Top Power flushing misconceptions:
Power flushing is done at high pressure
Power flushing is done at high flow rates (around 100 liters per minute) but at low pressure. It’s actually done at much lower pressure than sealed systems normally operate under.
Power flushing happens at around 1.0 bar, whereas your system can be pressurized to up to 3.0 bar (not that it should), and normally operates at around 1.5bar.
For open vented systems, the pressures are nearly the same. It's actually a very safe and effective procedure, if done by a professional.
Power flushing fixes broken parts
If a part is broken and the system or boiler is not working because of that, cleaning the central heating does not fix that part.
Even though the sludge might have caused it to break and will probably break the new part if it is not removed by power flushing. Most of our members are qualified to do both; a power flush and replace parts.
Power flushing did not work and did not remove all the sludge
Power flushing has limits and on really badly sludged systems it will not work. Open vented systems and microbore systems generally need to be POWDER flushed for better results.
Power flushing is the same as connecting a hosepipe
to your drain-off point and letting the water run till it is clean. (Draining the system down will clean, all the sludge out)
This does not work and does not compare to the modern use of power flush machines, chemicals and magnets. It also only cleans one path through the system and not the whole system - at best 20% effective.
DIY power flushing is easy
If you are a plumber and understand how the system and boiler functions, it would be an easy procedure to learn.
For anyone else, you will be taking a very big risk, not only in wasting your time and money trying, but all the possible damage you could cause.
Prices are much more competitive today than 5 years ago. Try getting some quotes of our members (search for local members) before you try a DIY power flush.
Here are the procedures to take if you would like to DIY power flush anyway: Procedure for sealed system and Procedure for open vented systems. If you are unsure as to which system you have; open vented systems have a water tank in the loft, while sealed systems have a pressure gauge on the boiler.
Power flushing your central heating removes lime scale
There can’t be a lime scale build-up in your central heating side of your system. In percentage (%) terms; the sludge in your system (if present) is made up of 4% lime scale, 95% rust and 1% debris. Obviously these percentages are an estimate and the actual values will vary from system to system as different areas will have different water hardness values.There can be a build-up of lime scale in your hot water heat exchanger (plate heat exchanger) and only on the normal water side, these heat exchangers are only found in combi-boilers and not present in open vented systems.
The other possibility is in you hot water cylinder, which again is normal tap water side and NOT the central heating side. A standard power flush is not the same thing as having the lime scale flushed out of your hot water heat exchanger or hot water cylinder. When asking our members for a quote, you have to say which one you want "a central heating power flush" or "hot water heat exchanger flush".
A central heating flush is to flush the boiler, pipes and radiators, while a hot water heat exchanger flush means removing the hot water heat exchanger; flushing it separately on both sides and refitting it into the combi-boiler. Getting both procedures done is preferable if you are having hot water problems on a combi-boiler system. You simply will not need a hot water heat exchanger flush, if you have an open vented system, because this system does not have one fitted.
Power flushing can stop your system from losing pressure (sealed systems only)
The pressure in your system will drop if there is a leak of some kind. Although sludge and debris can caused this leaking, power flushing the system cannot seal the leak. The leak needs to be fixed to stop pressure loss. Our members also do normal plumbing and can quote for fixing the leak / power flushing the system.
Fitting a magnetic filter is as good as doing a power
flush. Here is 5 reasons why it is NOT
- A power flush machine cycles water at around 100 liters per minute (depends on machine), around your system. Your normal system pump might manage 15 liters per minute.
- When power flushing, all 100lpm is focused on just one radiator at a time, while your normal pump runs with all the radiators open.
- Because power flushing is done at >10 times the flow rate of a normal system pump, much more and much heavier sludge will be removed.
- The magnetic filter needs to be fitted on the return pipe of your system or the sludge will need to travel through your boiler before it will reach the magnet. Which will probably block up your boiler and make it stop working. (depends on boiler / system layout and amount of sludge)
- Badly sludged up systems: Magnetic filters have a set capacity depending on their container size. When they are full they need to be cleaned out or they can cause the system to stop working. Power flushing / machines have no limited capacity; they can remove as much as is required. Does not matter if it's 100grams or 2kg of sludge.
Magnetic filters work fantastic IF they are fitted on a system with little sludge that is currently operating correctly and fitted on the return pipe into the boiler. Any free moving / new sludge will be removed from circulation before it can cause any real problems. They are best suited for older / larger / open vented systems, (a small system has <5 radiators, 7 radiators is average, while 10+ is considered large) but has obvious benefits for any system. How does a magnetic filter work?
When sludge damage or block parts in the boiler; I have to change the parts first then power flush
If you change the heat exchanger or any other part first and then power flush, the new part can simply be blocked up just like the old one. It is better power flush first, so that all the sludge is removed, then you replace damaged or broken parts.
A power flushing machine has to be connected trough
the central heating pump
Not only, it can also be connected through any one of the radiators or pipe work.
Power flushing work has to be carried out by a gas engineer
/ Gas Safe Registered.
A gas engineer does not necessarily know anything about power flushing, they specialise in gas work. In most cases, the power flushing process has nothing to do with gas. The only people who will tell you that the person doing the power flush has to be Gas safe registered, is gas safe registered engineers that want to limit your options. All our members are experts in power flushing, some are gas safe registered and some are not.
Note: If the boiler cover needs to be removed for any reason you might need a Gas Safe registered engineer, an example is when you need the secondary heat exchanger (plate heat exchanger removed. The layout of the boiler and location of this heat exchanger within it , could mean that the work has to be carried out by a gas engineer. If you are experiencing hot water problems we recommend that you have a full power flush and have the secondary heat exchanger removed and flushed separately or replaced.
Adding sludge remover to my system will remove the sludge from the system
Sludge is metallic just like the rest of your system. Sludge remover will only loosen it up and break clumps down into finer pieces that are easier to pump around. What it can't do is magically remove it from the system, that is a manual process called power flushing. When you have flow problems in radiators etc. sludge remover might help a little but ALL the sludge is and will stay in the system until removed. Sludge remover, left in a system for a long time, will actually cause more sludge to form. Draining a system down is at best 20% effective at removing the sludge from your system.
Adding inhibitor to my system will stop sludge forming
Yes, it will dramatically slow down the formation of new sludge. However the sludge already in the system is still there and will be there until removed. Inhibitor will drop in concentration over time as it dilutes or evaporate, sludge will start forming faster as this happens. You have to top it up from time to time. We can test for inhibitor concentration in central heating water, if you post us a water sample. Please note that adding inhibitor into a system filled with sludge will actually harden the sludge.