system flushing

What is…and when do I need a Powerflush?

I’m writing this today and genuinely struggling to keep it sensible.

The name Powerflush conjures up images of an extra hard pull on the toilet handle, but then raises the conundrum of when you would need to do such a thing?

It’s probably best to leave it there.

The question is valid though - when do I need a Powerflush? And what even is it?

A Force To Be Reckoned With

When it comes to traditional tasks or activities carried out by your friendly local plumbing and boiler expert, you’ll likely think of boiler installations, central heating repairs, and swapping out old radiators.

While these are all genuine bread-and-butter tasks, they are all aided by a simple yet often overlooked additional service that not only increases the efficiency of your central heating system but prolongs the life of your boiler too.

I am, of course, talking about the Powerflush service. But what is it?

Feeling Bunged Up

Your radiators, pipes, tanks, and boilers are usually made of copper and other metals which, (unless they’re stainless steel) start to corrode over time.

This degradation creates dust and debris which breaks down and forms a sludge which sits in your pipes and radiators and makes its way around your central heating system and into your boiler.

This damaging sludge restricts water flow and clogs up vital parts of your boiler.

However, it can be removed through a process of forcing water, under high pressure, through the central heating system - blasting the debris out and restoring the pipes to their original state.

This water-blasting process is what we call a Powerflush.

When do I need a Powerflush?

There are a few instances when a Powerflush may either be required, or a generally good idea.

Tepid Radiators

A potential indicator that your central heating requires a Powerflush is radiators that do not heat up properly.

You see, the build-up of sludge in the pipes and radiators restricts the amount of hot water that is able to reach the radiators, meaning, unsurprisingly, that they fail to heat up fully.So, if you notice that the radiators are not heating up adequately, however have been bled, and the boiler itself is operating as it should be, then there is a good chance that the pipes are blocked up and need a flush out.

Cold Spots

Similarly, you may notice some radiators are either cooler than others, or downright cold.

This could be due to blockages and water flow restrictions in particular sections of the pipework or ducts within the radiator.

A Powerflush of these sections, or the entire system, will restore the flow of hot water to these outlying radiators, being warmth back into your home.

Noisy Pipes

There are a variety of sounds that blocked pipes make, for example:

●      Gurgling - where the blockage causes an airlock; the water and air then mix as they flow through the pipes.

●      Banging - when pipes and radiators are blocked, they can cause the water to change direction rapidly resulting in banging or clanging noises. This is often heard when turning the central heating system on or off, or when switching on the boiler.

●      Whistling - when pipes are blocked, the water is forced through a smaller opening, which can result in a whistling noise.

●      Hissing - similar to whistling, you may hear a hissing noise when pipes are blocked.

●      Whooshing - again, similar to whistling and hissing. When water is forced through a smaller section of pipe, then reaches an open section with a faster flow rate, the water may make a whooshing noise.

A simple Powerflush service will remove the blockages that can cause these unwanted noises in your home.

However they may also be caused by other issues such as airlocks, damaged or faulty valves, or problems with any pumps associated with your central heating system.

So, if you encounter these noises and are unsure why they may be occurring, it’s best to ask your local boiler service engineer to take a look.

Rusty Water

From time to time you’ll need to bleed your radiators or drain them or the entire central heating system entirely for maintenance work.

Doing either of these jobs gives you an opportunity to inspect the water; if it is rusty coloured, you can bet that you have metal oxidation within your central heating system.

Another thing to look for is physical debris or deposits in the water which is another sign of underlying issues.

Evidence of either rusty water or deposits in the water are good indicators that it is time to flush your system out for good.

After the flushing service has been completed, it would be worthwhile asking your engineer for advice as to where the rust has been created.  This will enable you to repair or replace these parts and prevent the premature build-up of dust and sludge again.

Boiler Breakdowns

Are you having to call out a boiler service engineer more often than you would like?

When your radiators and pipes start to build up sludge, rust, dust, and debris, it inevitably makes its way around to your boiler, where it can clog up heat exchangers and pumps, causing no end of problems.

If your boiler is requiring breakdown repairs on a regular basis, your engineer will be able to diagnose the issues and if required, suggest remedial action such as a Powerflush.

New Kit

As we’ve talked about in our previous blogs, from time to time you may wish to update, upgrade or replace elements of your central heating system such as radiators, pipes, or the boiler itself.

The problem with only replacing individual components of your central heating system, rather than the whole lot, is that you run the risk of immediately contaminating your shiny new, expensive kit with sludge and debris transferred from the older, existing infrastructure.

This will inevitably reduce the lifespan and efficacy of your new equipment and the central heating system as a whole.  So, if you’ve invested in some new radiators and particularly a new boiler, you should ask for your system to be flushed too.

Regular Maintenance

As with any home equipment or appliance, a little bit of tlc should be planned, whether there are obvious issues or not.

In the case of your central heating system, it’s a good idea to have your system flushed every five to ten years to remove any contaminants and keep it in tip top condition.

Feeling Flushed?

By now hopefully you’re not asking when do I need a Powerflush, but actually, when CAN I have a powerflush?!

Luckily, the answer is just a phone call away. Give us a ring or drop us a line and we’ll advise when we can take a look at your central heating system and restore heat, health, and silence to your home.

Or, download our FREE Guide to Power Flushing your Boiler from our website.

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Adam Dilger
Managing Director
We offer ground braking reliable heating solutions across the Northwest. With 20 years experience our engineers install, service and maintain your central heating systems. Connect with Adam on LinkedIn >>
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