Cleaning Central Heating System


We have a problem with a couple of radiators not getting hot (2 in lounge and one in dining room) British gas have diagnosed sludge in the system and recommend a power flush at 565.
Being a yorkshire man and skint I wondered about trying sentinels X400 sludge remove has anyone any experience of it? Also I just thought I would run out a bit of water from the system tip the stuff in the header tank and let it run for a week or so then flush and off we go but their website talks about needing to use a dosing vessel is this the case?
Thanks
Jd
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I would start by taking all the radiators off and flushing them with a hosepipe. Then refit the radiators add the X400 and let it run for a week or so before redoing the flushing.
If you are able to connect a hosepipe to the pipework you can also flush out the pipework before refiting the rads.
Don't forget to add X100 when you have finished.
Adam
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Stay well clear of British Gas, call a smaller local company. BG were called by a colleague as they had a heating insurance with them. The first question from BG was "does the boiler switch on and function?". When she said it didn't, BG wanted a callout fee which was stupidly paid. The recommendation without even taking the boiler cover off was an entire new central heating system. BG are either conning people like they do with their much higher energy charges, or they operate a bonus scheme for employees. The more they sell, or more orders generated, the more they are paid. The diagnosis from a local company was to do with the fan inside which was replaced for a fraction of the 5k+ BG wanted to renew everything including the pipes. The heating works perfectly now. What boiler companies should be concerned about is the way cowboys like British Gas devalue their brand names by clearly stating that the boiler WILL go faulty and how much the manufacturer charges for components. There should be a way of using EU Law that applies to other consumer goods. You have 5 years to sue a company if a product does not last a reasonable time. If goods are currently being made to malfunction within 2 years we should get a list together. Maybe BG go for people with one make more than others! If anything is sold with a requirement to have a warranty then walk away.
You would be better buying stuff from a local plumbing shop, they will advise you how to use it. Flushing a system isn't hard. Just make sure you put some additive in afterwards as you refill. Fernox or similar is OK.
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IanT wrote:

Was she actually on a BG maintenance contract at the time and if she was what Contract Option is she paying for? If she has the old 3 star maintenance contract (option 3 now I believe) with them then there would be no request for a call out fee as the whole system is covered for breakdown - but there is on the lower options of cover. Could you tell us what level of cover she is/was on at the time?

That is not, and never has been my experience with BG and their maintenance contracts. They have *ALWAYS* been entirely honest in their dealings - and in fact, kept an old boiler of mine working until it was impossible to obtain the parts - and then replaced the boiler *WITHOUT* "attempting" to change the whole system.

Not quite true, if the boiler has recurring problems, BG operatives will *advise* that it needs replacement - and then it's up to the customer where they go for it. *AND* that has been my experience of BG over many years.

That has never been my experience - the operatives that I have dealt with have *ALWAYS* been truthful (and accurate) in their information.

I Have *NEVER* had BG say such a statement to me - would please tell us of your source for that statement.

You are spouting misinformation yet again, or you are totally confused as to how the Sale of Good Act 1979 (as amended) actually applies.
To reiterate from another post to you, SoGA only applies to goods that are "inherently faulty" due to manufacturing or material defects *AND* *NOT* wear and tear. For *accurate* information see:
http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/consumers/fact-sheets/page38311.html

What an utter load of cobblers - and since when as BG made boilers? They actually get them from reputable manufacturers - believe it or not.

Again not quite as easy as you make it sound in practise - especially for those who have little or no knowledge of what they are doing in this case.
As a matter of interest, BG did a power flush for me in 2002, the spent nearly 8 hours doing the job (which included several unforeseen repairs to my system [around 200 at private contractors rates] as part of the cost of the flush - and the job is guaranteed for life, (which means they will re-flush it FOC if it needs doing again) - and the job is as good now as when it was done.
Cash
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I got an extortionate quote from BG once for a complete CH system. I asked which boiler they proposed. He said it was specially made for BG by Worcester Bosch. I pushed him for the model, which he only divulged when I said I was not going to buy an unknown boiler for that sort of money. He gave me the model number. Turns out it was a boiler, no longer advertised (obsolete).
My previous experience of BG was in North Wales where they installed a complete CH system (I was in a hurry). It took them four months (!) to get it working, which involved engineers (?) visiting at least twice a week. Finally a man from the boiler company came round, there were five people in my house scratching their heads and/or arses. No solution. Next day the original installer came round with a wiring diagram. He scratched his head for half an hour. I asked him what the drawing was. He said that the boiler company had told him there was a wiring error, but he was confused because there weren't enough wires in the muticore cable from the boiler to the hot water cylinder electrics. I had a look and confirmed this, and told him he'd have to run a cable with an extra way. He did the job and it cured the problem. He said he couldn't understand it because he always used the cable he originally used for my set up. I asked him how many he had installed, he said about 10. So I asked if anyone else had problems. He said about 5 of them had had trouble! Apparently he was a gas fitter who had been sent on a 2 day wiring course, say no more. He also originally installed the room thermostat on the wall behind which the hot water cylinder was. As a consequence the room stat was only an on off switch as the hot water cylinder was also heating up the thermostat. So we were either very hot or cold.
I would like to thank BG for my crash course in central heating.
---
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Before you do anything bleed the rads.
Mr Pounder
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On 14/02/2010 15:29, Mr Pounder wrote:

