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Old 04-01-2017, 08:21 PM   #1
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Random boiler question

Hi all had a bit of bother with my boiler. Kept loosing presure and had to keep topping it up, called out the gas man and he unblocked and small pipe attached to a presure valve, it was full of sludge/gunk.

When he'd fixed the problem I was advised to have it power flushed at a cost of 600/700 quid

This was a quote from BG

My question, is this a DIY jobbie if I can hire the gear and what is the stuff you put back into the system that stop it from getting sludge up again can't remember what it's called

And would it be alot cheaper getting a plumber in to quote me

Cheers Ben
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:28 PM   #2
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Fernox iirc.
Personally I wouldn't do it as the potential to ruin your floor/carpets is pretty high.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:45 PM   #3
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I had a quote from a local plumber of 140 to power flush my central heating system.

As it turned out, I had a new boiler fitted and the system was just filled and emptied once then refilled using Fernox (Ted is correct) and a Magnaflow filter fitted that removes corrosion from the system as it passes through before reaching the boiler and pump again.

OP, get a local plumber to quote you. Far cheaper than BG.
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Old 04-01-2017, 08:48 PM   #4
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You can DIY but as Ted says, if you're not familiar with the process it can go wrong.

Lots of additives available and most of them do the job. 600-700 seems quite excessive but I guess it's to be expected with BG.

Well worth doing but maybe try a recommended local heating engineer.

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Old 04-01-2017, 08:49 PM   #5
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I fitted one of the inline magnetic filters to our system and was amazed at the amount of sludge it has picked up over the last few months.

I put the cleaner through the system for two weeks before i fitted the filter then flushed it through with fresh water via the filling loop , i then refilled the system with fresh water and some inhibitor and the radiators have not been as hot since the system was extended 12 years ago.

One of the reasons i fitted the filter was that BG had been out to clear sludge from various parts of the boiler and informed me that if they were called out again to repair a similar (sludge) fault then the maint contract would not cover the repair as i had been advised to fit a filter after their first visit.

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Old 04-01-2017, 09:00 PM   #6
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The difference between Bg doing the flush and some of the local plumbers is that bg will spend all day maybe longer ensuring the system is flushed full and if it requires reflush 5yrs down the line it is done foc. Yes its an expensive dirty job to have done but it does work. The filters will clear some of it but if the system is sludged heavily it'll not work alone. If its not to bad you can do the flush with chemicals and the water main


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Old 04-01-2017, 09:03 PM   #7
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You can hire the kit and do it yourself. Not a difficult job. The key is to get the sludge removed and then make sure you have inhibitor in the water of the heating circuit or this will happen again. A magnetic filter helps keep the system clean as well. It's a shame but most heating companies do not do this as part of the annual service and explicitly exclude sludge and related failures from your cover. BG used to do it when I worked there but eye have cut it back to make the visit quicker. As a rule of thumb you won't pay more than them for stuff like installs and flushes. Use Checkatrade or recommendations and get a local supplier to do the work.


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Old 04-01-2017, 09:31 PM   #8
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Well a power flush is usually carried out by a plumber with the right equipment,namely a large plastic bucket and a pump that can be reversed,what they do is shut down all your rads except one,then connecting the two pipes of the pump to your system they force fluid back and forth around each rad in turn,you can see the crud building up in the plastic bucket,any price below 200 is a good one,it would seem you have a combi boiler to add inhibitor to the system is easy if you have one of the ladder chrome bathroom rads,just switch the boiler off and drain some of the rad down then remove the air bleed fitting at the top of the rad and pour the inhibitor in replace air bleed and re fill boiler.
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Old 04-01-2017, 09:33 PM   #9
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2 versions of sludge clearance :

Magnacleanse - double filter installed on the return line just before the boiler (piping modification required to allow subsequent installation of a Magnaclean filter). Uses the CH pump plus cleanser, one radiator at a time, plus an SDS hammer drill on hammer only and with their special pad tool to vibrate each radiator and get the sludge moving.

Pressure wash cleaning - again probably piping modification required for later filter installation, uses an external pump working at much higher pressure and volume than the CH pump to do the job. IMHO this would be better, but is possibly more expensive.

I've just had our 13 year old system Magnacleansed and a Magnaclean filter installed as part of replacing the boiler. After the job, the water that came out was clean (and the muck that came out each time he cleaned the Magnacleanse filter was amazing). I have not yet opened the Magnaclean filter, but bleeding radiators I'm still getting some black water.
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Old 04-01-2017, 11:48 PM   #10
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I had a Magnaclean filter fitted a while back when my boiler started giving problems, amazing amount of sludge captured, brilliant piece of kit.
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:21 AM   #11
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Before "power flushing" you need to decide how much you want this sludge to be moving around your system and towards your pump.

Magna by all means, to remove the circulating sludge, but stirring up rads full of currently dormant sludge isn't the panacea it might at first seem.

A few years ago I asked our plumber's merchant about powerflushes - his advice was not to, saying disturbing the sediment was to the detriment of the boiler.

Another option, albeit more time consuming, is to remove the rads and flush them through away from the system - makes better sense if you think about it.
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:01 AM   #12
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As the man says.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:46 AM   #13
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Well if the rads are ages old then think about changing them,problem is if they are very old they will be a different size to new ones and so then you need to extend or shorten pipe work,around here most homes have micro bore pipe that is 8mm,which is fine as long as you keep a system clean,having had a new combi boiler fitted two months ago in my bungalow which I bought quiet recently,I also changed 6 out of the 8 rads,the other two will get changed when the new kitchen is fitted and and the lounge extension starts I also have a Magna fitted also a limescale filter on the water inlet.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by developer View Post
Before "power flushing" you need to decide how much you want this sludge to be moving around your system and towards your pump.

Magna by all means, to remove the circulating sludge, but stirring up rads full of currently dormant sludge isn't the panacea it might at first seem.

A few years ago I asked our plumber's merchant about powerflushes - his advice was not to, saying disturbing the sediment was to the detriment of the boiler.

Another option, albeit more time consuming, is to remove the rads and flush them through away from the system - makes better sense if you think about it.
I like the idea of this. Thank you. If I take a rad out side to flush it? Is it best to fill it with a solvent type flush to and leave it standing fort some time before actually hosing through? My rads are as old as the house and I suspect never been flushed in thirty years.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zipdip
Well if the rads are ages old then think about changing them,problem is if they are very old they will be a different size to new ones and so then you need to extend or shorten pipe work,around here most homes have micro bore pipe that is 8mm,which is fine as long as you keep a system clean,having had a new combi boiler fitted two months ago in my bungalow which I bought quiet recently,I also changed 6 out of the 8 rads,the other two will get changed when the new kitchen is fitted and and the lounge extension starts I also have a Magna fitted also a limescale filter on the water inlet.
Never worked in a house with micro bore. In 33 years!
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