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What’s a power flush – and do I need one?

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What’s a power flush – and do I need one?

Over time, your heating system can get clogged with magnetic sludge and other material. If left untreated, it can end up making the system less efficient, meaning higher heating bills, or it can even result in a broken-down boiler.

One way to deal with this is with a power flush. A machine is attached to the central heating system which pumps a mix of cleaning chemicals through the system. These dislodge and break down deposits that may have built up in your radiators and pipework.

Once it’s done, the system is refilled with clean water, and inhibitors are sued to provide the system against future similar problems.

How would you know you have a problem? Some of the signs you might see would include:

  • Cold areas near the bottom (not the top) of your radiators
  • Coloured water when you bleed the radiators
  • Inefficient operation – radiators are slower to heat up than they should be
  • Increased noise from the system generally, and / or from the boiler itself
  • Reduced efficiency, meaning an increase in fuel energy bills (obviously, increases can be down to companies charging more for energy, and consumption increases can likewise be concealed by drops in price, so it’s worth getting used to checking the consumption amount, not just the price)

If you have a significantly older system, power flushing may not be the best option. A less vigorous chemical flush might be the alternative way to go, since older radiators could end up with leaks if corrosion over a long period has been a problem. Your heating engineer is trained to be able to give the best advice on what would be the right approach for your system.