I'm sure he would've already done that.
Bod
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Bod wrote:

Ok chaps here is an update.
when the heating first starts all the rads get hot and everthing is as it always has been after 30 mins or so some of the rads cool down and never seem to get back to heat namely the two in the lounge, one in the dinning room and the down stairs loo. The kitchen, hall and study all keep hot as do all bar one upstairs (the main bedroom) if you look at the house the boiler is on the left and the rads which lose heat are all on the right.
Does this really sound like a sludge issue sureley the rads should never get hot if the are blocked, or am I missing something simple ? Have a few days off next week so might well take a rad out and see whats in it. The theromstat is making
Jd
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On 14/02/2010 20:19, JD wrote:

> >
If they all heat up to start with, that virtually eliminates sludge.Sounds like a possible air lock that trundles around the system for a while and gets stuck in a few places. Have you tried switching the system off (making sure the pump is not still running) and then going through the process of bleeding all of your rads, starting downstairs and working your way up? I am a plumber, but I've never heard of a system acting quite like yours. If the rads are old, there may be some sludge anyway. Like you say, it might be worth a check. A good system flush out won't do it any harm, as long as you put some inhibitor in afterwards. I'd recommend "Fernox", it's the dearest but is the best IMO.
Bod
Bod
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Hi JD,
Can you confirm (a) whether you have TRV's fitted on all / any of the rads? and (b) if the rads which get hot initially (as well as the rads which stay hot) are hot at the top of the rad as well as lower down?
I agree it doesn't sound like a sludge issue at this stage.
If you haven't got TRVs fitted, have you tried running the system with *both* valves (i.e. including lock-shield valve) on every rad fully open? What result?
And what happens if you try running the system with the rads which "stay hot" turned off completely?
(If you've got TRVs, have you also got the little plastic caps which can temporarily replace the TRV caps, and force them fully open?)
I'm assuming answers to the above (and anything else you can try) may help the folk here diagnose the likely problem.
Finally (and apols if you know this) take care if you try removing a rad. The black gunge in the bottom of all rads will ruin carpets etc. - so you need masses of water-proof protective sheeting and a spare pair of hands...!
--
Martin




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On 14/02/2010 20:42, Martin wrote:

> I have to correct part of the last answer. Those special caps on TRV's is to turn them right OFF.
Just remove the tops of the TRV's. Anyway, I don't remember the OP stating TRV's.
Bod
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And make sure the "plunger" underneath the cap is free - I had to wiggle mine with pliers to pull it out, iy stayed stuck in even after the TVR caps had been removed. (Also put a spot of WD40 on them afterwards.... no bother since).
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On 15/02/2010 10:00, Ian wrote:

>

I've found a better way to ease the 'TRV' pin that is stuck. If you tap lightly several times on the pin, it will in most cases, pop up again.
Bod
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< snip >

Oops. Thanks, Bod - well spotted...!
--
Martin


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On 15/02/2010 12:42, Martin wrote:

Ok.
Bod
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JD wrote:

Ok Guys latest update.
I have bleed all the radiators I got air in two of the upstairs ones, the one in sons bedroom we have to bleed about every two months any way. It made no differene etwo the two rads which go cold in the lounge.
The rads that start hot and then go cold dont have TRV's fitted.
Tonight lounge rads came on went cold I have now turned off rads in the hall and study and the two in the lounge are now hot enough to take the skin of my hand. One thing I noticed was that they got hot from the top down (is this normal) and even now there seems to be a temp difference between the top and bottom of the rad ie top is hottest.
Any thoughts gents.
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