Thu 27th Mar 2014

What is Power Flush?

Published: Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Spanner & Nut ImageMost people haven’t heard of the term ‘Power Flush’ however the process may help to quieten your heating system and give it a few more years of service. Basically this is a full cleansing process which uses a series of chemicals to wash out rust, sludge and other contaminants from your radiators and pipes so that they work much more effectively. Not every system needs a power flush however and having one when you don’t need it can be expensive, so how do you know when the process is needed?

The signs to watch out for

The main indicators that your central heating system could do with a flush include cold areas on the radiators, a noisy boiler and pipe work, radiators that are slow to warm up and discoloured water coming from the radiators when you bleed them. Most of these symptoms can be due to a simple ‘air in the pipes’ problem and bleeding each of your radiators might fix them. If not however then a power flush could be the only answer and although the process can be expensive, you’ll notice the difference in terms of heat efficiency almost immediately.

What does power flushing involve?

The whole point of the power flushing process is to clean out the central heating system so that hot water can circulate to all areas. The first step is to find a good plumber that has previous experience of this process and that has the necessary tools to do the job. This may sound like an obvious thing to say but bad plumbers have been known to cause more damage to the boiler and heating system than it’s actually worth.

Your plumber will begin by attaching a high flow/low pressure pumping unit to the central heating system before adding the necessary chemicals. These strong cleansing chemicals help to break the crust that develops on sludge before breaking it down and washing it away. They also clean out any other gunk that may be lurking in the pipes, including particles of sand and flakes of rust. When the system is deemed to be clean a descaler is added to combat limescale and a corrosion inhibitor to stop any further rusting.

The entire power flushing process takes around 6 hours for the average sized central heating system although some badly effected homes may take an entire day. Not surprisingly, the process doesn’t come cheap and in some areas of the country a full flush can cost upward of £1200; the average price however is around £500 if done properly and by a reputable company. You should make a point of asking though if all of the chemicals are included in the quote as some companies charge extra for the descaler.

Although the power flush process is quite expensive it can save you an equal amount of money on your heating bills within a couple of years and in most cases your central heating system will run as quietly and efficiently as it did when it was first installed.

Guest Article by Clare Lynock

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