- Posted by: Chris Myers
- Category: Top Tips
Power flushing is a process of removing the build up of magnetite (black sludge) from your heating system.
This build up can restrict the flow/cause blockages, breakdowns and inefficiency.
Power flushing removes this and other debris that could be in the system!
From the moment your heating system is installed, it starts to corrode!! Unfortunately this is a natural, unavoidable reaction between water and metals, even adding chemical inhibitors will only slow the process slightly.
Known by plumbers as ‘sludge’, this thick, black substance is actually iron oxide/magnetite that builds up in your boiler, radiators and pipework, and can cause breakdowns, blockages and, in extreme cases when left untreated, the need for a complete renewal of the heating system and boiler!
Having your system power flushed can reduce annual heating bills by up to 6% due to now running more efficiently and reduces breakdowns by up to 30% as the boiler/pumps are not having to work to as hard to produce the same, if not better results!
What are the common signs that I might require a power flush?
Common symptoms include:
- Radiators taking a long time to heat up, if at all
- Radiators not reaching desired temperatures
- Hot water cylinder not heating up fully, slowly, or not at all (doesn’t apply to combi boilers)
- Cold spots on radiators (mainly at the bottom)
- Radiators don’t seem to bleed
- Hot water from combi not reaching temperature
- System/boiler/pump seem to run noisily
The process involves connecting a power flushing machine on to your heating system, usually/preferably on the ‘return’ pipe at the boiler (this is a pipe that returns the water from your radiators back into the boiler for re-heating), this ensures the loose debris do not enter the boiler during flushing.
Cleaning chemicals are added and these are pumped throughout the system, along with ‘agitating’ the radiators, this breaks down and loosens the magnetite allowing it to be removed. We use an Adey MagnaClean RapidFlush filter kit, these are the latest technology in power flushing, reducing the water used in traditional methods by 90%, and able to keep the chemicals circulating for longer, and the ability to be heated up, giving better results. The water/chemical mix passes through a series of magnetic fitration chambers, removing the black magnetite and re-circulating clean, treated water back into the system, please see the official Adey video HERE>>
What are the benefits?
Having the system Power flushed can
- Reduce heating costs
- Reduce breakdowns
- Improve the temperature of hot water
- Radiators get hotter, quicker
- Reducing boiler/system/pump noise
- Improved circulation without blockages/restrictions
We also highly recommend the fitting of a magnetic filter system after flushing to help prevent future build ups, these should be cleaned out as part of your annual boiler service. The fitting of a filter without a flush is not advised.
What are the costs involved?
Prices vary depending on the size and complexity of the system. The power flushing of a standard, domestic system, with up to 10 radiators, starts at £350, but could incur extra costs due to any troubleshooting required such as replacing any fittings or valves (though is is now relatively rare as we no longer use a high-pressure/pumped power flushing unit), and extras such as inhibitors and/or the supply and fitting of a magnetic filter.
Although power flushing may seem relatively expensive, in time it can save money on both heating and costly repair bills