feel free get in touch!