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Power Flush for radiators

Some of my rads are cold in the middle and towards the bottom.

I've bled them and black sludge comes out.

I've googled it and the answer appears to be a Power Flush.

However, on a neighbourhood site called "Nextdoor", someone has the same issue and comments suggest that this process has a 10% success ratio and you're better off buying some stuff from B&Q.

Thoughts please, if you haven't fallen to sleep ?

Comments

  • cheapest and best way is to remove the radiator and just flush it through with water outside. A bit time consuming if you have a few, and not ideal as its cold at the moment and you will need the heating to be off for a while
  • How ironic... Had British Gas out servicing my Boiler yesterday and they advised that I had exact same issue with my downstairs radiators
  • How ironic... Had British Gas out servicing my Boiler yesterday and they advised that I had exact same issue with my downstairs radiators

    And ..... ?
  • ...probably offered to do a power flush for £600
  • You want a professional to do the power flush if that is what you decide and that isn't cheap

    Orpington red has the most cost effective solution but that is arseache
  • @Covered End do not go for a cheap B&Q option - it will not work.

    To do it yourself, taking rads off walls, will take forever but you will still not remove the sludge from the middle/bottom of the rad as it needs to be vibrated off - flushing through with water without vibration will not remove the sludge. If you do do it this way you are opening yourself up to airlocks within the system which you will have no idea how to remove (no disrespect!).

    You need a professional plumbing company to do this with a Powerflush machine imo. Its a days work and circa £600 as has previously been stated - the upside is that your gas bills will reduce as you are getting more surface coverage out of your radiators for heat out of the hot water that is produced.

    There are also products if fitted to the Central Heating system - MagnaClean - which will help stop the build up of sludge going forward in the first place.

    On a final note - if you do use a plumbing company - ensure that there is a guarantee..

  • edited February 2
    I had a power flush done by pros at the time I got a new boiler and the flush was thrown in as part of the price for the whole job by British Gas. It was amazing the crap they got out of the system (which probably hadn't ever been flushed for about 30 years, i.e. since original installation). Definitely did what it was supposed to do and the rads performed much better. They also put in MagnaClean as part of the job. That was about 10 years ago.
  • It's Saturday night. The new night for plumbing problems.
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  • Some of my rads are cold in the middle and towards the bottom.

    I've bled them and black sludge comes out.

    I've googled it and the answer appears to be a Power Flush.

    However, on a neighbourhood site called "Nextdoor", someone has the same issue and comments suggest that this process has a 10% success ratio and you're better off buying some stuff from B&Q.

    Thoughts please, if you haven't fallen to sleep ?

    Blimey have things got that bad were talking about rads on a Saturday night
  • clb74 said:

    Some of my rads are cold in the middle and towards the bottom.

    I've bled them and black sludge comes out.

    I've googled it and the answer appears to be a Power Flush.

    However, on a neighbourhood site called "Nextdoor", someone has the same issue and comments suggest that this process has a 10% success ratio and you're better off buying some stuff from B&Q.

    Thoughts please, if you haven't fallen to sleep ?

    Blimey have things got that bad were talking about rads on a Saturday night
    We lost and he is freezing - give him a break !
  • clb74 said:

    Some of my rads are cold in the middle and towards the bottom.

    I've bled them and black sludge comes out.

    I've googled it and the answer appears to be a Power Flush.

    However, on a neighbourhood site called "Nextdoor", someone has the same issue and comments suggest that this process has a 10% success ratio and you're better off buying some stuff from B&Q.

    Thoughts please, if you haven't fallen to sleep ?

    Blimey have things got that bad were talking about rads on a Saturday night
    If I said what I thought about Charlton/Roland tonight, I'd get banned and we just got slaughtered in the cricket, so rads it is :-(
  • If its only a couple of radiators you may we’ll find it cost effective to just replace them. They are in the main steel and do corrode and these days are quite cheap to replace like for like and quite doable even for a diy person.
  • Shooters has the right idea, further more you might want to think about where this sludge has come from. It’s mainly corrosion from your steel and iron parts within entire system. Your rads are getting thinner from the inside out.
  • If its only a couple of radiators you may we’ll find it cost effective to just replace them. They are in the main steel and do corrode and these days are quite cheap to replace like for like and quite doable even for a diy person.

    Cheap ones are cheap, nice ones are overdraft inducingly expensive and once you have seen the nice ones available now they become a bit tempting
  • the only real solution is to bite the bullet, get out the dusty wallet (sorry bout the mixed metaphors) and pay a professional to do the job properly.
  • Turn your radiators upside down.
    Problem solved

    Move house.

    Do you both write for Viz?
  • Do you have a combination boiler or header tank system.
  • Do you have a combination boiler or header tank system.

    Header tank system.
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  • Go to a Plumbing shop and get a bottle of sludge remover. Read instructions. Put it in the header tank. Then drain system. Then refill. Any problem pm me.
  • Go to a Plumbing shop and get a bottle of sludge remover. Read instructions. Put it in the header tank. Then drain system. Then refill. Any problem pm me.

    That's not entirely correct. Putting sludge remover in then draining the system will remove the sludge remover.
    He needs to partially drain system, add remover, run the system, then drain it.
  • I had a power flush done by pros at the time I got a new boiler and the flush was thrown in as part of the price for the whole job by British Gas. It was amazing the crap they got out of the system (which probably hadn't ever been flushed for about 30 years, i.e. since original installation). Definitely did what it was supposed to do and the rads performed much better. They also put in MagnaClean as part of the job. That was about 10 years ago.

    It’s a requirement of fitting a new boiler due to erp regulations now aswell as a filter like a mag a clean, so if getting boiler changed make sure this is included in price.
  • If you have a header tank check the expansion pipe goes at least 18 inches above the level of water in the tank. If not you can get pump over whenever the pump starts which displaces old central heating water with fresh tank water and can also draw air into the system. This can cause excessive sludge. You can check it by looking at the expansion pipe to see if water spills into the tank when the pump starts or stops. You can also check for air being drawn in by placing the end of the expansion pipe into a container of water with a mark on the level of water in the container.Get someone to Switch pump on and off and then check the level in the container.if it has gone down against the mark you are drawing air into the system. This also can be a cause of excessive sludge.
  • Be careful with a power flush. I had a new boiler fitted a few years ago and they BG wanted to do it and charge me over £100 for the privilege, you have to sign a waiver as the power flush has the ability to expose other weaknesses in your system.

    You can buy a cleaner and inhibitor for about £20, add this solution to your header tank drain some water out, then run and bleed. You may notice it runs quieter after a while....
  • Power flushing puts the system under more pressure then it is used too so could cause leaks in older pipework. Same for switching from a old gravity fed system to combi boiler
  • Had a power flush many years ago with my previous boiler, then again when the boiler was replaced. It certainly made a difference

    One of the issues was that my central heating uses small bore pipes which seem to be more prone to blockage
  • Had a power flush many years ago with my previous boiler, then again when the boiler was replaced. It certainly made a difference

    One of the issues was that my central heating uses small bore pipes which seem to be more prone to blockage

    If any system was designed properly your furthest radiator from the heater tank taking in friction and heat losses would be about 6mm as its the index circuit. Everything as you know is 22mm or 28mm then into 15. When i lived in Scotland all my pipework was microbore a real pain to work with so i ripped it out.
  • Thanks everyone.
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